Dear Blck VC Community & Venture Firms,
This is a very tough time to be a Black American. Our hearts are broken. We mourn the criminal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others — all while tens of thousands of Black Americans die from Covid-19 at unmatched rates across our country.
This is nothing new. It cannot be stated enough that this is nothing new. Black protesters, Black essential workers, Black men, Black women, Black prisoners, Black children die unjust deaths every single day. It is not only police brutality that oppresses our community, but every biased system our country has built around us — not for us. We support the protesters who won’t patiently wait for an unjust system to police or fix itself, who fight back and defend their communities against unjust systems of oppression.
Venture Capital is one of these unjust systems. It is a system of funding entrepreneurs that has routinely overlooked talented Black founders and investors, squashing promising businesses and dreams as a result. It is time for venture to face the ugly reality that it is a system perpetuating the institutional racism that plagues our society. Venture prides itself on being progressive. We disrupt industries. We work fast and break things. We fund dreams and create jobs. Yet, venture is one of the most homogeneous and exclusive clubs there is. More than 80% of venture firms don’t have a single black investor and just 1% of venture-funded startup founders are Black. It is no longer enough for firms to just ‘be progressive’ — they must be anti-racist. They must fight systems that oppress Black Americans and hinder the growth of their companies and innovation in America. We won’t wait for these systems to fix themselves. We hope you won’t wait either.
We are calling on the leaders of venture firms to support their communities and fight racism in America. We ask all venture firms to participate in our Blck VC day of action We Won’t Wait on Thursday, June 4th, 2020 (RSVP here). On that day, please join us as we Discuss, Donate, and Diversify.
#WeWontWait Day of Action Guide Discuss Discuss recent protests, police brutality, and institutional racism with your employees and portfolio companies.
Have a digital discussion with your employees to address where you stand on these matters and identify your role in biased systems and institutional racism
Email portfolio companies to address these issues, your stance on institutional racism, and your participation in the Day of Action
Donate Donate funds to charities that focus on fighting institutional racism and breaking down systems of oppression.
Participate in the nation-wide moment of silence fundraiser by donating to one of these charities or another charity focused on racial justice, such as:
Diversify Identify how diverse your organization is and address your plan to make your organization and industry more inclusive and diverse.
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.
Aggregate and send Blck VC your portfolio company diversity data using this form. Provide data on the number of black founders and number of dollars you invested in black founders.
We encourage you to share this data publicly on twitter with the hashtag #WeWontWait, but information shared with Blck Vc will be kept private to track the progress of our industry
Create and publicize KPIs related to your firm’s employee and portfolio diversity
Sign up Here.
Connecting, Empowering and Advancing Black Venture Investors. We are the change that we seek!