Today marks the last day of June 2020, a month that will be remembered as a turning point in a modern civil rights movement.
At the top of this month, which we’d designated Racial Equity Month of our editorial calendar back at the end of last year, we said we’d spend June reflecting on how the people in our communities are working to change the status quo for the better. Accordingly, Technical.ly published dozens of stories chronicling the moves of local company leaders and technologists in responding to systemic racism and a renewed call for rethinking business as usual.
We’ve featured community voices from across our four markets, including op-eds from around a dozen Black leaders. For instance, Philly Startup Leaders’ Kiera Smalls challenged local CEOs to “do better”; Conscious Venture Lab’s Jeff Cherry discussed economic justice as a path to healing racist systems; First Founders Accelerator’s Garry Johnson put Delaware’s business community on notice; the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer’s Eva Reid asked how community, inclusion and intersectionality could be considered amid discussions for organizational change.
Each of our local reporters, too, examined what was happening in their cities from the first-person perspective:
- 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 recent mayoral elections — and Business Development Manager Alex Galiani examined his upbringing while navigating the city’s “two worlds.”
- In Philly, Paige Gross wrote about her own experience protesting and how business is not and cannot be “as usual.” Not now.
We’ve published many, many, many calls to action and resources for those in leadership to make space for honest dialogue about systemic racism and how their companies can fight it. Ground zero for this discussion is Christopher Wink’s “To white organizational leaders: Silence is violence. Here’s what you should do now.”
We’ve shared lists of Black technologists to follow online and lists of Black-owned businesses (as well as social media graphics that make it easier to find them). We’ve covered entrepreneurial initiatives to spur equity within the structure of capitalism, and the ways surveillance technology can harm communities of color during protests and beyond.
In Delaware, we launched a previously planned series on inequity in support for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in Wilmington. And we discussed the sudden surge of companies declaring Juneteenth a paid holiday, including, full disclosure, our own.
To be very clear: The end of Racial Equity Month of Technical.ly’s 2020 editorial calendar does not mean the end of Technical.ly’s racial equity coverage. We have always prioritized stories about diversity, equity and inclusion, from calling out conferences featuring almost exclusively white men as speakers to sharing how-to resources for more equitable hiring practices; we’ve also capitalized “Black” since at least 2016, though many news organizations are just catching up now.
We will continue to keep these values top of mind. And so, a call to action for you, too: Keep this work going. It’s far from finished. We’ll be following along.
Black Lives Matter.-30-