Following recent events, I wanted to share Sojern’s perspective on racial and social inequality that I shared with our employees last week.
There is a lot of pain, frustration, heartbreak, sadness and anger right now – and rightfully so. The death of George Floyd was an absolute tragedy, and a wake up call for the United States. First and foremost, I want to make it very clear that we support social justice for all and stand by our Black employees, customers, partners and friends. You are valued and your voice matters.
In the travel industry, we regularly interact with people from other places, of other cultures, and with people of every ethnicity. Travel brings people together. As a travel technology company, prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness of any form concerning race, gender, sex, religion, disability or sexual orientation are not in our collective DNA; just the opposite, in fact. We honor and celebrate our diversity and have taken concrete steps (recruiting practices, unconscious bias training, quarterly diversity benchmarking, bi-annual review process) to ensure we are becoming an ever more inclusive team. Champion Diversity is one of our core values and it feels like a good time to reiterate that as well as redouble efforts given the events of recent weeks.
Racial equality is not a new challenge, it’s an intractable one that has plagued many countries around the world, most notably here in the US. In the face of it, your options are to be silent or to act, and I encourage you to do the latter. In my experience, the only way to meet an intractable problem is to do so head on. Educate yourself on the issues and, if possible, find a way to contribute your time, resources and exceptional talent to make this world a better place for everyone.
One of the aspects I love most about Sojern is that we’ve built a company with a social conscience. And one of the manifestations of that is our Sojern Gives Back program that encourages employees to take up to 40 hours of paid volunteer time every year. I can’t think of a better time to use that program to support your community. If you need help identifying organizations, we’ve listed some below for your consideration. To start, consider joining a local peace rally to show your support for racial and social equality. Volunteering in diverse settings can help foster cultural competency and, ultimately, help to build a more inclusive society.
Sojern is committed to formative change that will result in increased diversity, equality and inclusion within our company and communities we serve around the world. I believe change begins with each and everyone of us so I hope you’ll join me in working to root out racial and social injustice once and for all.
Resources and Recommendations
- Black parents describe “The Talk” they give to their children about police
- Black Parents Know about “The Talk” – White Parents, It’s Your Turn
- Raising Race Conscious Children
- A Conversation on Race – A series of short films about identity in America
- A video on Systemic Racism
- UNICEF article – Five Ways to fight Racism & Xenophobia
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence
- We Cannot Stay Silent About George Floyd | Patriot Act
Support conversations on race, racism and resistance:
- Anti-Racism Resources
- Embrace Race: Read-aloud books for raising a brave generation
- 27 Books to help you talk to your kids about racism
- Books about anti-racism
- Black-owned bookstores list
- Racism in Singapore
Take Action and Speak Up:
- Speak up when you witness an injustice or some form of racism. Silence only serves to support and promote deplorable acts: Six Steps to Speak Up
- Resources in the Fight Against Police Brutality and Systemic Racism
Donate to Global Organizations:
- Black Lives Matter
- Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)
- Show Racism The Red Card
- Stop Hate UK
- Southern Poverty Law Center
Vote for Change:
Confirm your U.S. voter registration status is current here.
Organizations to Follow on Social Media:
- Antiracism Center: Twitter
- Audre Lorde Project: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Families Belong Together: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Kindness SG: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- MPowerChange: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Muslim Girl: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Domestic Workers Alliance: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- RAICES: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- SisterSong: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook