Today is Juneteenth, the celebration of the day that slavery ended– two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
There is an important lesson inside the outrage and the celebration today: to proclaim something as true, does not make it Truth. Legislature is not a magic wand that changes hearts and minds. Intention and commitment does not translate to change unless there is accountability and a plan.
When my team came to me with the desire to use our company platform to state our commitment in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, my heart did not hesitate. This was the right thing to do, aligned with both my personal moral code and our core guiding principles at Internet Creations: The IC Way.
IC Way #22: Do The Right Thing, Always states: “Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and every decision you make, especially when no one is looking. Always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize, and make it right.”
Our commitment to standing with the black community is not a commitment to this moment of performative proclamations. It is a commitment to the movement of change, and the way it needs to permeate all areas of our business.
We stand with the Black community.
We will not let silence support the unacceptable violence any longer.
We will learn more, listen more, support more.
We will become better allies.
Black. Lives. Matter.
I am proud of this statement we created. I’m even more proud of how nearly every part of our company has risen up to this challenge. It has been an active and intentional time of learning, listening, and supporting. Our parent and women in tech resources groups have hosted lunch and learn conversations and shared resources, a book club is underway, managers are having conversations and check-ins that address psychological safety and racial identity. Long term plans have begun to emerge and we plan to hold ourselves accountable by continually consulting with internal and external diverse perspectives. I’ve been amazed at the strength of our network at this time and the quality resources and support we have received from Salesforce, TechUnited:NJ, and my peers at Chief.
I didn’t grow up celebrating Juneteenth, but it is an important part of how I view our country’s history now. ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ Sam Cooke crooned once, I say, a change is here.
Felisa Palagi, CEO, Internet Creations