The recent events affecting black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) have shone a light on systemic racism. Unfortunately, these sorts of injustices aren’t new, nor are they random. They are the result of the marginalization of BIPOC and the inequality they’ve faced for generations. This is not a “US-only problem”, either. It exists in Canada and it exists here in Waterloo Region as well.
As businesses and members of the community, we should have been doing more to combat this. That ‘we’ includes Stryve. We could have been doing more and it shouldn’t take the killing of a human being to remind us there’s still plenty of work to do.
Over the past four weeks, our team has had ongoing conversations about just that — what can we do? It isn’t enough to be “not racist” and it isn’t enough to make a post to social media without also taking action. We’ve been working on educating ourselves and reflecting. Now, we look to take steps to becoming active allies.
Stryve will be committing to the following actions:
1. Reviewing our policies, conduct, and culture and making changes where necessary
To start, we’ll be conducting a social impact assessment using B Corporation’s Assessment tool to understand how our company can improve as it relates to our impact in the community. Once we receive the results, we’ll implement changes to our policies and procedures where necessary.
2. Donating regularly
We are making a donation to Social Venture Partners International’s Reimagine Fund and the Know Your Rights Camp. Both organizations are aiming to solve social and inequality challenges at the root level.
3. Volunteering and lending our platform
Whether it be with our time or capabilities as a business, we will be seeking ongoing volunteer opportunities to support efforts relating to issues that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities. Additionally, we’ll be offering our social media platform to organizations working on equality issues to help amplify their message.
4. Listening and learning
To improve our level of understanding of the issues at play, we’ll continue to educate ourselves with the available resources. Members of our team are reading, watching, and listening to 13th, When They See Us, Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap, The Skin We’re In, and various other publications. As it relates to indigenous members of the community, we found the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) was a good place to start learning more about challenges Canada’s Indigenous people are encountering.
We want to learn more and welcome all recommendations to further our education on the applicable topics.
Making a commitment
We’re going to hold ourselves accountable to this by doing a quarterly assessment of our actions as they relate to this plan. In addition, we’ll be integrating an equality component to our company’s strategic plan and our annual company review.
Each year we’ll set goals and action items regarding equality issues that affect the marginalized members of our community including black, indigenous, people of colour, the differently-abled, LGBTQ, as well as those affected by age and gender issues.
This isn’t something that is just going to happen this year. This is now a permanent priority that we will invest time and money into each year from here on out.
We’d like to open ourselves up to a dialogue. If you’re reading this and have any suggestions regarding how Stryve can help those who are marginalized in our community, please reach out to us.