We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We grieve for them and the many, many others before them who lost their lives to police brutality and racial injustice.
We know these are not isolated incidents; they are part of a larger system of institutionalized racism, structural violence, and dominant groups abusing and misusing power to hold onto their own status.
White supremacy has brought us to this current moment, where Black people are 2.5x more likely to be killed by police (Statista), with a Black person killed every two to three days – a number significantly larger than during the height of the Jim Crow period (Isabel Wilkerson).
It is time for change. We must dismantle our current White Supremacist system. For those calling for healing and reconciliation, we stand with you, but warn against using these words as a means of erasing and forgetting.
At Ethos, we commit to advocating for and donating to organizations that help us achieve true healing and reconciliation through:
- Supporting protestors who are demanding justice and protections for Black lives by backing bail funds and calling legislators to end private security forces, military intervention, and police violence against them
- Seeking widespread police reforms including requiring police officers to live in the communities they serve and be subject to outside investigations of misconduct
- Demanding an end to the carceral state that prioritizes mass incarceration over providing basic human services to the communities who need it most and an investment in restorative justice-based approaches
- Calling on Congress to pass H.R. 40 to address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the U.S. and establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations
At the same time, we make these calls, we acknowledge there is more we can do within our own organization to make a change. That is why we have created our Response Plan, which is included below, to show how we will be accountable to the Black community now and in the future.
– Alida Miranda-Wolff, Jackie Perez, and Tedd Hawks
Our Response to the Ongoing Violence Against Black Communities
How has Ethos supported the Black community in response to the recent cases of police brutality?
On Thursday, May 28th, we began donating to organizations to support change and reform. These include:
- The George Floyd Memorial Fund
- National Bail Fund Network
- The Center for Popular Democracy
- Poor People’s Campaign
- Movement for Black People’s Lives
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Reclaim the Block
- Black Visions Collective
- For My Block
Separately, we created resource kits and guides, including a compilation of educational antiracism tools for our client community. We reached out to 64 of our clients and partners to implore them to take a stand, not just in issuing statements, but in giving their employees tools for protesting, donating, and most importantly, supporting and checking in on their Black teammates within their organizations.
We have publicly taken this stance in the news, imploring startups to be honest and speak out against police brutality and violence.
Our team members have protested, starting on June 1st, and engaged in cleaning up neighborhoods after protesting. We have also made phone calls and written to legislators about police reforms.
We want to do more than what we have done; this work can feel like drops in a leaky bucket. We are reaching out to our communities to find more ways to put Black voices front and center and advocate for the Black community.
How does Ethos support Black team members?
“In business we set targets on everything,” Ms. Hobson said. “Only in the area of diversity have I seen C.E.O.s chronically say, ‘We’re working on it.”
– From “Corporate America Has Failed Black America”
When it comes to our own Black community, saying “we’re working on it” is not enough.
First things first, we have to be honest about race and color on our team.
- Full-Time Employees: 2 White, 2 Latinx
- Part-Time Employees: 1 White, 1 Black
- Contract Consultants and Facilitators: 3 Black, 1 Asian, and 1 White
While COVID-19 impacted us financially, we are using the capital we do have to create more full-time opportunities, and we have already redesigned our interview process to widen our funnel and eliminate bias.
In our Marketing Associate hiring process, we saw a dramatic increase in self-identified Black applicants through our partnerships with community organizations, shift from taking referrals to only reviewing applications, and changing our application process as a whole to prioritize project-based interviews. We will continue designing and redesigning our interview process to ensure we are radically inclusive and reaching Black communities we may not without thoughtful attention and care.
We are also making demands of our clients that ensure any work we do on antiracism benefits the Black community. Specifically, we are not making a profit on any antiracism work in the wake of the national protests but instead are paying our Black facilitators and consultants a premium and donating the rest to organizations investing in Black communities.
In the event that our Black facilitators and consultants do not want to do this work, we have compiled a list of Black-owned businesses to refer our clients to in the future.
Finally, we have had deep conversations with our Black teammates to understand what they need to feel supported, advocated for, and cared for on the team. We have taken these recommendations to heart, and we will be ensuring that we continue paying above market, offering flexible leave and mental health days, and offering 80% coverage of health insurance for both full-time and part-time employees. We will also plan to look for ways to grow the business so there are more full-time opportunities for our contractors.