Jun 3 2020

#BlackLivesMatter and What I’m Doing

So that I’m unambiguous about my perspective, #BlackLivesMatter.

Amy and I have been philanthropically supporting Progressive Public Policy and Social Justice Organizations for over 20 years. However, just providing financial support is not nearly enough, and I’ve decided to put much more time and energy into understanding and helping eliminate racial inequity. While I’m not sure that I have the right words (and am asking my Black friends to make sure I do), I believe that the correct term is being anti-racist.

I have no interest in virtue signaling. Since Monday, I’ve had several conversations where this phrase came up and it has been a confusing distraction in each conversation.

Stating one’s position is important. Backing it up with actions, consistently over a long period of time, is more important.

While I have tried to be an ally to many diverse communities over the past 20 years, especially around entrepreneurship, I haven’t focused nearly enough on Black entrepreneurs and investors. I regret that.

I decided that rather than issue specific statements about what I was going to do, I would use this week to learn. With everything I engage in, I believe in playing a long-term game, so rather than simply doing one thing today, I need to do many things over the next decade.

As a starting point, I’ve been having conversations with Black entrepreneurs and investors and asking one question.

“What are two initiatives you are involved in right now that I could put time and/or money into in support of you and your activities?”

If I haven’t talked to you and you are a Black entrepreneur or investor, if you have the energy or desire, I’m very interested in the answer to this question via a comment here, email, or @bfeld on Twitter.