George Floyd’s murder was an inexcusable act of violence and injustice that sits atop centuries of brutality and white supremacy. As protesters around the country march for justice, it’s important for white and non-Black Americans to not only be allies, but to actively stand in solidarity and participate in, finally, dismantling a system that has abused, and profited on the backs of Black people.
Like many brands and companies, Lora DiCarlo also has room to do more in dismantling this system. We have more work to do in increasing diversity, creating safe spaces, and ensuring we actively eradicate inequality. Our home state, Oregon, has a violently racist past that we are still facing.
Here is what we pledge to do:
- We are developing a plan for how our company and brand will take action to support the BIPOC community ongoingly, including: expanding our search for new positions outside of Oregon, spotlighting POC run companies in brand collaborations, providing anti-racist training to white staff, working with local tech organizations and VC groups to surface the topic of diverse investment and identify opportunities to support POC startups.
- We will develop a pledge and policy that every employee will sign.
We believe accountability is important, and are committing to making real change in our company.
Our founder and CEO, Lora Haddock DiCarlo, addressed our company about the difference between passive allyship and being actively anti-racist, and how we’ll take direct action:
Those who remain silent condone this violence, this racism, these murders. Please join us and do not just be a quiet ally; be a loud advocate, be an accomplice in the fight against racism. White privilege should be used to protect black bodies. White privilege should be used for something bigger than ourselves.
Support for George Floyd, his family, and Black Lives Matter requires action, not just words or social media posts. It’s not enough to just be an ally. We must actively work toward dismantling a system built on hate. Here is a list of action items everyone can do.
Find your lane in supporting protests. If you are able to attend protests, consider doing so, and consider using your white privilege to protect black protestors.
Some aren’t able to attend protests due to disabilities or health risks, and that’s okay. Message local organizers on the ground and inquire what supplies they need, which may include masks, water, PPE, etc. Ask if they need help reaching out to volunteers and how you can help organizers with events, vigils, protests, etc.
Donate To Bail Funds
The Minnesota Freedom Fund posts bail for those who cannot afford it—the Philippines and the U.S. being the only two countries in the world with a cash bond system. Because of overwhelming support, they have begun asking for donations to Reclaim the Block or the Black Visions Collective instead.
You may also want to consider supporting a bail fund in your community, which can help bail out local protestors, or to the official George Floyd Memorial Fund or to Black Lives Matter. You can also contact your local BLM group to ask which local organizations most need your money.
If you aren’t able to protest or contribute financially, you can sign petitions. Here are some you can support, taken from a larger list on the BLM website:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Charge all four police officers
- Raise the Degree
- Demand justice for George Floyd
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Life sentence for police brutality
Learn Without Burdening Black Friends
It’s normal to share experiences with others, especially when you think it might bring you closer together. But white people really need to ask themselves right now if sharing information about racist family members, asking to be educated, or for resources is helpful.
Black people have continuously watched members of their community be brutally murdered, and the videos are hard to escape online. They are traumatized, tired, and upset. Right now is not the time to share how you’ve told your racist mother to do better, and Google is free. You can and should educate yourself on your own time, allowing Black people to grieve, organize, rest, or feel whatever they need to feel.
The process of learning is not always comfortable. You have to push past feelings of ignorance, discomfort, shame and guilt. You have to move beyond feelings of avoidance and not worry about looking or feeling less than perfect in your growth. Acknowledge that you don’t know everything and that you’re working to educate yourself. You must decenter the ego and fully occupy the uncomfortable moments that come with challenging your worldview while fighting for a greater cause.
You are responsible for your own racism, privilege, and education.
- 12 Essential books to read after George Floyd’s death
- Anti-racist reading list
- White anti-racism: living the legacy
Stop Sharing Graphic Videos Without Trigger Warnings
Imagine seeing a friend or loved one killed violently, over and over again. If that video were everywhere, and for the entire world to see, you’d be constantly re-traumatized with no escape on social media.
Stop sharing videos and photos of graphic violence against Black people without appropriate warnings. This gives others a chance to protect themselves from trauma, especially on social media sites with weak reporting and filter features.
Talk To Friends And Family, And Consider Cutting Ties
It’s hard. It sucks. Sometimes, it doesn’t go well. But if you have the resources and safety to talk to your white family about racism, you need to. White people often find themselves in echo chambers, surrounded by people who support and agree with their opinions. This is how racism spreads and persists. When your family and friends make inappropriate or racist jokes, call them out. You can also ask to talk about the events of the last few days, and try to explain your point of view.
If those family members continue racist behavior, you may need to cut them off. It’s hard, and for some who lives at home or with abusive family members it may not be possible now, but communicating less with family members or friends who are racist shows you don’t support or put up with that kind of behavior, and it removes their toxic influence from your life.
Parents, remember that teaching tolerance is important. Here’s how to talk to your kids about the current events.
Hold Brands And Celebrities Accountable
Just as you can talk with friends and family, hold your favorite brands and celebrities accountable. Notice who is and isn’t taking action, and which people and companies follow their words with actions. You can message and email brand and company leaders, and ask what their plans to create a more equitable society are.
When you see brands and companies donating to the wrong groups, refusing to take action, staying silent or supporting a racist system, cut them off and let them know what you’re doing and why. Make it known you can replace their products.
Lora DiCarlo pledges never to be a brand or a company that refuses to take action. We stand in solidarity with activists and say, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter.
Our country is in turmoil, but in many ways we have never been so hopeful for a more tolerant future—because we see you standing up and fighting for what’s right. We’ll stand with you, now and tomorrow.