The death of George Floyd last week and the ensuing protests and violence have uncovered yet again the underlying, structural racism that persists in the US. It is easy for most of us (myself included) to go about our lives and forget the racism experienced every day by people of color. Sadly, it requires an event like this to bring it again to the forefront.
Over the last few days, there has been healthy discussion at Peerspace about how best to demonstrate our support for the African American community and people of color. We wanted to prioritize actions over words and do something that would have staying power — something that would persist beyond this current crisis.
Here is what we are doing immediately:
1. Donating to Nonprofits: We are donating a portion of Peerspace proceeds this month to non-profit organizations selected by our employees. They have chosen organizations dedicated to promoting diversity, social justice and social equity in the US.
2. Matching Employee Donations: In addition to the above donations, Peerspace will match employees’ personal donations to non-profit organizations tackling the same social issues.
3. Launching the “Space for Change” Program: Consistent with our mission to bring people together, Peerspace will provide spaces free-of-charge to organizations looking to foster productive conversations about the topics of race, social justice and equality. You can learn more and submit an application here.
We will also “walk the walk” of diversity and inclusion through how we manage the company:
4. Zero Tolerance Policy: We will continue to enforce a zero tolerance policy for discrimination on the Peerspace platform. We terminate access for any user where we are able to confirm discrimination has taken place in the booking process.
5. Hire for Diversity: In late 2019, we did an assessment of our level of gender and racial diversity in the company and found there is more to do. As we get back to hiring in the future, I want this to be a cornerstone of our people strategy.
This company is built on the belief that something special happens when people come together around a common purpose. Achieving equality and ending racism will only happen with collective effort. We are committed to doing our part.