A conversation on race with Sam’s Club associate Tahirah Buford.
Tahirah Buford, a Regional Talent Partner for more than 90 Sam’s Clubs in the central part of the U.S., has a passion for diversity and inclusion. And that passion pushes her to advocate for and lead race conversations on a regular basis.
We talked with Tahirah about racial equity and taking part in these conversations.
What have you learned about yourself in the past year?
I realized I wasn’t having these same conversations with people who are outside of my comfort zone. I want my white peers and white friends to know they can always come to me with questions. I’m always willing to have an open and honest conversation about race.
If someone doesn’t know how to take part in difficult conversations about race, what advice would you give them?
Be willing to speak up first. Race can be a sensitive topic, but don’t let that silence you. If you feel uneasy, you’re headed in the right direction. There is no magic bullet to getting started with these conversations. You just have to do it.
As a Black woman, what do you wish more people asked you?
Simply put: how does that make you feel? One thing that hit me hard was the murder of Breonna Taylor. When people ask me, “how does that make you feel as a woman or a Black woman,” it makes the pain and burden I still carry from that situation feel acknowledged.
How can we continue taking steps toward strengthening racial equity?
Black people can’t create change by ourselves. It has to be a coalition. Our Regional Vice President, Shana DeSmit, has led several calls with her Market Managers to talk about race. We always leave knowing and understanding each other better.
What excites you most about the racial equity momentum at Sam’s Club?
That Sam’s Club is being intentional and steadfast in our commitment to improve diversity, racial equity and inclusion is tremendously exciting. Our entire company has rallied around seven areas, where dedicated work is being done to seed a more diverse culture. Sam’s Club has made inclusion a key priority, and we’re working together to make lasting change.