#BlackLivesMatter

June 5, 2020

George Floyd was murdered on the streets of Minneapolis. Ahmad Arbery. Breonna Taylor. As a young law student in New York in 1997, Abner Louima’s story (a young black man violated and assaulted by NYPD police) is forever etched in my memory.

Injustice against black people is something that has always bothered me, something I never understood, but something that I did too little about. I remember how excited I was when Bill Bradley (a white, former NBA player) made solving racial inequality the central issue in his run for the Democratic nomination in 2000. He was trounced and I genuinely couldn’t understand why. Like most problems in our world, we keep turning away from the uncomfortable path of healing, hoping that the problem will just go away.

But that’s not how healing works, not the real kind. Ben & Jerry’s has given us the instructions. It’s white people, myself included, who need to turn into the pain to be part of the solution. No matter what we thought we were doing before, what I was doing before, it wasn’t enough.

Here are the first two steps Refound is taking today:

  1. We are donating $10,000 to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative. This organization is providing legal and financial assistance to folks who are on the front lines of protests around the country.
  1. To take a meaningful step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace here at Refound, our next two hires will be people of color (bringing our total team size to 9).

To be clear: these small steps are the immediate things we can do. There is more we will do - we will listen more and be looking for what those next steps are and, more importantly, focus on maintaining that commitment over time. 

Thanks, as always, for being here.

Refound stands with the Black Community.

#BlackLivesMatter

Jonathan

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