Black Lives Matter

By Lev

Black Lives Matter. We’ll say it again. Black. Lives. Matter.

ThinkShout stands in solidarity with Black and brown communities in calling out the senseless police killing of George Floyd last week. We hold the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade in our hearts, along with countless Black lives that have been lost to the hands of racist violence.

Merged with a global pandemic—which, too, is killing Black people at more than twice the rate of white people—the systemic injustices rooted in every part of American institutions must be named, faced, and rebuilt with racial equity at the center. At a time when leadership is desperately needed, to unite us and show us a path out of the darkness, we are offered more hate. Worse, mixed with courageous protests and a sincere outpouring of grief and anger, are white provocateurs causing further hardships.

My heart breaks.

I am a privileged white man. I live in a neighborhood that is insulated from the anger and destruction ravaging our city, a scene that is justly playing out across the nation in response to hundreds of years of racism, violence, and oppression. I do not fear the police, or jogging down the street, or being called a thug when expressing myself. Because my skin is white. I—we—must do everything in our power to change ourselves, our communities, and our country.

It’s not enough, and was never enough, for those of us who are white, or who have privilege that allows us to live without fear of police violence just to feel sadness and solidarity with Black communities. It has long been time for all of us, especially those of us with power and privilege, to act to support, affirm, and stand up for our Black community members. I will, and encourage all of us at ThinkShout to:

  • Join peaceful protests.
  • Demand police accountability from our elected leaders.
  • Fight for broader systemic change and volunteer our time for economic opportunity, equal access to health care, complete police and prison reform, equal opportunity in our schools, environmental justice, and more.
  • Volunteer in cleanup efforts.
  • Donate to Black led organizations, support Black-owned businesses, and listen to Black leaders in movements of all kinds
  • And, please, agitate for political change in every way possible, including with your vote.

We know that lasting change happens at many paces, and that we will need to care for others and ourselves as we fight for racial justice. To support our team and best position each of us to engage in the work that must be done, ThinkShout will:

  • Provide all team members with access to unlimited and flexible PTO this week that will not count against any accrued balance in order to mourn, protest, care for their communities, and process the unfolding tragedy.
  • Direct our philanthropic efforts to organizations on the front lines of racial justice.
  • Contribute hours to projects dedicated to responding to racial injustice and the implications of police violence.

ThinkShout has the honor and privilege to work for organizations fighting for racial justice as well as many working more broadly for social, political, and environmental justice. We join them, and our allies the world over, in condemning police violence against Black people, and acting to make the long needed change towards racial justice on all fronts. Black lives matter.

With love and solidarity,

Lev, on behalf of the entire ThinkShout executive team