Black lives matter. We see the hurt and pain of our country. We recognize the many demonstrations and protests that have taken place. And we’ve been asking ourselves: what can we as a company do?
We will be closed on Friday, June 12th in honor of the silent marches and Washington State general strike organized by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. The TOM BIHN crew will receive 06/12 as an additional paid day off.
After the 2016 presidential election, we had open discussions (with translators for each language group) with our employees about their experiences. More recently, we have discussed and grappled with the possibility that some of the TOM BIHN crew may be experiencing increased racism, as Seattle police have reported a rise in crimes against Asian-Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through those experiences, we have learned that one of the most important actions we can take is to listen. Three additional actions that come to mind: donate, learn, and communicate.
We’ve made a donation to The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture — whose new online exhibit Talking About Race is available to all of us. Link is in our profile. It’s an interactive learning exhibit that uses videos, self-reflection exercises, and role playing to help us learn more about bias, being antiracist, community building, self-care, race and racial identity, social identities and systems of oppression, whiteness and the historical foundations of race.
“History is a guide to a better future and demonstrates that we can become a better society — but only if we collectively demand it from each other and from the institutions responsible for administering justice,” Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum’s founding director and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as quoted by The Washington Post.