A letter in difficult times

A message from Joe Lallouz to the Bison Trails team

A letter in difficult times

By Joe Lallouz · Jun 5 2020

These are difficult times, on many levels. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many more, are unequivocal tragedies that have mobilized millions to take action and confront the racism entrenched in American life.

The need for equality and the affirmation of human rights are not political issues. We want everyone, at Bison Trails and in our communities, to feel safe, secure, and healthy. Bison Trails stands in solidarity with communities impacted by systemic and institutionalized racism. Black Lives Matter.

Empathy is one of our core values and it informs how we work together as a team, how we service our customers, and how we approach the products we build. Empathy extends beyond our company to how we interface with the world. It’s a value to uphold in all areas of life and is deeply connected to the future world we envision.

A future in which people around the world retain their sovereignty, and are able to participate on equal footing in global financial institutions, can only truly exist if the right to justice for all people is upheld equally.

This is a traumatic and emotional time. You may be feeling a range of anger, fear, and heartbreak. As we are all understandably navigating complex responses to what is happening and how it impacts our families, our friends, and our communities, I want to acknowledge that we can and we need to do more.

In addition to our individual contributions and support efforts, we are now matching employee donations (up to $250 per herd member) to organizations working to address injustice and build a more equitable future:

  • Black Lives Matter Global Network: donations go toward efforts to overturn systemically racist policies.
  • The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
  • Black & Brown Founders provides community, education, and access to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, allowing them to launch and build tech businesses with modest resources.
  • Integrate NYC is a youth-led organization that stands for integration and equity in New York City schools.

  • I don’t have all the answers here but I’m listening:

    • How can we provide better support?
    • How can the company we’re building together be more inclusive?
    • How can we deepen our commitment to empathy and our core values in how we work and interface with the world?

    These are questions without easy answers but I’m committed to doing this work. Please reflect on how to practice greater empathy during the days ahead and do the work individually to address injustice however you can. This “Guide to Solidarity” doc maintained by the Justworks team, contains further resources and reading materials.

    We’re here for you. Please reach out: to me individually, to Melissa, or your manager. My messages are always open.

    Best, Joe

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