Meeting the moment: June is Racial Equity Month - Technical.ly

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Jun. 3, 2020 4:58 pm

Meeting the moment: June is Racial Equity Month

Alongside calls of Black Lives Matter, we're taking a deeper look at systemic racism and efforts to increase access in tech, entrepreneurship and society.
A 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Chicago.

A 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Chicago.

(Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash)

In the past few days, the hum of “normal” life has been disrupted — as it should be.

Peaceful protestors have been tear gassed and hit with rubber bullets in cities across the country, including several where we report. Meanwhile, our fellow journalists have been arrested for simply doing their jobs.

All this because American police continue to kill Black civilians publicly and brutally, and people are fed up with it.

In response, here’s what Technical.ly’s been writing lately:

In D.C., Michelai Graham wrote 2,000+ words on her experiences protesting nightly — the good, like the feeling of solidarity, and the bad, like police intimidation.

In Delaware, Holly Quinn introduced many readers to the oft-hidden history of Wilmington’s Market Street — a site for Black resistance, but also “revitalization” that ignored the Black community that had long been there.

In Baltimore, Stephen Babcock reflected on today’s protests in relation to those responding to Freddie Gray’s death, five years ago this April, as well as the importance of the mayoral elections held yesterday.

In Philly, Paige Gross wrote about her own experience protesting this weekend and how for Philadelphians, business is not and cannot be “as usual.” Not now.

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And Christopher Wink announced to white organizational leaders: If you don’t speak out against systemic racism, you’re complicit.

Some of this may seem irrelevant to a publication that covers technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. But here’s why it’s not: As Babcock put it recently, at our core, we’re always writing about humans and how they’re interacting with society. While that often looks like news about VC raises and app development, it also means reflecting on how the people in our communities are working to change the status quo for the better.

This June happened to already be designated Racial Equity in Tech Month of our 2020 editorial calendar. We’re shifting that a bit: Now it’s simply Racial Equity Month. We’ll still cover the work being done to increase access and representation for people who have been historically left out of local tech economies, but more broadly, we’ll be considering how racism affects our everyday lives, and the systems that make it so.

In addition to the stories mentioned above and several guest posts from community leaders, here’s how else we’ve been covering the current state of the world:

Meanwhile, we also (happily!) onboarded two new reporters this week: Donte Kirby in Baltimore and Michael Butler in Philly. They join us via the Report for America program for the next year and published their first stories on Tuesday, about how local Black-led orgs are responding to the moment.

Have an idea for a story, or an impactful initiative we should look into, or a report we should read, or an expert we should talk to this month? Want to write a guest post on a relevant topic? Let us know:

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These past few days have been exhaustingly challenging for our newsroom, our communities, our cities, our country. But we at Technical.ly feel so lucky to do what we do, in sharing information and resources with you all. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Black Lives Matter.

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