We would like to thank the community for your encouragement, thoughtful ideas, shared stories, and offers of help. What we have heard from you consistently is the need to support both actions that can lead to an end of the violence faced by BIPOC communities and actions that can lead to meaningful dialogue and impactful change in our industry. We want to avoid the performative and emphasize the substantive.
On the first front, we have supported the organizations on the front lines of change and commit to making annual contributions to these or similar organizations. We have made donations to three organizations: the National Bail Fund Network , focused on immediate support for protesters; Helping Hand - Access PR Small Biz Relief, focused on restoring minority businesses; and Black Lives Matter Global Network, focused on ongoing support for the end of police violence against black communities, protesters, and others. In addition, we instituted an employee-match program for donations. Finally, because time and non-financial support are also at least as valuable, we will be supporting our employees’ participation in social action by adding policies to enable employees to use work time for social action.
On the second front, our next step is to create an informed action plan for reducing barriers to, and increasing the presence of, positive reinforcement trainers in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. This next step will inform and educate us, and help us choose ideas and actions that will be impactful and sustainable. We have had many wonderful suggestions—from education scholarships to reviews of curricula to faculty diversity commitments to partnerships with community organizations and speaker suggestions. We have already begun, and will continue, outreach and dialogue around these and other ideas with members of the BIPOC training community. It is by having these thoughtful, diverse conversations, listening, hearing, and elevating the voices within our community, that we will be able to create a meaningful plan. Gathering input and data, and making informed decisions may take a bit longer, but, like all of you, we are in this for the long term.