Regarding the murder of George Floyd, we wished we could say that we were surprised that police brutality still existed. When Ahmaud Arbery was murdered, we wished we could say that we were surprised that white supremacy still existed. And when a white woman in Central Park lied to the police and reported that Christian Cooper was “An African American man threatening my life,” because she was insulted that he asked her to put her dog on a leash, we wished we were surprised that someone could behave that way.
Without images being captured by cellphone cameras, some wouldn’t believe these events happened. Thanks to the leadership of #blacklivesmatter and other activists, things are getting recorded and shared. And now, finally, more people than ever are seeing these images and getting an insight to feelings that Black Americans have seen and felt forever.
We want things to change. We believe #blacklivesmatter. We stand against police brutality. We don’t condone white supremacy. And we’re inspired by the protests happening in small towns and big cities across America.
Companies have influence and words on a blog or in a tweet aren’t enough. We think companies can influence change by setting the bar higher in how they do the work they do. For those interested, these are some of the things we’re doing to help make the change we seek happen faster.
Our politics are broken and most public policy is decided at the local level. We have, and will continue to give paid time off to our employees to vote. To underscore how important we believe the 2020 November elections are, we’re making November 3, 2020 a paid holiday and are encouraging our employees to vote, and help get out the vote, should they so choose.
We will continue to use our platform to spotlight critical social issues and celebrate people who work for positive change in their communities. By telling the stories of those who dedicate their lives to making change, we hope to inspire future social workers, volunteers and activists.
Doubling Down on Our Mission
The social safety net in the United States is broken. We see it everyday, especially with rising unemployment rates as a result of the pandemic. In the short run, inspired by the protests, we’ve dedicated part of our Data Operations Team to research, index and highlight bail assistance, and other legal assistance programs throughout the United States. In the long run, we’ll continue to strive towards a social safety net that allows people in need to connect with programs that can help them with dignity and ease.
While we don’t have all the answers yet, we commit to put these initiatives, and others like it, into place as a permanent part of the way we work.