According to The Chicago Sun*times. On the evening of March 3rd, 2018 a group of six teenage black males were kicking it at the Water Tower Place. When a doctor by the name of “Dr. Carla Hightower” noticed them because they were so clean, and their style was on a whole other level.
The group was seen doing nothing wrong inside of the mall, however by the time that the doctor was making her way out of the mall. She saw the group being escorted out by mall security. Dr. Hightower then asked the apologetic looking female guard, “what did the boys do wrong?” the guard responded by saying “I don’t even know if they did anything wrong”.
Dr. Carla Hightower Source https://twitter.com/DrHightower/media
This situation didn’t sit well with the doctor. She felt that it was highly possible, that this was a clear cut case of racial profiling. But instead of turning a blind eye to the situation at hand, Dr. Hightower took action. She went to find a manager, and was left in shock when the manager informed her that the group of boys were thrown out of the mall for basically “loitering” and not buying anything out of the stores.
The manager went on to further hit Hightower with bs excuse after bs excuse to justify kicking the group out of the Water Tower Place. But Hightower was not buying any of the managers excuses. She left the mall and got in contact with the company who owns Water Tower Place through email. A business named General Growth Properties.
The email caught the attention of a man by the name of Kevin Berry. Berry, is the executive vice president of human resources and communications for General Growth Properties. Berry agreed to put together a meeting with Hightower and the top dawgs of security and asset management at the Water Tower Place.
Kevin Berry. Source http://investor.ggp.com/leadership/management/kevin-berry
Hightower was impressed by the fast response and how seriously Kevin Berry took this situation.
The meeting led to Water Tower Place’s management reviewing its policies on what exactly defines loitering. And It’s mall security teams are supposed to go through retraining.
The mall will also like to get in contact with the six boys from the incident, bring them back to the mall to apologize to them in person. Read the full story here, on the Sun*times website.
My Thoughts Of This Story
Off of experience of growing up as a black male, I’ve experienced my fare share of racial discrimination. I’ve been targeted by store staff more times than I can count. And just like the group of boys, I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
And being unfairly targeted not only gave me a lasting negative image of the business who did it. It also made me feel violated and less than human.
I think that society needs more people like Dr. Hightower. This story is proof that one person can make a difference. Small changes can lead to bigger things . Like in this case, security teams are being retrained and “rules” are being reviewed. That’s power and progress right there!
Read the full story here.
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