A note about what is happening
Below is my note to employees about the recent events we are facing as a nation. I want to share my perspective here with you all as well.
Many of you that have worked with me for a long time know that I rarely, if ever, speak out on political or social issues. I have long believed in the separation of church and state when it comes to corporate agendas and social/political activism.
This is different. Our government’s response to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent civil unrest is disgraceful. The lack of acknowledgement, empathy, and desire to do better is hard to stomach. The unchecked brutality of police towards black citizens, the untreated ravaging of covid in black communities, the 40M unemployed and counting disproportionately made up of black men and women…. I was born in 1976 and have seen our government at its best and worst. I’ve never seen it worse than now.
We, as Carta, have decided to financially support the BLM movement. We will be contributing $100k per year, indefinitely. We will decide each year where we think that capital is best contributed. This year we have decided to support two organizations with $50K each. The first is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and their work to create structural change in criminal justice reform, economic justice, education, and political participation. The second is the Equal Justice Initiative and their work to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the criminal justice system.
Some may wonder why we are not matching employee donations. It is because our contribution is not a fundraising initiative. It is a statement by Carta, as a union of employees and shareholders, to take a position within our current social crisis. Employees are free to contribute according to their values. This is Carta contributing according to ours.
I remember the beating of Rodney King almost 30 years ago. I remember believing we, as a nation, could only get better. The last week has shown that we have gotten worse. I hope this time is different. That what is happening will be a catalyst and turning point. And that 30 years from now being black in America will be safer and more equal, and we will look back at the events of today and say this is what started it.
Thank you for supporting each other through such a difficult time. If I, or we, can help, I’m available.