Below is an internal email sent to Scoot staff from our CEO, James Sanders, the week protests and marches began. As a team, we decided to publish it because we feel it’s reflective of our culture and leadership. We believe Black Lives Matter and acknowledge the role we, as a company, need to play in order to better support change and become an anti-racist organization.
After watching today’s news coverage and reflecting on the past week with others, I have come to regret that as a group we did not acknowledge the traumatic events that we all, but especially our black team members, have experienced this week. Events that bring into focus the inescapable racial divide that exists across America.
As you might as well; I feel anger and grief.
I realize that I’m writing this as a person who won the genetic lottery the day I was born. I was born white, male, and Australian. A combination that means I’ll never experience the type of systematic pressures that those in minorities will. While I am not a member of a minority, I am a member of our community which means that I am part of the problem but can also be part of the solution.
The rage we’re witnessing is, of course, no surprise. The motivations of the protests this week are numerous and overwhelming. In just the past month there have been too many reasons to feel outrage to list. The murder of George Floyd was the match that ignited the tinder box.
While these tensions have existed for hundreds of years currently we are sadly living with and trying to navigate these injustices with a total lack of ethical, sympathetic, visionary, or even humble leadership. The result, in my opinion, is the amplification rather than de-escalation of anger and fear.
Everyone deserves to live without fear. Everyone deserves to live with opportunity and respect. We need to treat people equally and fairly, especially Black people who are so often and for so long have been treated so poorly.
Minorities need and deserve change. It’s all of our jobs to keep ourselves and especially our leaders accountable to deliver change. It starts with acknowledging the history of oppression and discrimination felt by Black and non-Black communities in America.
In terms of our common relationship – the work do we together at Scoot. What we’re seeing reemphasizes the importance of doing our work as well as we possibly can; because education is a key pathway to realizing change and compassion.
I’m under no false impression that our work will take many years to effect change. What can we do now? Honestly, I don’t know but I want your ideas. If you have ideas on initiatives, contributions, actions we can take now to help improve equality then I want to hear them. Simultaneously I recognize the privilege I enjoy as the head of Scoot and therefore my responsibility to lead how we can impact change; you should expect this from me.
I will finish by saying to those of you in our team who are Black and belong to other minorities; I am with you and I believe our whole team is with you. We love, care, and respect you. Please, please be safe and take care of your mental and physical health. If I or our company can help; please let me know.
We are here for each other,