Business, politics, and race cannot and should not be separated. Our modern economy is rooted in colonialism, slavery, segregation, and exploitation. It’s important to note that these were not inevitable evils, but rather conscious and calculated decisions to ensure that power and prosperity stayed with white people and Europeans.
I seek to build an anti-racist business because if my goal is lasting, radical change, it is not enough to not be racist. We must all take steps to actively and consciously dismantle the white supremacist patriarchy that is the foundation of our economy and society. This is no small task, and it cannot be accomplished in silos. Our efforts must be intersectional and inclusive to be effective.
As a business coach, my goal is to help my clients transform their businesses and their lives. But that transformation is inert if it does not include a radical reimagining of how we do business. Simply put, if my work is not challenging capitalism, it is supporting white supremacy (and is therefore invalid).
My specific commitments to this work are below. They are inspired by and follow the structure of Hello Seven’s Anti Racist Small Business Pledge and Do The Damn Thing’s public commitments.
White supremacy gets its power in the shadows. I commit to naming it, discussing the role of privilege in my own life and business, and discussing it with my clients, partners, and team.
As a white person, I know that I have been raised with internal biases, privileges, and opinions that have caused harm and hurt. I know that I will mess up. I commit to hearing and processing corrections, call-outs, and feedback and making sure that my clients, students, and team feel heard and seen. I will not delete, hide, or cover up mistakes. Calling out is an act of love and I need them to be a better leader.
I am not a DEI or antiracist specialist or leader. I am learning as I go and being a resource for other entrepreneurs where I can, particularly white entrepreneurs so they don’t burden Black leaders with questions and anxieties.
Backbone’s impact will grow from its current solopreneur status. I commit to working with, hiring, and supporting Black-owned businesses. I pledge to spend at minimum 30% on hiring Black employees, contractors, and vendors. As of June 2022, our percentage is 30%.
Backbone is on stolen land. I donate a portion of our annual revenue to the tribes whose land we are on: the Gabrielino-Tongva and the Kizh nations. As if 2022, this percentage is 2%.
Antiracism and restructuring society is a marathon, not a sprint. I commit to doing this work for the long haul, including educating myself, supporting Black-owned businesses and experts, speaking up and protesting, and donating. This is work for a lifetime.