Black Lives Matter. All of us at Simple stand with our Black coworkers, customers, and their communities to end systemic racism. I am very privileged to be the CEO of Simple, and with that privilege comes the responsibility to ensure our company is showing up—every day, for the long haul—in this fight for justice and equality.
The world feels like it’s spinning off its axis for so many people. These past several months have brought successive punches to the gut for our entire society, and even more so for Black Americans—the pandemic, which disproportionately harmed communities of color, and the tragic additions to the long series of senseless murders of Black people. The video of George Floyd being murdered by a police officer has ignited a nationwide outcry for justice.
This fight is nothing new. The systemic racism that underlies injustice, income inequality, and despair for Black Americans has deep roots in this country’s history. The violence, lack of safety, and lack of equality is something the Black community has felt acutely, every day, for years. Videos of these murders have pushed awareness to the forefront, but we must acknowledge that when the cameras aren’t rolling, this violence never goes away for Black people. We must no longer avert our eyes.
What Simple is doing right now
During this past week, our focus has been on supporting the emotional health and physical safety of our Black employees. Listening to their voices and meeting their needs right now has been the top priority.
On Wednesday, we held the most emotional company-wide meeting I’ve experienced in my career. We threw away our agenda and spoke from our hearts. A few employees spoke their truths, told their stories, and shared their own fears for themselves and their families. It was a space for listening and grieving together, not just as colleagues, but as humans.
We are supporting employees and groups in donating to charities that fight for racial justice, taking paid time off to protest, and carrying more workload so other team members have time to take care of their emotional health. Managers and team leaders are making sure every employee has what they need to take care and take action.
At a company-wide level, we’ve created more spaces to share, listen, and learn in the weeks to come, including a series of roundtables to invite ground-up ideas for change. Our efforts must be sustainable, evergreen, and far-reaching; they must address the violence perpetrated against Black Americans and be inclusive of all people of color in the fight for antiracism.
One of the most powerful tools at our disposal right now is our existing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion purpose. We’re exploring exporting that education—and tools to address injustice and economic inequality—into our app and our platform. This will be an ongoing effort, and we’ll know we have succeeded when it’s a normal part of our day-to-day product development. In the years to come, we will continually test and learn, pivot, and double down on making our product a force for addressing inequality in the world. We will likely make mistakes along the way, but I firmly believe that seeking perfection is the enemy of the good—constant action, even if imperfect, is required.
Please join us
Fighting for injustice and economic equality is not a popularity contest or for a PR initiative. Ongoing action, led by our employees and championed by our leadership will make this sustainable. Engaging our customers, amplifying their voices, and empowering them to take action is how we will succeed.
We seek a coalition of the willing to help us. If you are a Simple customer and want to test, learn, and improve with us—please sign up below (with the email address that’s in your Simple Account). We’re in this for the long haul, and would love to have you join us.
— David Hijirida, Simple CEO
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