In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Oregon last week, an organisation called the American Petroleum Institute has issued a call for its members to join the effort to curb institutional racism and promote equality in the energy sector.
Institutions are often the ones that are responsible for the racism that often goes on at their schools, hospitals and businesses, the organisation says.
“We’re in a time when there is such a pervasive feeling of institutional racism in the American business sector that it has to be tackled in a serious way,” said AIP executive director David Gandy.
“The issue here is not just about the school, hospital or business, it is about the whole of society.
The American business industry is a major contributor to the problem, and we must take steps to end it.”
“Our concern is about a whole range of institutions, not just the oil and gas industry.
We know that the issues around institutional racism are very serious,” he said.
AIP has been working on a report called Institutional Racism, which aims to identify systemic and structural barriers that are holding back the growth of the energy industry and the communities that depend on it.
There are several other organisations working on this issue, but the group has the highest priority, Gandy said.
“We need to address institutional racism within all sectors of society,” he told the BBC.
Many businesses are in need of an overhaul.
One major problem is that people don’t talk about it enough, Gory said.
“I think we need to have this conversation about it and have people speak about it, because it is a really important topic that we need serious, thoughtful discussion about,” he added.
Gandy said that many people in the US and Europe are not aware of the problems in the industry, which means that companies are reluctant to address issues such as institutional racism.
“It’s not just an issue that impacts the oil industry,” he argued.
“It affects all of us.”
Gory said that it is important for businesses to be more proactive and engage with people to find solutions.
In some cases, he said, there is a reluctance to act because of fear of offending the company.
If people can be honest about what they’re doing and how they’re tackling the issue, they can be less affected by it.
“A lot of people in America are afraid to talk about what’s going on in the oil business,” he noted.
More from the BBC:AIP says it wants to make an impact in the sector with its #InstitutionalRacismCampaign, which is launching on Wednesday.
Follow the BBC’s coverage of the shootings in Oregon, which killed six people and wounded more than 50 others.
What’s the impact of institutional racial discrimination?
What are some of the issues that need to be addressed?
Are there systemic problems?
What can companies do to tackle racism?