At Clique, we believe Black Lives Matter, and we think it’s important to demonstrate that commitment in our actions, not just our words—and not just now, but in the long days, weeks, and months to come.
Our first priority has always been to our people, so we’ve been prioritizing internal actions to support our team. But there is another obligation to our clients and our community. These are important enough issues for small businesses like ours to share what we’re doing, in our own imperfect ways, to try and impact change outside our walls—and to help any others who are looking to do the same.
Our steps can be broken up into three categories:
- Support (Value #3: Make somebody’s job easier)
- Educate (Value #2: Be a student and a teacher)
- Act (Value #1: Build something)
Here is the message we sent to the team Monday morning:
We’ve been ending a lot of our meetings with a slide that just says “take care of each other.” That’s an especially important thing to reflect on now when, on top of everything, many here have been experiencing terrible pain after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many before them.
We’ve been sad and angry, and we stand with those who are fighting for justice, for Black lives, and against systemic racism. If anyone here needs time, space, support, anything — take it, no questions asked. We care about you more than any project or deadline. You matter.
To those looking to help (or already helping), we encourage you to, even if you’re nervous or don’t feel like you know the right way to speak up. Those concerns are small when compared to the alternative, which is asking those who are the most impacted to do it alone. As we move forward, if anyone looking to help has any good resource recommendations, or ideas on organizations to support or ways Clique can get involved, please share them in the comments. (We’ll start.) Our words are important, but not enough.
Additionally, somebody mentioned recently that they like how we have 6 sick days and that there’s an “unspoken rule” that we can use them for mental health. We said that’s great, but the rule should be … spoken. So this is us speaking it.
Thank you all. Talk more in a bit. Take care of each other.
Based on the discussion and sharing of resources, here is an initial list that was created by people internally to help build more understanding and improve allyship in the fight against anti-Black racism and police violence, so we are never asking those who are most impacted to do it alone. While these are heavy times for all, it’s a weight that isn’t evenly distributed.
- 20 Actions White people & non-Black POCs in Corporate (and otherwise) can take to show up for Black People right now
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide
- White Guyde To The Galaxy
- Here’s How You Can Help South, West Side Businesses Hit Hard By Looting, Vandalism
- Campaign Zero: Research-based policy solutions to end police violence in America
- Justice in June
- A thread on checking in on your Black friends (@makirollOFC)
- How to protest safely (@sublimemarch)
- Follow BLM Chicago’s updates on Malcolm London (@BMLchi)
- On the necessity of white people talking to white people (@ShareefJackson)
- On the “what can we do right now? Question (@aliciagarza)
- A love thread of Black creators (@therealneyzilla)
- Celebrating Black makers (@ProductHunt)
- We can do more than posters (@amelielamont)
- We Want to Do More Than Survive: University of Georgia Professor Bettina Love talked about the book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, in which she shared her thoughts on how educators, parents, and community leaders can advocate for “education freedom” for students through civic engagement and activism. At this event, Professor Love spoke with Genevieve DeBose Akinnagbe and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz.
Bookstores & Books
- A List of Black Owned Bookstores + Indie Bookstore Finder
- Liberation Library
- An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism (28 essential books)
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- Black Literature Compendium
- The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
- The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein
- How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?, By Alicia Garza (Foreword by), Maya Schenwar (Editor), Joe Macaré (Editor)
- An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- How To Be Less Stupid About Race, Crystal M Fleming
- Killing Rage, bell hooks
- So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
- They Were Her Property, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
- White Tears, Brown Scars, Ruby Hamad
- Black Lives Matter
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- National Lawyers Guild
- Campaign Zero
Based on this information, here are some initial steps we’re taking — we look forward to feedback and further suggestions.
We know that we’re suggesting these steps while also working to secure and build the future of our company during a difficult economic time. We want to be clear: we don’t view those goals to be in contrast with one another. They’re one in the same: it’s time to double down on our values.
1. Supporting the needs of individuals
This is #1 for us. If anyone here needs time, space, support, anything — take it, no questions asked. We do not expect your slack light to be green, we understand if you need time to grieve, and our virtual door is open if you’d like to talk. We care about you more than any project or deadline. You matter. (See also, #6)
Personal donations are being sent to 10 different organizations working towards racial justice that were recommended by the team. If you have the ability, would love for you to support or continue to share information about those orgs.
We remind everyone you have at least one volunteer day. We’d like to find an opportunity to do a group volunteer activity this month. You are encouraged to use them to support these organizations. Volunteer days need no pre-approval, just check-in with your team lead to mitigate any work constraints.
4. Support through our work
We’re sending an internal survey to ask how we can help Black-led non-profit organizations by offering pro-bono content, design, engineering, or marketing services — with identity design sprints (like the design team did with ICIRR) being a good option. We’ll also create a reference list of Black artists and designers to refer business to if we’re not the right fit.
5. Educating ourselves
Clique will still cover any book from the above list and mail it to your place through the educational stipend (which is still reduced until the end of Q3). Try and #buylocal. Just reach out to Renee.
6. Supporting mental and behavioral health in a difficult time by reinforcing some relevant benefits
- As an employee, you have access to an EAP. An employee assistance program (EAP) is an employee benefit program that assists employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. It includes 24/7 toll-free phone/chat support. More in the playbook.
- Everyone has 6 sick days, which can and should be used for mental health.
- Sick leave: If you need to take time off because of a medical condition, or the serious medical condition of an immediate family member, it will be fully paid for four weeks.
7. New OKR for our community team
Our community team is building a new OKR (a goal/success measuring framework) to confirm our commitment to proactively seeking and amplifying the voices of Black people and people of color in our events, now and always.
Through a new diversity and belonging survey in advance of the State of the Clique, we’ll be measuring and benchmarking up-to-date information about the team, helping understand gaps, and finding ways to better support everyone.
We’ll use that survey to inform meaningful improvements to our policies, including how we recruit, how we hire, how we evaluate and establish guidelines for who we work with, how we support our team—as well as our benefits.
10. Building this resource guide
We put this together to help collaborate on resources, organizations, and causes to support; it can and should continue to evolve.
11. More to come
We have no expectation that this list is in its final form. We’re committed to the journey ahead.
More than that, we personally pledge to be more active and open in our discussion of the difficulties Black people face, and to do our part in bringing about change.
We also want to restate a point we made yesterday. We recognize how hard it can be for people right now to take care of themselves, their families, their coworkers, their clients, their company, and their community at the same time. It’s more than any of us can do individually.
We’ll try to treat it as a relay race: a long process, involving everyone. It’s up to each individual to give up the baton when they need to and to grab it when they’re able. That’s how this can move forward.
Ted + Derek