The past few months have been tough and the past week has been especially hard on our black colleagues and friends. 40 states have implemented curfew. Protesters are risking their health and safety during a pandemic to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the many many black lives that have been taken. We want to let everyone know that we understand these are especially dark times. Everything is not all right and we do not have to all immediately go back to business as usual.
As a team and a company that serves the most democratic and fragmented of institutions, we dislike when tech companies pretend to be or to solve something on the surface but then don’t engage in the struggle to understand the full messy entirety of it. We take pride in being ambitious, hard working, and high performing, but we also know that this is not the time to force ourselves to compartmentalize. This is a time to test our values and demonstrate what it truly means to to bring your whole self to work. Real life is messy and hard and precious and whatever you may be holding in because of the current state of events know that you have a safe space here to let it out.
To look away now is the highest and most harmful of privilege. We are saying unequivocally now that diversity and inclusion is not for profit, not tied to any strategic goals or to any outcomes other than being fully present for our colleagues and for our communities, becoming better humans, and creating a better world. The world is in a scary place right now and in plain words there is no vaccine for this shit.
There is no right or wrong way to feel. Just like there is no right or wrong way to try and engage each other in honest discussion and learning. In fact, we expect to not share the exact same beliefs but we know that we can trust each other to express empathy and compassion. To have open minds and to keep supporting each other on a personal front and not just a professional one. We commit to showing up fully, to respect and hear each other, to grieve together, and to fight for truth and justice and peace and love because right now today, this is not the world we want to live in and not the world that students and families deserve. We have to change it together.
No justice no peace. With love,