Corporate Social Responsibility Upholds Colonialism — So What Now? 

How Current CSR Practices Uphold White Supremacy and
How Building Relationships with Indigenous People Can Change That


The consensus is that it costs more to do nothing about socio-environmental issues than to begin initiatives to address them. However, current corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts uphold white supremacy by focusing on unilateral transactional connections that reinforce superior complexes. This form of CSR prevents the reemergence of non-European knowledge. Thus, it endorses the global regime's current extractive and exploitative behavior. In order to evolve CSR, knowledge of the colonized other must be centered, thus dismantling hegemonic forces. Social and environmental efforts must empower disenfranchised groups – their minds should guide the way, while others assist with implementation. Processes that start with the affected people's knowledge will not lead to acute check-box memorabilia, but will rather lead to self-sustainment through micro-progression. Strategies like this have the power to build goodwill, avoid wastefulness, and prevent insults. This study explores the idea of decolonizing CSR efforts by placing historically marginalized people and their knowledge at the forefront. The research explores Haudenosaunee, Yoruba, and Bantu worldviews with a view to making CSR a transformative process. However, a business that practices these worldviews was interviewed and asserted that CSR is only an entry point to decolonization. This is because decolonization is a process of evolving worldviews, not isolated initiatives. Nevertheless, CSR goals can be elevated by establishing more entrepreneurial ventures for historically marginalized groups in which they have more accountability and power to dictate initiatives.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Indigenous Knowledge, Transformation, Intersectionality, Environmental Justice, Social Justice, Corporate Governance, Colonialism, Environmental Social and Governance