Mar 8 2021

Helping to Eliminate Racism in America

Last summer, I shifted my personal behavior around racism. I realized that I had spent the previous 20 years providing “passive” support to social justice causes. I decided that I’d spend the next 20 years actively helping to eliminate racism in America. That includes learning, doing, supporting, and being an accomplice.

At the end of last week, two articles written by CEOs in our portfolio made the rounds on our CEO list.

This first is from Xiao Wang, the CEO of Boundless. The article is an NBC OpEd titled Violence against Asian Americans means we must fight for ourselves, not just pursue success. It’s extraordinary (as is Xiao) and includes a gem in the middle of it.

For too long we’ve been passive observers, reveling in how much better America is compared to where we or our ancestors have come from, instead of actively shaping how good America could be.

Xiao’s son just turned one year old. He ends his OpEd with:

And, yes, I will make my son do his math homework and learn how to play piano, but I will also teach him how to be proud of who he is. He doesn’t need to be ashamed about the size of his head, his face flushing after a beer or his last name. I want him to grow up in an America that will treat him equally as a U.S. citizen, and not one where he will be asked “But where are you really from?”

But if they do, I want him to be sure of himself when he says, “The United States. Just like you.

The next is by Craig Lewis, CEO of Gig Wage. It’s an article on TechCrunch titled Investors are missing out on Black founders. It’s broken up into the following sections.

  • Black founders: Forget what you think works in fundraising
  • Become an irresistible force: Leverage your expertise
  • Connect in the common goal of brilliance
  • Get in front of as many investors as you can
  • Own your resiliency, own your power

Black founders need to own their resiliency and leverage the power that has resulted from their unique experiences. The victory mentality that ensues thereafter is the type of mindset that venture capitalists should want to invest in, and if they do not, they are undoubtedly missing out.

I’m glad I get to work with, learn from, and support Xiao and Craig.