Black lives matter. Aboriginal lives matter. These are big, painful, deep issues. I chose not to post something quick, some knee jerk reaction to what is happening in the world around us to make sure we as a company looked supportive right away. I needed time to reflect, to see clearly what it is we can do to help. Not just coming up with bandaid solutions or vanity metrics. I chose to sit back, engage, listen, and reflect on who we are and what we can do to help. This work will have to continue, it's not a once and done kind of deal.
There have been many emotions, many tears, as I came to see the world as some others experience it. Thank you to those who have taken the time to talk to me. You've sent me resources to watch and read, and have helped me learn more of the racism you face every day by sharing the stories of your life. Thank you to the friend that sent Reflecting on the Color of My Skin by Marques Brownlee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-_WXXVye3Y) it was a good reminder that as we bring Black Lives Matter to the forefront that we don't start always seeing colour either.
I was raised to believe we are all equal, we all bleed the same, and we should all be treated the same. However, your experiences with life are not equal to what I have had the privilege to experience. I cannot change what has happened and the privilege I had to get to where I am today. But I can use my voice to try to influence change in the now and in the future. I am not okay with what you have endured and I will stand with you. I will support you as you fight for justice and equality. There have been a few questions that have been at the back of my mind. What can I do to help? Is there systemic racism in my business? Is there anything we need to change to ensure that all people feel welcome working with us? I still don't have all the answers, this is a complex issue with much to consider, and I might not be the best person to answer all of these questions. Much gratitude goes to those helping me as I work through these difficult questions. One-piece I was reading said, "I invite you to name for yourself what your commitments will be—because we need to name them again and again." Well, let me give that a shot. Today I commit that at Aeble we will continue to respect the inherent worth and dignity of everyone we deal with and to make immediate changes to anything found in how we operate to be racist or discriminatory in any way. I commit that we will treat everyone the same, whether you have an accent, a different colour of skin, different sexuality, or different religion than us. We care not about the colour of your skin, the country you were born in, the god you pray to, if you love someone of the same sex, you were born a different sex than you choose to be now, or if you are disabled in some way. We care only about how we can work together and that is a positive experience for us all.
We will try to see you for the person you are and not what society has decided you might be.
We also depend heavily on the technology we use daily to make business owners' lives easier, I commit to making the treatment of human rights a part of the metrics we use when deciding on the technology in our tech stack. I've already decided not to use a specific payroll provider because of one of their representative's treatment of a homeless man at a conference I was at in Toronto. This will be kept at the forefront of my mind when considering future technology. But we can't do this alone. We're imperfect and coming at this from the lens of privilege; we might not realize what is obvious to you. What I ask of you, is if you see something that isn't right, please tell me. We can't fix what we don't know. I promise you that I will come to the conversation with an open ear and try to hear what it is you have to share.