Dear Octopi Community,
We are heartbroken over the tragedy and trauma playing out in full display in America: NO ONE DESERVES TO DIE BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK — BLACK LIVES MATTER. As Asian American immigrants, we feel pain and outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, and too many more who should be named, and the systemic injustices inflicted upon the Black communities in America. SENREVE was founded upon values of innovation, freedom, and empowerment. It is now more important than ever for us to truly represent these values in everything that we do, and we pledge to do better.
Yesterday, we had a town hall meeting with our small, but global, team to collectively process and grieve. Together we shared our frustration and fear, anger and pain, shame and hopelessness. But importantly, we also felt empowered and galvanized to act. We brainstormed ways to push ourselves, our brand, and our world to be better—to foster an internal culture of inclusivity, solidarity, and activism, and to leverage our platform to promote change.
We know that many members of our community such as yourselves are hurting and angry as well. We want to honor your feelings and encourage you to reach out to us if there’s anything we can do to support you personally — email email@example.com, DM us on Instagram (@senreve), or chat with us on our website (senreve.com), leave comments anonymously on our blog — we are here for you. As a company of humans, we feel strongly about coming together to take a stand and welcome your suggestions and perspectives.
To start, we have signed, and donated to, this petition demanding justice for George Floyd. As a company, we are donating $15,000 to the NAACP in addition to matching 100% of our team’s donations there as well (up to a total of $20,000). As we learn (and we admit we’re just scratching the surface of learning, so we’re not presuming authority in any way), we will share resources that we’ve found helpful. Some examples include:
• Support Black-owned businesses in your city (order take-out or gift cards) — for a list of Bay Area Black-owned businesses, see list here
• Read about how deeply racial injustices run in the history and institutions of America — well beyond just slavery here
• Learn about how COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Black Americans — an unacceptable outcome of racial inequality in America
• Watch Trevor Noah’s poignant attempt to make sense of what is going on
• Explore this list of ways to support the struggle against police brutality
• Confirm that your voter registration status is current here AND VOTE FOR CHANGE
Today, and for the rest of this week, we have paused all of our marketing campaigns in order to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement during this vital moment in history. While recent events have been darker than fathomable, we are hopeful that together as a nation and community, we can seize this opportunity to catalyze dramatic progress. We thank you for your continued support and thoughtful feedback as we continue to learn, grow and affect change together. To end, we leave you with some words from the wise Michelle Obama:
“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of colour to deal with it. It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets."
Coral & Wendy
* Header image by @chescaleight