We’ve taken time to reflect and evaluate how gap intelligence can actively support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. As a company we have been taking a long hard look at how we can do better today, tomorrow, and every day after. We want to be clear about where we stand. We stand in solidarity in the fight for justice. We stand in solidarity in the fight against systemic racism and the oppression of the black community. There is more work to do than this blog post or a black square on social media. We are committed to listening to those around us and educating ourselves. We vow to be more inclusive and diverse in our brand. As a company we believe it is our duty to do more and help make a lasting difference.
Checking My Privilege
We held two virtual diversity forums where gappers could share how they are feeling about BLM. While we all have different perspectives, we all could agree that this time it feels different. This has to be the breaking point for real change and the end of racism.
During one of the forums I shared how talking about racism makes me uncomfortable and that I fully recognize that is part of the problem. In life I wear many different hats. I am a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, friend, and a gapper. I am white. I am privileged. Not privileged in the sense of being born with a silver spoon but privileged because I have always seen my race widely represented and I have been able to move through life without being racially profiled.
White privilege is an invisible force we all have to come to accept if we really want racism to end. White privilege exists because of historic, enduring racism and biases. White privilege is not the suggestion that white people have never struggled or that everything a white person has accomplished has come easy. It just means the color of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder. Being white in America is a built in advantage. For the sake of humanity we can no longer remain silent in the face of racial inequity.
Code of Conduct
Being anti racist is a huge part of the fight against systemic racism. We had to ask ourselves what that meant explicitly for gap intelligence. Our code of conduct will be in all employee handbooks moving forward and will be displayed prominently in our office:
Hate has no home here. gap intelligence is a values-led company that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We respect diversity in each other and all others with whom we interact.
gap intelligence actively promotes an environment that is inclusive of all people and their unique abilities, strengths, and differences.
Employees and third parties are to be treated equally, irrespective of gender, age, religion or creed, sexual orientation, disability, race, or ethnic origins. Harassment and discrimination are not tolerated. Any attempt against employees or third parties to belittle, shame, harass, threaten, enact violence upon, or otherwise discriminate, either directly or indirectly, in any way whatsoever, will not be overlooked and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Should an employee observe an act of intolerance in the workplace, they should immediately document and report the incident to a supervisor or to Human Resources. It is the responsibility of all gap intelligence employees and management to maintain a work environment free of discrimination.
Our #tobeagapper Culture groups are comprised of three elements: gapU, the 3Ts, and gapEvents. Each group along with our HR team has brainstormed how we can spring into action.
gapU has been gathering and sharing BIPOC resources so gappers can educate themselves. It’s been eye opening despite being college educated we have much to learn. What is taught in American history is grossly misrepresented. Listening, learning, and unlearning is key to making sure this time is REALLY different. Allyship is hard work, and we as gappers and as people are committed to doing the work.
Once it’s safe to be together again, we are going to ramp up and do more with our time, talent, and treasure through the 3Ts. While we ride out the pandemic, the 3Ts are committed to finding ways we can channel our philanthropic efforts by supporting minority owned businesses and businesses that align with our values. The 3Ts are highlighting a ‘business of the month’ at each company meeting. For the month of July we are promoting black owned SUNNIE’S in Ocean Beach. Our goal is to increase the awareness and sustainability of black owned businesses and organizations in San Diego by putting our dollars (AKA treasure) where they can make the most impact. We’re looking to support businesses that are donating proceeds to charities fighting to end systemic racism like Mission Hills’ Heartwork Coffee.
Like 3Ts, gapEvents have been paused due to COVID-19. When we reconvene, our approach is going to look a lot different. The vendors we partner with will be navigated thoughtfully to ensure we’re always doing great for each other and our community.
HR Management is leading our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Team and our first action item is attending diversity training so we can improve our workplace. We recognize we have to do more and not make excuses. We can and will do better.
Listen, Amplify, Speak Up
This year has been challenging. I am hopeful that the work we are doing right now is going to be the change needed to truly see a better world. We are breaking down the ugliness of America and while it’s hard work it has to be done (and quite frankly it’s embarrassingly overdue). But the work is just beginning. We have to keep going. We have to really listen, educate ourselves, amplify voices that have often been drowned out, and most importantly we have to be anti racist and speak up when someone toes that line. This time has to be different. As a values-led company we are committed to being long term difference makers for BLM.
May 25, 2020 was the day George Floyd took his last breath. So many elements about what happened to George Floyd upset me but nothing shook me more than him calling for his Mama since his mother passed away two years ago. The thought of a human being calling for his deceased mother as he is struggling to breathe is too much for my Mama heart to handle. I felt an instant need to do more. As a values-led company, I knew it wasn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘what’ gap intelligence was going to do to support the fight against systemic racism. Forever grateful #tobeagapper.
Feeling inspired? Head blacklivesmatter.com to listen and learn. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a business of the month you’d like to nominate.