Video Transcript


Black Lives Matter: Our Thoughts, Actions, and Resources

It is never easy to know how to react, communicate, or at times, even feel, during something as heartbreaking and real as the struggles that our fellow humans face through no fault of their own. As Herokai, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and want to share some of our thoughts on the struggle, as well as some actions and resources that we find helpful.

We will be keeping this post updated and would love to include your voice. Please send us any thoughts that you’d like to share at: feedback@heroku.com.

“Many, if not all, of us are watching the civil rights movement taking place around the world. We are hurting, we are angry, and many of us are asking, “How can I support? What can I do?” We all have an opportunity to take a hard look at ourselves and to educate ourselves of the reality that has existed for over 400 years for Black people in the United States. If we’re interested in becoming allies, we need to do the work first.

An intersectional group of Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioners created this course because they wanted to alleviate the burden Black communities face fielding questions from allies on what they can do. To be true allies, we need to be anti-racist, and to do so we need to develop a deep understanding of systematic racism and white supremacy. This intersectional group has seen many non-Black people struggling to know where to start, so they hope this 20-day, bite-sized text message course can provide everyone with some knowledge on the history of racism, the oppressive systems that continue to exist today, and how to show up.

I’ve just signed up for the course, which is geared toward non-Black people to educate ourselves on how we can:

  1. Understand systematic racism and anti-blackness, white supremacy, and racial economics; and recognize that race is in every aspect of America.
  2. Check our own privilege and show up for the Black community every day.
  3. Keep educating ourselves.

These are short, bite-sized pieces of information with resources to get you started, as well as links to Black leaders and voices. Each of the topics will require further reading and exploration on your own.

The course is called Practicing Anti-Racism 101. It costs $6, all of which is donated to nonprofit organizations doing important work in the area.

We can all do something and we should start with educating ourselves. We can all do better and I think it will begin with understanding the role non-Black people like myself have played in the marginalization of Black people.”

— Caleb Hearth, Heroku Tier 3 Data Support

“I'm keenly aware of my privilege as a white man in tech. I regret not being able to be out protesting, however, I am checking on my Black peers (and former peers) and asking them what I can do to help. It's so important to recognize that there are many different ways that we can support the movement in this time of change.”

— Evan Light, Sr Manager, Heroku Web Services

“I decided it was time to speak up... I created What CAN YOU do? — a list for corporations and individuals that goes beyond that which is less controllable into impactful and empowering alliance. I hope this is meaningful and mobilizes change in some way.”

— Kimberly Lowe-Williams, Sr. Manager, Heroku and Nonprofit Leader

“For me personally, I’m trying to learn as much as I can. Currently reading Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.”

— Charlie Gleason, User Interface / User Experience Lead, Heroku

“A small thing, but we’ve been listening to this on loop: https://twitter.com/GeeDee215/status/1268930514976636930

because provenance is important on the internet:

I am definitively not your tourguide for the wider TikTok community, but from what I can see, https://www.tiktok.com/@rynnstar’s content is stellar. If you want a Black content creator to follow, kindly follow her.”

— Tom Reznick, Engineer, Heroku Data

“It’s hard to put all my thoughts and feelings into words and I expect I will fail here. My heart is heavy and I am doing my best to support and continue to learn during this period. I am drawing huge inspiration from others who are reacting with such thoughtfulness, grace, and humility. People coming together in beautiful ways gives me hope.”

— Jennifer Hooper, Sr. Director, Technical Product Marketing, Content, and Brand

“With the murder of George Floyd, I took the opportunity to stay quiet. I listened and tried to learn; I absorbed and tried to think. I believe that with education comes empathy and understanding, and so I’ve tried to modify my social feeds so that I can continuously learn. By following groups championing diversity, equality, and social justice, I hope to gain understanding which feeds into direct action. I intrinsically understand that behaviour must change, and I must first change my own behaviour to ensure I can help others. Thanks to Salesforce’s employee resource group BOLDforce for this strong list of organisations to follow, I am on a path to discovery. The more I know, the more effective I can be.

Organizations I am following on social media:

— Christie Fidura, Director, EMEA Developer Marketing, Salesforce

“I have always been quiet to speak out about different causes on social media because I was afraid to say the wrong thing or offend someone. I have realized that I am hurting people by staying quiet and have decided to use my voice and my white privilege to help. I have been learning, listening, and using my voice to have difficult conversations with friends, family, acquaintances, and I will no longer stay quiet. I know there's more work to be done so that every single human is treated equally, that is why I say Black Lives Matter. I encourage people to do their own research and find different ways that they can support the movement for equality for Black lives. Right now, I have been donating money to a few different organizations. If you would like to join me, below is just a short list of where you can send your support.

An additional inspiration is seeing the things that others at our company are doing, such as the Outforce group on Black Life Matters.

I used to listen, silent, when abuse happened out of my reach. Ashamed of a race and gender that abuse their privilege. Unable to contribute with anything not obvious, politically correct. As if what others may think about me mattered more than what was at stake :( I’m thankful that someone took the time to educate me and others by sharing a link to “Nothing to add: A challenge to white silence in cross-racial discussions,” an article that refuted any reasons I could come up with to remain silent.”

— Raul Murciano, Software Engineering Manager, Heroku / Salesforce

“After reflecting on the most recent murders of Black American citizens by police officers and by white "vigilantes," I honestly don't know what to say. I am angry, I am heartbroken, and I am exhausted. And I've only been reflecting on this for a few weeks. I cannot imagine what it must be like to go through life having to constantly carry this terrible burden.

I am sorry it's taken me so long to finally acknowledge and accept that we have so many serious problems with systematic racism and racial inequality in our country, and that we must start repairing that damage now. (How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi has helped me considerably already by providing context, ideas on how to be part of the solution, and hope.) I promise I will do better this time by educating myself further, donating to charities that support racial equality and pride, and by doing what I can to help make my community a more just and better place.”

— David Routen, Software Engineer, Heroku / Salesforce

“I am struggling to articulate my immense horror and heartache of the recent murders and the centuries of systemic brutality and oppression of African Americans. How can I ‘be the change I want to see in the world?’ I can commit to trying harder to live every day with conscious empathy and awareness. I can actively look for ways that I can learn and contribute to helping this country become a place of safety and equality. I can also help to keep the conversation going so that this moment — finally, finally, finally — becomes a catalyst that brings true, lasting social justice.”

— Sally Vedros, Marketing Writer, Heroku / Salesforce

We stand with the Black community against racism, violence, and hate. See how Salesforce is taking action for racial equality and justice

Originally published: June 29, 2020

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