June 12, 2020

Written by Vishu Ramanathan, Buildout’s Co-founder and CEO.

We are at a moment of unprecedented national unity. We are all witness to the murder of George Floyd by the police as bystanders begged them to stop. No one can see what we have seen without being heartbroken and duty-bound to make a difference.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” – The United States Declaration of Independence

The founders invoked the rights of everyone, but they only secured those rights for their own exclusive group. The fight to bring equality to all people was left to future generations.

The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, Laquan Mcdonald, and countless others, named and unnamed make it clear—this work is still not complete and we must do our part to realize this American dream.

In solidarity with our Black colleagues, neighbors, and communities across America, we add our voice to the chorus declaring Black Lives Matter. We demand change in the systems, institutions, and individuals who behave as if they don’t.

But words of solidarity are not enough; intentions are not enough.

Last week, we looked at what we could do as a company to take this moment of realization and turn it into action. We started by looking at our internal systems to ensure long-term support for the Black community within Buildout and the People of Buildout’s allyship.

To that end, we will

  • Continue our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within Buildout by facilitating further education and company-wide, weekly cultural practices
  • Cultivate safe spaces to engage in conversation while seeking out and accepting feedback to develop those spaces effectively
  • Issue two “Give Back” days of paid time off during the month of June to each person of Buildout to engage in supporting the community in a way of their choosing

Personally, I am embracing the Buildout Allyship Challenge curated by our head of people, Dom Merritt. I’m excited that so many People of Buildout are joining me in that challenge and invite you to do the same.

- Vishu Ramanathan