“We Have Work to Do”: Zipwhip CEO John Lauer on the Fight for Racial Justice

Our Fight Against Racial Injustice

I was disturbed and dismayed by the video of George Floyd’s deathAdd to that the senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others and we can’t and should not ignore the racial injustice faced by Black Americans today. This clarity is driving millions of Americans to protest and voice the need for fundamental change in our policing, criminal justice system and so much moreWe at Zipwhip are united against racial inequity and injustice and we believe sharing our stance and the actions we are taking is important for us to do. I sent an email to our team last week emphasizing that Zipwhip’s company values make our position clear: There is no place for racism, discrimination, bias or hatred in our company or this country. We support and will participate in the fight for racial justice and equality.   

Our past actions around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion support this. A commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is in our SOAP – our Strategy on a Page. We are backing up that commitment in several ways including working with our leaders and our DEI Council, which will work to build more awareness and understanding within our own company and take action to hold us accountable to our promises. We have and will continue to invest in unconscious bias training and the recruitment of diverse candidates for all our job openings.   

But clearly this is not enough – not close to enough. We need to do a lot more.   

One action we’ve taken is to pledge an initial $10,000 toward organizations working for racial justice. The specific organizations we invest these resources into is under discussion by our employee-led DEI Council. The current recommendation from the council is to allow employees to direct the funds so we can enable many groups to benefit from the donation. I look forward to their final recommendations.  

The unfair treatment of Black Americans is a reality every person in this country should fight to change, which is why we’re looking inward just as we look outward. We are committing additional funds toward internal education programs for our employees, including ally and bystander training. We’re also working with our leadership team and employees to identify ways we can support one another in this fight that extend beyond monetary investments.  

For example, we’re giving our team time off during the work day to peacefully participate in Seattle’s ongoing demonstrationsincluding today’s state-wide strike and silent march. We’re starting a book club amplifying Black voices so we can talk about injustice and examine how each of us can make change, and we’re sharing resources throughout the org so we can better educate ourselves about racial inequality and increase our understanding of what it means to be Black in America today 

These actions are a first step in work that will continue, and we know that we have a lot to do. We’re committed as a company to work hard to listen, learn and do our part in the fight for true racial equality and justice.    

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