Let me be honest; I took some time, what felt like too long, to sit down and write this. I had to find my voice, and our voice, in the Black Lives Matter conversation. I wondered where, if anywhere, our company’s voice ought to be in current discussions around matters of equity, social justice, and beyond. What could we meaningfully contribute to the conversation and how can we affect real change?
Our company has been focused on handling the needs of our customers during this pandemic and doing our part to keep the endurance community strong. While this is important work, we recognize that there are longer-lasting issues that also need to be addressed in order to speak to and support a wider community. We’ve been asking ourselves, how can we stick to what we know and use our strengths but also push ourselves to help in areas we don’t know as well?
When you go out to ride, run, or walk do you feel safe? Does everyone feel safe? Do you feel included and heard in all the communities you are a part of? It is now abundantly clear, if it wasn’t before, that the answer is not always “Yes,” which means, there is still work to be done.
I wrote recently about community and said that, in light of COVID, “we’re all sharing the same challenges.” This may be true in some regards but the past month’s conversations have brought to light that 1) the community we are addressing needs to be wider and 2) our experiences vary wildly due to inequality, systemic racism, and a lack of inclusion.
So what are we doing?
- We are learning and listening
- We have formed a committee to make an action plan not just for now, but for future years
- We are addressing our future hiring processes and sponsorship practices to reach a broader network than we have in the past
- We are bringing back our grant program, with a new focus on programs and events designed at bringing more diverse groups in to our sports
- We are, and will continue, to encourage our staff to contribute to, or run our own fundraising activities to support organizations making change
While I don’t, nor does our company, have all the answers, we do have a desire to do the right thing and create community. Always.
2020 has been a challenging year, but one that’s presenting significant opportunity for change and growth. We are using this time as an opportunity to learn, discuss, and take informed action. We encourage you to do the same.
As we explore what we want our company to look like and the impact it can have for our partners and communities, we welcome your feedback. Our doors are always open.