Like so many people around the world, we are heavy with grief for the family of #GeorgeFloyd, and the unfathomable number of Black, Indigenous & POC lives that have been taken at the hands of state-sanctioned violence, not to mention those living with the daily indignities of simply being black in this country.
As brave souls have been saying for generations before us: enough is enough.
Thanks to organizers like the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the living legacy of the Civil Rights movement, antiracist activists and scholars, and DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) practitioners around the world — it appears the tides might finally be on the verge of turning (on social media, at least)…
Companies both large and small, corporate and bespoke, black and white-owned, are moving from being values-neutral on racism (staying silent,) to becoming more values-explicit (taking a stance).
Honestly, it’s about damn time, and we see this as an incredibly important shift that, while not the end all be all, does help propel systemic change. When we make our values clear, there is less room for dilution and neglect. Our next step is to hold ourselves, and these companies — accountable.
Below is a list of 12 organizations sharing values-explicit efforts for #GeorgeFloyd and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We’re excited to watch this number grow.
(Thank you, @MitaCarriman, founder of Adventurely for the inspiration, and big shout out to the DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) practitioners who inevitably helped shape these responses!)
This isn’t the first time Nike’s taken a stance on racial justice––in 2018, they joined forces with civil rights activist and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick for an ad that went viral. No news on donations yet.
Though not necessarily the most equitable choice for many artists, Spotify knows their audience and has been known to take a relatively progressive stance on political advertising and DEI initiatives. No news on donations yet.
As one of the properties affected in Minneapolis in recent protests, and as an enormous corporation with a very “Americana” demographic, Target had an important decision to make. We’re happy to report they made the right one. Here’s the full letter from Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell. (We see you, Caroline Wanga–– Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Vice President Human Resources at Target!) No news on donations, yet.
We couldn’t be prouder of leading streaming workout brand, Peloton. Not only have they made their message of anti-racism explicit on social media and company-wide, they’ve pledged to donate $500,000 to the NAACP’s legal defense fund. (Oh, and they happen to be a Collective client. We see you, Peloton! 👀👏🏾.)
Another brand we’re connected with and proud of in this moment. While many beauty & wellness brands have historically “glossed over” racial justice, CEO Emily Weiss announced a donation of $500,000 to Black Lives Matter and another $500,000 (that’s $1 million total) to support black-owned beauty businesses, along with this strong message of support on social media.
Lululemon wrote two posts showing support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We love how they followed up a more general message with a more specific one, and listened to feedback rather than getting defensive. We also love that they pledged to donate $100,000 to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
While Netflix is known as the king of all distractions, they’re not deflecting this opportunity to get serious and share their values. In the past, Netflix has donated to the Black Lives Matter movement. No news yet on any donations this time around.
We love the directness of this message, and the truth-telling as a whole that is surfacing right now. Haven’t heard about donations yet, but we’ll update if that changes.
YouTube has pledged to donate $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity, a research and action think tank.
Lowe’s has long been a leader in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) practices, which could have something to do with its status on many “Best Company to Work For” lists. President & CEO Marvin Ellison shared a personal story to the public as a part of Lowe’s’ overall company message. No news yet on donations.
Dating and networking app, Bumble, took the opportunity to get honest and share about the DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work they are doing internally and on their platform. They also pledged donations to the AAPI Civic Fund and the NAACP (amount unknown).
Not only has Twitter been vocal in condemning racism, but it has taken a bold step in holding President Trump accountable for the danger of his most recent inflammatory messaging provoking violence against protesters. Moving from allyship to co-conspirator requires putting your own success on the line and Twitter is definitely “pulling up.”
We were ready to publish and then saw this message from Fila. Coming in strong with the message, and the $100,000 donation to match.
It’s not everything; and it‘s not a free pass to keep neglecting investment in real systemic change. But it is a step, and we commend these companies for taking it.
Side note: all of these companies have invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)––measures, policies, and practitioners. Divesting in racism and investing in a more just and equitable world requires intention, advisement, and a whole lot of “putting your money where your mouth is.” There is no person, company or budget too small, to be able to incorporate anti-racist values into your work.
Along with making your company values explicit on social media and through internal communications, here are a few other ways to take a stand:
We’re here! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. If we’re not the best person to support your anti-racism efforts, we’ll point you to other great orgs that can.