At Code42, we are heartbroken at another senseless death of an unarmed person of color at the hands of law enforcement. We fully support those protesting this injustice. Black lives matter. As a society, we must acknowledge the daily and systemic racism that the Black community has experienced in America for almost 400 years. To stay silent on that is to be complicit. We want to engage in the conversation — as uncomfortable as it may be. We need to hear the voices from those who have historically been oppressed — people of color, women, LGBTQ and people of all beliefs. Not just in Slack channels or annual surveys. Silence no more. At Code42, we are committing today to a regular dialogue with these communities.
However, as many protesters have impassionedly stated, talk and rage is just not enough anymore. We need change. We want our elected officials and the leaders of law enforcement to address these issues head-on. We demand that they do better. But we also acknowledge that we too have to change at Code42. We aren’t yet the inclusive, representative organization that we want to be. We feel sad that it has taken a crisis to force us to more closely inspect our own organization. As the late Toni Morrison wrote, “Misery don’t call ahead. That’s why you have to stay awake — otherwise it just walks on in your door.” We feel the misery — we commit to waking up. This crisis gives us the determination to try harder and to take action now.
In addition to lending our voices to those directly affected by racism, we plan to take the following concrete steps:
- We are setting more concrete goals for a more equitable organization. Diversity is not enough. As one of our team members likes to say, “Diversity is when you count people and equity is when people count.” We are striving toward a workforce that more closely represents the demographics of the communities that we have offices in. We also want to ensure those team members have a voice that is heard.
- We will hire an expert in inclusion to counsel us on how to make our culture more inclusive for African Americans specifically and for all historically oppressed people generally.
- Our employees are given two days per year of volunteer time off at full company pay. We are asking each employee to use at least one of those days each year to do something that specifically benefits people of color.
- The Code42 Foundation’s mission is to build an equitable Minnesota. We are raising additional funds to support the immediate needs of the Black community as we rebuild Minneapolis.
- Finally, we are committed to engaging in the conversation about race on an ongoing basis. We will meet every quarter as a company to engage in ways we can do better for the under-represented and under-privileged in our company.
It isn’t an exhaustive list. But over the next year we can hold ourselves accountable to it and measure ourselves against these first commitments. And it is a start. At Code42, we believe in the relentless pursuit of better in all that we do — so expect us to demand more from our company and from ourselves as time passes. We are committed to leaving the world a better place.