Listening, learning, and hoping you are too.
Blackout Tuesday highlighted, especially for those with privilege, the importance of listening. At Nextep, we stand against injustice and do not tolerate racism in any form. At the same time, we’re learning and have work to do.
We recognize that in the U.S. today, no one is naturally or accidentally “anti-racist”; in fact, just the opposite is true. We all have areas in our lives and our thoughts that were shaped by systemic racism and oppression. And we want to do better.
We’re actively learning from people of color, trusted news sources, and organizations like Black Lives Matter. We will continue supporting our Black employees, and we will develop programs to educate our non-Black employees. We will continue hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We will donate and match employee donations to nonprofits that support the Black community. We're doing what we can to listen to underrepresented voices, educate ourselves, check our privilege, find our blind spots, and impact change.
While we're listening and learning, we wanted to share some of the resources we've found in hopes that they help you and your organization create meaningful change:
Listen: Find voices different than your own
Before you do anything else, you have to listen. Take some time to hear from people whose experiences differ from your own, listen to people of color and trust their stories, read books, listen to podcasts and interviews, pay attention to the stories of the people in your life or organization who are different from you.
- Listen to your employees and coworkers with differing opinions and backgrounds without interrupting
- Tune into podcasts that encourage diversity (Forbes)
- Follow people of color (POC) on social media
- Read books written by POC (Goodreads)
Learn: Educate yourself
After you really listen, it’s time to move into learning.
- Corporate resources
- Books to help foster workplace diversity (Forbes)
- How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace (TED talk)
- How to develop a diversity and inclusion initiative (SHRM)
- 5 strategies for creating an inclusive workplace (Harvard Business Review)
- Personal resources
We are committed to listening, learning, changing our workplace and communities for the better, and doing our part to end racism for good. Join us in doing the work it takes to be a part of the solution.
Nextep CEO and Founder Brian Fayak's statement about racial injustice:
I am writing today with a heavy heart. I’m sure I am far from alone with the following sentiment: 2020 has been an extremely trying year. From a global pandemic to the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, it’s been a very trying year.
As the events of the last week have unfolded, I’ve been struck with many realizations, and I’ve asked myself many questions. One big question, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death is: “Do the people I love, work with, and do business with, feel like they belong?” It is painfully clear that many in the Black community and communities of color do not.
I believe at Nextep we get a lot of things right as an employer and as a thought leader in our community. That being said, I have no delusions of perfection — we can do better. We're a team full of passionate, intelligent, and action-oriented people. I’m optimistic and hopeful that we'll come together to drive positive change in our organization and community.
So what can we do to start to make a difference? First and foremost, we will continue to support our Black employees. We will develop programs to educate our non-Black employees and hold each other accountable for living our values. We will continue to hire and support a diverse workforce. We will donate $50,000 to nonprofits that support the Black community. And we will match employee donations to nonprofits that support the Black community.
We can do better, we can all do better.
— Brian Fayak