Jun 19 2020

The Racial Equity Ecosystem Pledge

Today, I participated in the Juneteeneth 4.0 Celebration that was hosted by OHUB, ThePlug, and Living Cities and led by Rodney Sampson. In addition to being part of a panel, I made several commitments as part of the #RacialEquityEcosystemPledge. Here’s the fact sheet released by OHUB today.

I’ve agreed to:

  • Do a monthly podcast called Equity.District with Rodney on racial equity in entrepreneurial ecosystems and other issues around racial equity in entrepreneurship.
  • Help organize and co-host a Racial Equity conference inclusive of Rodney’s network, my network, and anyone else who wants to participate.
  • Make a meaningful financial contribution to the OHUB Foundation from the Anchor Point Foundation. If you are able, I encourage you to donate as well.
  • Make a meaningful financial contribution to at least two more Black-led ecosystem building organizations recommended by OHUB.
  • Work with Rodney and the OHUB team on an ongoing campaign to raise money for Black ecosystem builders, funds, and founders.

The entire event is below. There’s a lot of awesome stuff in it.

In addition to the awesomeness, I made a mistake. Right after I spoke, I got a text from a White friend who is an entrepreneur I’ve invested in who watched the event live.

I immediately sent Rodney an email under the heading “I apologize for the microaggression.”

Apparently in my closing comments I said that you were “articulate” (I wasn’t aware that I used the word.) While I hadn’t seen this NY Times article I know that “articulate” is viewed as a microaggression.

So, regardless of whether it was intended, or you heard it, or anything else, I want to simply apologize.

You are incredible. You inspire me. 

Rodney quickly responded:

Thanks for this. Tell your friend they are right. Apology accepted. However, in this case, I know that you meant “vocal in my leadership”. 🙂

We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m up for it.

When I make a mistake, I try to own it, apologize, and learn from it. I’m far from perfect here, but Rodney’s response, by acknowledging my mistaking, quickly accepting my apology, and getting back to work with me motivates me even more to work with him!