Black Lives Matter: What We’re Doing to Support Social Justice
A message from Road Warrior Creative founders, Amber & Chris Hinds.
From its inception, Road Warrior Creative has been a values-driven organization. Two of our core values center around supporting quality of life and giving back to our communities. Over the past few weeks, we have been reflecting deeply on the systemic racism in America and how it is actively harming – killing – our Black friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community members. This racial injustice is in direct opposition to the personal values held by our company’s leadership and to the values that Road Warrior Creative as an organization seeks to live up to.
We are heartbroken and outraged by the brutal murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, and, here in our own backyard, Javier Ambler, at the hands of law enforcement and racist individuals. We’re seriously concerned about the militarization of police and the inexcusable culture of white supremacy that plagues this nation.
Today we’re adding our voice to the rallying cry and following up on our earlier support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with a clear statement of how our company does and will continue to live up to its values as they relate to social justice for Black people. We all need to work together to create change.
This is how we’re committing to change:
- In solidarity, last week, we made an immediate rapid-response cash donation to Black Lives Matter.
- We had previously offered a 10% discount on all new work booked through May, and then extended this discount to June, in order to support in businesses harmed by COVID-19. In July, we will return to normal pricing but will donate 10% of our Q3 2020 profits to Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the number of women of color in tech.
As a small business, we can’t contribute as much as large enterprise-level companies, but we’re doing what we can and will continue to explore other options for financial support throughout the upcoming months.
- We are adding a requirement that all nonprofits entering our next free website contest be either majority led by people of color or providing benefit to a community of color.
- Our employees are given two paid days off each year for volunteering; this year, we’re encouraging them to choose to volunteer their time with an organization of their choice that serves under underrepresented or disadvantaged populations.
- We regularly choose diverse photos showing people of all colors for our website and for client websites, and will continue to educate clients on why showcasing diversity in their imagery is important.
- We reached out to clients for whom we manage social media and encouraged them to allow us to craft a statement in support of Black Lives Matter for their business to share.
- We drafted a blog post, which will be published tomorrow, as a resource to our clients and the community on the subject of why all businesses should speak up in support of Black Lives Matter and social justice, and how to do so.
As a small business with just four employees in addition to ourselves, we have not had many opportunities to increase the diversity of our company, however, it is something that we intentionally tried to do when posting our last two job openings. We believe that a more diverse team will create better products.
As an all-white team, we recognize that we have fallen short when it comes to hiring racially diverse employees despite past efforts, including posting open positions on job boards aimed at Black people/people of color and utilizing other tools to intentionally try to create a diverse workforce. In order to remedy this, when we next have a job opening we are committing to:
- Working with a diversity and inclusion specialist to help us identify better ways to build a more diverse candidate pool and remove any hiring bias that may exist in our interview process.
- Spend a greater percentage, at least 50%, of our hiring budget advertising the position on relevant job boards for people of color and in parts of the country with high minority populations.
- We currently have a code of conduct that addresses employee behavior as it relates to racism, however, we reached out to our HR consultant to help us determine the best way to add a more detailed formal statement (like our accessibility statement) to our employee handbook.
- We will identify a suitable bias training program for a company of our size and structure and complete the training together by the end of this year.
Going forward and starting in December of this year, we will publicly release an Annual Social Responsibility Report that addresses how we’re meeting the goals outlined here and the goals presented in our accessibility statement, as well as how we’re living up to our company values and maintaining the social and environmental benefits necessary for B corp certification.
This report will be published here on our blog and emailed out in PDF format to our client mailing list. We’re doing this not only to improve our company but also to create a model that other marketing agencies and businesses in any industry can follow to enact change in their own organizations.
This is a disheartening time in our nation’s history, but we are hopeful that we can build upon the energy of the moment to initiate true change. We join the number of voices and brands collectively speaking out and taking action, and will not sit by while injustice continues to happen. This is a time for action. It’s a time to do better. It’s a time to be the change you want to see in the world.
We hope you will join us,
Amber & Chris Hinds