Racism, Protests, Unity.
70% of Bravado's employees are minorities. What has been happening across the United States has hit home, hard.
This morning, I sent the following message to our employees at Bravado. As you are a Member of our community, you deserve to hear it too.
Please help us find those groups that need our support by voting in the poll.
Thank you, and stay safe + strong.
Good morning Bravado Fam,
I want to take a few moments to address the pain and outrage stemming from the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department.
What happened to George Floyd is heartbreakingly common: 1 in 1,000 Black men will die at the hands of a police officer in this country. Minorities are 12x more likely to die from a police encounter. When most people get pulled over for going 60 on a 45 MPH road, their first thought is "How am I going to talk my way out of this ticket?" But for many others in this country, that is the last thing on their mind. Their first thought is: "How do I avoid being shot and killed during this traffic stop?" That is the two Americas that we live in.
From Trayvon Martin to Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor... the protests that you see across the nation are spurred by much more than what happened to George Floyd. There are some deep wounds that many people are just waking up to recently, when evil found a face in Derek Chauvin kneeling on a man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until the life was snuffed out of him.
If you are not fully caught up on what happened, the NYTimes produced a comprehensive review of the incident. It is extremely hard to watch; nonetheless, I would encourage you to watch it:
To watch a man being slowly, coldly murdered in broad daylight, by the very people we entrust to protect us, is one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life. But turning a blind eye to reality is not an option. We owe it to all members of our community to listen, learn, and have the tough conversations that must be had.
America has a long, painful history of racism and brutality against minorities. When I worked on the Obama campaign for 3 years, I truly believed we were making tremendous progress. But these days, it feels like we are going backwards in the fight for equality and justice for all.
As I am the CEO of this company, I believe you have a right to know where I personally stand on this important issue. So I want to make clear: I stand with the protestors and want to do everything in my power to support this movement. My wife and I joined the protest in Oakland this weekend, and we are donating $10,000 to various groups including the NAACP Legal Fund, Equal Justice Initiative, and Black Girls Code. We want to support those who are actively protesting for change while also supporting those who are building pathways for upward economic mobility.
You also have a right to know where Bravado, as a company, stands on this important issue. If you've heard us speak about our mission at Bravado since 2017, you know one of our cornerstones is: Empower more women, minorities, and LGBTQ candidates to obtain a career in sales. Championing diversity in sales is core to our mission at Bravado, and I've spoken at length with our leadership team over the past 48 hours on how our organization can do more.
We don't have all of the answers, and we need your help. That's why this Friday, June 5th - I would like to encourage you all to take the day to make your voice heard and serve your community through whichever means you feel most appropriate. Some ideas we've had are around setting up a Scholarship or creating a special section of our Marketplace that features Black and Brown candidates. I'd love to hear your ideas here.
Lastly, if you would like to donate to a nonprofit, Bravado will match your donation and I will triple the amount personally. Please send Amy and I the receipt of your donation. Here are the groups that we are supporting thus far:
- NAACP Legal Fund
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Black Girls Code
- Black Lives Matter
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Survived and Punished
- National Bail Fund Network
Today was meant to be a day of celebration. 4 amazing human beings are joining our Family today:
@Amber - Email Marketing Manager
@JP - Product Designer
@Aditi - Intern from UC Berkeley's Women in Network
@Hayley - Intern from Chico's Seufferlein Sales Program
But what is happening in our country today is far bigger than Bravado. Our particular contribution to this fight comes in the form of creating a diverse and inclusive world in sales. Sales is one of the few careers where you can earn a 6-figure income without a college degree. My own life story is one of going from poverty to founder on the backbone of sales. This is a future that we aim to bring to many others.
We will fight with our last breath to build a world of opportunity that is accessible to all.
Be strong Bravado Fam - we are here for you.