We are in a perilous moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has left 25-30 million Americans unemployed, over 166,000 dead, and countless lives turned upside down. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities–who were already plagued by disparities caused by systemic racism–have disproportionately shouldered the burden of COVID-19.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, the most recent in a long history of police brutality against Black men and women have inspired protests and uprisings in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In doing so, it has challenged America to confront the systemic racism that has been embedded in every institution, from education to policing to the economy, from its inception.
Our nation is at a crossroads in the fight for racial justice.
Much is at stake in the upcoming elections at the federal, state and local levels. We have the opportunity to intentionally begin to dismantle structural racism, close racial wealth gaps, and expand equity in education through our selection of candidates and ballot measures.
The staff at the Kapor family of organizations, Kapor Center, Kapor Capital and SMASH have jointly developed an action plan to fight racism and its legacy of stark disparities in education, health, and employment. To do so, we will focus on conditions created by the nation’s history of anti-Black racism to support Black lives, and address systemic disparities facing Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities.
Today, we are kicking off our 100 Days of Action for Racial Justice campaign.
For the remainder of the year, we are dedicating our resources to take action in the following areas:
- Dismantling Education Inequity: We will advocate to close the digital divide, ensure 1000+ high school and college students in our SMASH programs have rigorous STEM education, and scale programming to reach millions of students of color across the country.
- Advancing Economic Justice: To close the racial wealth gap, we will continue to increase our investment in underrepresented entrepreneurs, work we have been doing for nearly a decade, and we invite other VCs to join us. We will also advocate for tech leaders to remove barriers to hiring, promoting and investing capital in Black, Indigenous, and Latinx populations.
- Promoting Civic Engagement: Given what is at stake for communities of color this year, our organizations will partner with other grassroots organizations to provide communities of color with accurate voting information and organize and participate in get out the vote efforts.
The time is too urgent, and the magnitude of the problem too great, to do this in isolation.
Our call-to-action for the broader tech community is to:
Join us in taking action toward racial justice.
Amplify our initiatives within your social networks.
Contribute ideas and resources to help amplify our impact.
As the heroic and inspirational civil rights leader John Lewis wrote to us before his passing, “Together, we can redeem the soul of the nation.”
It’s time to act now!