This past Friday, Robin observed Juneteenth. Our CEO Sam Dunn challenged the team to read, learn, and listen. Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about what a post-COVID-19 workplace looks like and how to safely bring people back into it. We think of ourselves as advocates for employees which, in the midst of nation-wide protests around racial equality for BIPOC Americans begs the question: which employees?
Safely transitioning people back into the workplace is still important, but we’re taking the opportunity during this time of reflection — individually, organizationally, and nationally — to reaffirm our belief that advancing the workplace is only made possible by empowering all people. Now and always, we condemn racial inequality. Sam shared his personal Juneteenth reflection and Robin’s long-term commitments for change in the email below.
This is my first Juneteenth. I’m sorry I’m late, I have a lot to learn.
I’ve spent today reflecting on how we can support the mission of Black Lives Matter, and become stronger advocates for Black communities. A few we’re actively working on:
- Goals for candidate and hiring pipelines designed to recruit and grow talent from Black communities.
- Public-facing diversity and inclusion reports for accountability and awareness
- Mentorship programs for our BIPOC and underrepresented team members
- Identifying mentorship and sponsorship opportunities of BIPOC-focused organizations
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been part of some raw and authentic conversations — and I am deeply grateful for that opportunity. We have real work ahead of us to rally around a future that demands an end to police brutality, and expects more of a criminal justice system where race is too often the deciding factor if a situation goes “well”.
I’d like to share one that stood out to me:
“In school, when the cops came and broke up a party, did you get to leave?”
Those two words have stuck with me in a way that I can’t seem to shake. I am admittedly whatever combination of words you’d expect to use describing a white man from middle class suburbia. I didn’t know how fortunate I was. I learn about privilege by hearing about the experiences I never had to have.
We all must speak up and clearly say the system is broken. Police brutality, racism, and murder aren’t things we get to redefine with nuances and caveats — they are inexcusable. The system shouldn’t get to decide which Black people get to be a part of our future.
We have to make sure everyone gets home safe — and that means not leaving anyone behind.
Who Are You: Shantell Martin x New York City Ballet
In two months I’m going to have my first kid. Whatever that kid decides to become, I hope the idea of racial injustices are alien to them and I hope they are confused at what used to be a debate: Black Lives Matter.
— Sam, CEO @ Robin
Our commitments don’t stop there. Right now, we want to keep dissecting our own bias and amplifying underrepresented voices.
Here’s a resource guide Robinauts compiled and have been using over the past few weeks to donate, buy, volunteer, sign, read, listen, and follow to support the Black Lives Matter movement:
To think critically about the workplace, here are some resources we’ve shared internally to re-evaluate the historically unequal industry we work in: