We are the change that we seek.
On June 4th, 2020, BLCK VC hosted the We Won’t Wait Day of Action to memorialize the deaths of innocent Black American’s, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. We used this day as a moment to force the tech community to reflect on the racial injustice in our society and, more specifically, venture capital’s role in perpetuating racial inequality and systemic injustices.
However, we cannot claim success after one day, or one summer, or one movement towards racial equality. The fight for racial equality is continuous and our country must continue to examine the obstacles and injustices Black Americans face.
Venture capital is no exception. The most recent surveys of the industry still show that only 4% of investors are Black. Only 1% of VC-backed founders are Black. 93% of firms still don’t have a single Black investing partner. Any progress we’re seeing is moving too slow.
To memorialize the unjust death of Black Americans, celebrate the progress of Black activists and investors, and reflect on the state of the venture capital industry, BLCK VC is hosting Be the Change. This annual event will be a time for accountability in our industry, urging each investor to take meaningful actions to create an anti-racist, equitable society.
We also recognize that racism affects many communities of color, as evidenced by the increase in hate crimes and violence toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The Be the Change day of action aims to drive the venture capital industry to become more inclusive and equitable for all communities of color.
Similar to BLCK VC’s day of action last year, we are asking firms and attendees to join us to Discuss, Donate, and Diversify.
RSVP for the event here.
To sign your firm up to participate in the Day of Action, please complete this form.
Change begins with open and honest discussions. We encourage firms to reflect and discuss the ways in which racism manifests itself within venture capital broadly, but also within their own organizations, communities, and companies.
- Have an honest discussion with your staff regarding the racial justice movement and areas in which your firm can improve, primarily in your staff, portfolio companies, and pipeline.
- Encourage portfolio companies to have similar discussions, reiterate to them your stance on institutional racism, and share your commitment to the cause through your participation in the Be the Change.
- Donate funds to charities that focus on fighting institutional racism and breaking down systems of oppression.
- Participate in the nationwide fundraiser by donating to charities striving for racial justice. We’ve compiled a list of organizations that we are supporting below, but feel free to support other organizations that are having a meaningful impact. The list includes: NAACP, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim the Block, Know Your Rights Campaign, Black Visions Collective, NAPWAF, #HATEISAVIRUS, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice
To create real change, it must be measured and tracked. Analyze your firms, reviewing the diversity of your staff (at different levels within the organization), the diversity of the founding teams of your portfolio companies, and the diversity of your pipeline. Establishing industry benchmarks is important, so BLCK VC will aggregate anonymous firm demographic data to better understand the state of the industry today and track progress.
- Aggregate and send BLCK VC your employee diversity data using this form. Provide data on the number of employees, investors, and seniority of your employees.
- We encourage you to share this data publicly on Twitter with the hashtag #BeTheChange, but information shared with BLCK VC will always remain confidential and only be shared in an anonymized and aggregated
- Establish quantifiable and time-bound goals to address racial disparities within your firms.