Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge
Anti-racist: those who speak and act in ways that advance racial equity in society; the act of interrupting racism.
1. Name white supremacy and the impact of racism on both our personal and professional lives. Acknowledge the omni-present existence of white supremacy and how it operates and is supported in your company. Name it in your company values, business operations, discuss it with your employees and discuss it with your business partners, clients and greater community.
2. Engage in anti-racist education for you and your team. Commit money and time to be educated on anti-racism on an ongoing basis for you and your team. This is not a one-time thing. Antiracism must be active. We recommended taking courses, reading books and participating in a book study, hiring a DEI consultant to come in and offer training to you and your whole team, etc. Active anti-racism learning should take place on a quarterly basis.
3. Commit to open-conflict and allow discomfort. When conflict arises on your team and within your communities, let it arise. Don’t try to hide it, delete it, or ignore it. Acknowledge the conflict, allow space for community members to be heard and deal with the underlying issue rather than demonizing the community member who raised the issue. These conversations are happening regardless, allow them to happen in your spaces and be a part of the conversation. Take action to implement the needs expressed by community members. Train your community moderators on how to have culturally responsive communications and handle conflict online.
4. Invest a portion of your monthly company budget to the Black community. Review your company budget and you will find that your white dollars stay in the white community. Commit to spending a portion of your company budget, we recommend 30%, on hiring Black employees, vendors and contractors, using Black-owned software and services and hiring Black speakers, purchasing Black-authored books and more. Invest in the Black community, not just once, but on an ongoing basis.
5. Express your sincere, long-term commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization. Create a permanent statement that illustrates your commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism that goes on all of your external facing documents (website, job announcements, publications, contracts, etc). It should be written from a place of realistic language about where you are and also be aspirational about where your business is trying to go. It should outline specific steps that you will take to get there.
You can take the pledge too!