Note from Ryan: I don’t often use the space on this blog to talk about my personal life, and I know a business-focused blog like mine is an imperfect vehicle for the delivery of this message—but I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a lot of people here… so I want to this to be seen by as many of my readers as possible.
Some thoughts I want to share with you today:
This has been another month that feels like an entire year has gone by (especially here in the US). The past few weeks for me have been marked by a lot of personal reflection, education, uncomfortable conversations with friends & family—and by taking action to create the change we need in our country (and world).
I’m taking a stand for human rights in ways I’ve never done before, and using my platform to express the urgency of the problems we face in the US, with a long history of systemic racism, police violence, and widespread subtle prejudice & unconscious bias on an individual level.
The enormity of my own privilege as a white man that grew up in a middle class family in California is not lost on me. I’ve had a massive head start simply because of the color of my skin, circumstances of my upbringing and all of the opportunities I’ve been afforded as a result. I have an incredible amount to be grateful for and I’m choosing to deploy the resources I have to help others. I feel like I’ll be forever playing catch up, but the one thing I know I can do is start taking action now—and commit to never stopping.
I ask that you join me in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement through these actions and amazing organizations (many of which are completely free to participate). Here are a few of the worthy causes I’ve donated to over the past couple of weeks too:
- ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union (wide range of civil liberties causes)
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund (legal organization fighting for racial justice)
- Campaign Zero and #8cantwait (identifying solutions, providing research and advocating to end police violence nationwide)
- The Marshall Project (non-profit journalism about criminal justice)
- Fair Fight 2020 (litigation, legislation and advocacy for free & fair elections in the US)
- Various political campaigns nationwide to elect leaders leaders that are actively anti-racist and vocal supporters of civil rights
And if you want to amplify your donations, check out this cool tool that shows you an up-to-date list of people, companies and organizations that are matching donations (by simply tweeting or emailing them a receipt for your donation) right now.
Beyond self-reflection, having tough conversations, confronting uncomfortable past thoughts or actions, amplifying black voices and businesses on your social media channels, making donations… you can and should take as much action as you’re able to.
Remaining silent while the rights of others are being suppressed, is being complicit in that behavior.
- Stretch yourself by reading some of the many great books that explore systemic racism and white supremacy
- Get out and protest (here’s a map of upcoming protests around the world)
- If you live in or near San Francisco, tweet at me and come join me at these events
- Call your elected officials (here’s a directory of how to contact them)
- Support black-owned businesses (here’s over 4,300+ of them around the US)
- Vote for anti-racist candidates in every upcoming election
I know this has been a departure from our regularly scheduled programming here on my blog, but if I’ve learned anything in the past few weeks… this is a nationwide issue that we all need to take action on.
I’m still learning & growing here, too.
If you have questions about how you can be most supportive right now, please ask in the comments below. I’ll reply and direct you to the best of my ability ✊