Sean and I shared the following message with the STORD team and wanted to make it available to the larger community as well:
Stord team -
It is with heavy hearts that we write this message. The events of the past few days, weeks, and months have shown horrific actions and tragic violence enacted across the US and reminded us all that the fight against racism in our society is not over.
As co-founders, we write this message from a place of vulnerability—we have been at a loss for words at the tragic scenes playing out for Black Americans across the US. How do we address something that cuts deeper than we may ever fully be able to understand? How can we do better? We understand that we may do so clumsily and ask that you look for our intention and our hope to contribute positively to the collective conversation and solutions.
Black Lives Matter. As individuals and as a company, we stand with the Black community and those peacefully protesting against the racism, violence, and hate that permeate throughout our society. We stand with the vast majority of protestors that are doing so peacefully, practicing the American right to protest for causes of justice.
The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are among countless examples of systemic racism and police brutality in our society. Many more occurrences of unjust violence, targeting, and mis-appropriation of the justice system have been highlighted in just the past few days and weeks on social media across America.
There are many public policy solutions that will help achieve progress on reducing these evils over time and they must be pursued. However, we as individuals also have to act now. We must stand up for each other. Not tomorrow, not next week, not when we are comfortable—we must act today. We are incredibly proud of the culture we, as a team, have built at STORD of empowering others and encouraging diversity. We believe that to empower others is to recognize their potential and seek to help them achieve it. We encourage everyone to continue to look at ways to practice this outside of STORD and continue to make an impact whether in our industry, in your community, through political representatives, or through non-profit organizations. That said, there is work to be done, and we are more motivated than ever to build a company that creates opportunity for people of all races and backgrounds.
As individuals, we encourage everyone, if able, to donate to organizations that work to identify research-backed solutions and policies as well as drive movements, lobby for political changes, and collectively work to dismantle systemic racism and injustice. A few we have personally donated to and think worth noting are below, but there are countless other organizations worthy of involvement:
As a company, we must use our resources to impart change—both externally in our community but also internally in how we conduct business. Working with warehouses and logistics operators, we are highly fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with and empower small businesses across North America. We will be reflecting internally to ensure we achieve ethical sourcing and anti-discriminatory practices as we build our network, and we will be working to ensure our suppliers embrace the same anti-discriminatory practices. While we are far from perfect in this effort, we know we can drive progress and we encourage fellow companies in the logistics space to uphold anti-discriminatory standards with their partners.
As a society, we have work to do. There is work to be done across public policies, within the private markets, and in individuals’ hearts. We cannot rid our country of long-standing, systemic racism overnight—but it starts with taking action. We must educate ourselves and those around us on these issues and the underlying data if we hope to drive long-term change. We encourage everyone on the team to learn more about police brutality and systemic racism and injustices and research-backed ways to counter and ultimately remove them. We, personally, have much to learn and are continuing to work to better educate ourselves – some recent threads and resources we’ve found helpful as we continue to learn:
Lastly, we are here to listen. The same way we will only get through this by unifying as a society, we need to come together as a team. As co-founders, we are here for you—to listen to you, to support you, to fight for you. Please let us know how we can help. That said, we understand that you may want to turn elsewhere or speak confidentially. Lauren will be sharing further details on our Employee Assistance Program which provides free counseling.
The above is not enough. We have work to do and this is just the start. We have an incredible platform through which to impart action and change—even once the spotlight on current events fades.
We cannot simply aspire for a better world, we must work together to build it. We can, and will, do better.
Sean & Jacob