How I Got “a 33% Conversion Rate” on Getting People I Follow to Speak Out About Systemic Racism

My communication skills, empathy training and marketing background certainly helped, even if my evidence is only anecdotal

Wendy Garrido


Photo courtesy of the author

First off, let’s set the record straight. This was not a formal study and by “a conversion rate of 33%” I mean that I helped change the mind of exactly ONE person (that I know of — so far). But, considering that I only sent out six initial emails all together, three of which went to people who turned out to be already in the conversation, I think it’s a result that merits sharing — as well as further testing and investigation.

I have written before about the surprisingly small impact of touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The reality is, I’ll never know the ripple effects and impact that those emails (or this article ABOUT those emails) will have in the world. And likewise, neither will you when you decide to start speaking up to other White people about systemic racism.

I certainly did not have this article in mind when I wrote those emails. In fact, I want to be clear that my motivation in writing this article is not to say “Yay, me! Look how much I did for Black people!” because I wrote 6 measly emails. It is gratifying to know that we can make even the smallest bit of difference, and it adds fuel to the engine to keep trying, but the work is ongoing, I don’t believe will be done in my lifetime, and this, unto itself, is nowhere near sufficient.

So yes, I helped change one person’s mind by writing these emails. (And hopefully more.) But this article is about helping YOU, dear white person, perhaps change at least one person’s mind as well.

When and why I wrote these emails

Shortly after watching the video of the murder of George Floyd, I was feeling sad and overwhelmed by the state of the world. I noticed feeling repulsed every time I would get a “business as usual” marketing email that did not — at the very least — acknowledge what had happened. I wavered between sitting in bed all day consuming media and information and trying to figure out how to actually make a difference. One of the…



Wendy Garrido #1 Bestselling Author, Authentic Marketing + Living Advocate, BAs Psych & Econ | U Chicago🏳️‍🌈 She/Her.