(Photo by Flickr user Sebastian Wiertz, under a Creative Commons license)
It’s not even been one week of the nationwide upheaval over President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and many in Philly’s tech ecosystem are figuring out how to respond. Some issue statements to their communities, like Penn and SAP, while others are offering discounted services to immigrants in need, like Borderwise.
Now, Center City-based data analytics platform Blackfynn, which topped our 2017 realLIST of companies to watch in Philly, has started a petition (more like a manifesto, really, or a code of conduct, since there’s not a specific ask) called Silence is not an option.
In the letter, the company warns against keeping silent in the face of policies like the executive order and makes a statement for values like diversity, truth and decency.
“Diversity of race, orientation, gender, and religious background is what makes this country great,” the letter reads. “It’s what makes us strong. We will not join this wave of hatred that will only make us less secure. It’s time to speak up.”
Per Blackfynn CEO Amanda Christini, though no one at the company was directly affected by the ban, the company is looking to unite likeminded individuals against the policy.
“We feel very strongly that the action is fundamentally, wholly wrong,” Christini said. “We are hoping to galvanize a strong, unified stand against discrimination among business leaders, scientists, students and citizens of our region and beyond.”
About 60 have signed so far, including O3 World, Blackfynn staffers and their families and local designers Dustin Kemper, Lindsay Evans and Len Damico.
Those interested in signing the letter can email firstname.lastname@example.org to add their name to the list.
For companies, it’s a bold move to speak out against the current administration, since they run the risk of alienating customers, partners or potential employees. On the other hand, it could also be seen as risky not to speak out, for the same reason. Locally, SAP’s CEO made a statement, while Comcast has not. In Silicon Valley, many tech giants have slammed Trump’s immigration order and raised funds to combat it, while others, like Oracle, have chosen to stay quiet or take a more middle-of-the-road approach.
Speaking out is one thing. We’ll be interested to see if the Philly tech community takes their activism further.-30-
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