We cannot ignore the pattern of racism and injustice that pervades America’s most powerful institutions. The senseless killing of George Floyd is sadly one of countless instances of violence that have robbed people of color of their fundamental humanity, a right which should be inalienable.
Not wanting to jump on the bandwagon of performative allyship, these past few weeks we have taken time to hold space and listen to Black voices. We have reexamined our own complicitness in these systems of injustice and considered what real changes, both immediate and long-term, we can make to our behaviors and policies in service of social justice.
If there is any doubt about where Passage stands on these issues, let us be clear in voicing our strong support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We applaud and stand in solidarity with the protestors fighting for change in the U.S. and around the world.
Up to this point, we have resisted the temptation to make political statements or symbolic gestures when responding to an internal or external crisis. But to remain silent now would be at odds with the very core of our mission.
Passage’s culture is built on a desire to level the playing field of access to technology and simplify the archaic and alienating payments industry. We strive to build technology that empowers underserved industries and gives small businesses the opportunity to grow.
At the same time, we recognize that there are many voices that are underrepresented on our team as it currently exists. We want to be more inclusive.
To that end, here are the specific actions we are taking at Passage.
- We will give special consideration to Black-owned events applying to our Passage Capital program.
- Through future hiring, we will ensure that the demographics of our team move us towards equality with the demographics of the country as a whole.
- Our social media and content managers will complete the Poynter Institute’s ethics course “Handling Race and Ethnicity”.
- We will provide our team members with opportunities and encourage them to participate in discussions on race & inequality in the communities where they live and virtually online. The team will be able to take time off from work as needed to participate.
- We will continue to encourage our team members to participate in volunteerism or activism that promotes equality and aligns with their personal beliefs.
- Our team is discussing ways we can help promote or shine a light on Black-owned events and use the power of our platform to amplify the voices of activists.
This is not an exhaustive list of changes; it is just the beginning. We have a responsibility to continue to critically examine our own behaviors, listen to opposing viewpoints with compassion, and to do the uncomfortable work that is required to dismantle and rebuild the systems that allow racism to exist in our country.
We are here to listen to your ideas on how to make Passage more inclusive. Please send comments, suggestions, and feedback to our CEO Alex Linebrink at firstname.lastname@example.org.