What will I tell the businesses we support? What will I tell my kids?
These are questions I thought I had the answers to. A few months ago, I would have said that we are inclusive. But, I have learned that being inclusive is not enough. I would have said that we do not see color. But, I have learned that by not seeing color, even though well-intentioned, we propagate privilege. By listening and learning, I am seeing the problems more clearly and taking accountability in my role as a mom, leader, business owner and member of our community.
I want to do my part to solve the systemic inequality in our country. The following statements and ideas will help us get better as humans and take the first step.
- Black lives matter
- White privilege is real
- Color-blindness fuels privilege
- Voices must rise up
- Change is imperative
“This isn’t just about the shocking deaths and violent incidents captured on video. It’s also about the implicit bias and quiet discrimination that happens every day. It’s about the persistent inequality and disparities in healthcare, employment, housing, and banking and financial services, which we’ve seen play out even more tragically during the pandemic. It’s about a shameful and destructive lack of progress on race and equality in a country that celebrates progress in so many other areas.”
– Bob Rivers, CEO and Chair of Eastern Bank
As I think about how we do our part here at Growth Street to make progress on race and equality, one word keeps rising up for me – access. Our belief is that access – or lack thereof – is a root cause of inequality. Sadly, in our country, skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, economic status and zip code grease the skids for some and hold back others. Providing equal access to jobs, money, people and ideas requires a new system and bolder actions.
Some specific steps we are taking:
- Creating space: For this conversation with our team and with you.
- Participating in “Aspiring Allies”: An industry network collective aimed at creating allies to dismantle racism.
- Fueling access: Through our Office Hours, where we open access to anyone who wants help. I am proud to say we have helped a number of people of color, but it’s not enough. We have more to do.
- Empowering future leaders: Defining how we can work together with our local community organization, Turn It Around Charlestown, to provide teens here in our neighborhood with access to mentors, job assistance, business coaching and the confidence to fulfill their dreams.
By creating access to allies, we are building a new ecosystem – one where we believe in and support each other – it’s the ultimate pay it forward. Our work here at Growth Street, our incredible A Team and our impactful contributions to the businesses we serve will always support equality. While I like to take action and get results fast, I know that achieving equality will be a marathon not a sprint, but we are committed to making an impact – for our families, friends, clients and community.
Let’s do this for each other.