I originally posted this message on the WNYStartupCommunity.com slack. I’m reposting it here for long term visibility.
Dear Startup Community,
I’ve rewritten this message several times, it is imperfect – but at this point to say nothing is wrong.
I’ve had trouble finding the words to react to the events of the last week. From the horrible actions of Amy Cooper, to the disgusting murder of George Floyd, along with the escalation of violence by the state and its citizens, this has been a traumatic week. The fact that it has been “Business as usual” on this slack has shown a failure of leadership on my part as a community collaborator. I apologize for not addressing the realities of the world sooner.
I want to acknowledge the pain that many of us are feeling. To the African American and PoC members of our startup community: I offer my ears to listen, my heart to empathize, and my megaphone to amplify the message you need others to hear. I want to be your ally and I stand in solidarity with you.
If you believe in the fundamental principals of justice and equality as a human right. Take some time today and reach out to your African American friends and colleagues. Ask them how they are doing and actively listen. Through communication and vulnerable dialogue we can take steps towards healing as Americans.
Black Lives Matter!Clark Dever
Together we can destroy the racist systems of oppression that have murdered African Americans for 400 years. It is our duty, and needs to be a foundational component of our efforts as a generation, in order to leave a better future for all the children in America.