black lives matter

Our Feminism is Intersectional. Black Lives Matter.

In Blog, Community, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Persist, Resources by Felicia Jadczak

She+ Geeks Out was founded around feminist principles, and to be clear, our feminism is intersectional. We won’t ignore what is going on around us, because we are part of the problem and (hopefully) the solution. 

Many of you may be hurting, grieving, raging, exhausted, feeling trapped, and helpless. We see you and we are with you. The protests and resulting violence that have escalated in the past few weeks and through the weekend to today is the result of deep-seated systemic racism in action, and people rising up against it to say: No. We’ve had enough. This is not right. We won’t take this anymore. 

These protests are not a one-off, and there is no ‘return to normal’- we are realizing in real-time that we all have a part to play in dismantling the systems and structures of oppression. If you’re thinking that this has nothing to do with you, or if you’re hoping this blows over soon, or if you’re not aware of why or how we’ve reached this point– then please take some time to look at the READ and WATCH resources below, because there is work to do.  

Silence is complicity. Silence is not an option for us. Inaction is not an option either; we are actively anti-racist. On the first day of Pride month, we also remember and recognize that Pride commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which were started by Black trans women and Black drag queens.

We stand in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter. If there is no justice, there can be no peace.

A Message to Leaders

If you are a leader (senior leader, C-suite, manager, etc.): you have an important part to play as well. Don’t expect work to be business as usual. Give space to your employees, but particularly your Black employees, to process what is happening. This space might look differently for different situations, but could include giving folx time off, pushing out deadlines, or giving them their own virtual space internally to do with what they will (and don’t intrude on this space). 

Check in on your employees, but don’t expect anything in response. This looks like the following: “no need to respond, but I value you and am here to support you.” Don’t ask or expect your Black employees to perform their grief for you. They are not your teachers, they do not have an obligation to share if they don’t want to. In the same vein, check in with your Black employee resource group (‘ERG’) leaders– see what they need, if anything. Remember that it’s not their job to manage the team or the company through what’s going on right now– it’s your job.

Name what is happening in front of the entire company, and don’t just couch it in vague terms. Be specific and name those who have lost their lives to violence: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and so many more. Now is a time for empathetic leadership. We are not robots, we are human beings. Let your staff know what mental health resources are available for them, and encourage their use. 

Actively acknowledge your privilege, and share how you are going to address it. Donate (and don’t forget to include the processing fee). Speak up. Be present. Model your own vulnerability. Lean into your own discomfort. It’s ok to not have all the answers, it’s ok to not have the perfect words, and it’s ok to still be learning. But above all else, do something.

In the words of Toni Morrison: “If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” 

Giving Back

As a B Corp, we donate to a variety of organizations including Direct Relief. Starting today, we are also donating $500 to National Bail Out, and will be donating a percentage of our proceeds from all of our corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings to them through the end of this year. 

Resources to Help

This is not an exhaustive list- if you have more resources to share, please let us know and we’ll add them in. 

General

Ways you Can Help

Support Black owned businesses in Boston and beyond

10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship

How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma

Twitter thread on how to act as a company leader 

26 Ways to be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets

Anti-Racism Resources

Antiracism Resources for White-Led Organizations

Read

The Atlantic: The American Nightmare– Ibram X. Kendi

Between the World and Me– Ta-Nehisi Coates

How to be an Antiracist– Ibram X. Kendi

HuffPost: 11 Things to do Besides Say ‘This Has to Stop’ in the Wake of Police Brutality- Brittany Wong

I’m Still Here– Austin Channing Brown

Just Mercy– Bryan Stevenson

Me and White Supremacy– Layla F Saad

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness– Michelle Alexander 

So You Want to Talk About Race– Ijeoma Oluo

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America– Ibram X. Kendi

Teen Vogue: Beyond the Hashtag: How to Take Anti-Racist Action in Your Life– Zyahna Bryant

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir– Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors

White Fragility– Robin DeAngelo

White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism– Paula S. Rothenberg

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack- Peggy McIntosh

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race– Reni Eddo-Lodge

Watch

13th 

When They See Us

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race– Jay Smooth TEDx talk 

Donate

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Louisville Community Bail Fund

I Run With Maud

Minnesota Freedom Fund

National Bail Fund Network (there are bail funds across the country, find one that is in your city)

Black Visions Collective

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Communities Organized Against Police Brutality

#blacklivesmatter stream to donate

Transgender Law Center

Mental health resources

Inclusive Therapists

The Nap Ministry

Therapy for Black Girls

Ring Theory Helps Us Bring Comfort In

Other ways to help

DJ Jazzy Jeff: The Magnificent Resistance playlist

ResistBot