October 7, 2020
Like many across the country, we have seen the absolute need to promote and work toward a better way of listening to and including our Black friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in our communities. Words are important, and we believe the words we use matter; however, we also want to ensure that our actions align with our words. Accountability is paramount.
Our desire to support Black communities and be agents of change led to the creation of a new initiative at Coterie. The Racial Equity Initiative was created as a first step to help us determine how we can do better as an organization. While we do not have all of the answers, we are enthusiastically identifying where we need to improve, where we can provide our business expertise, and where we can offer support to external organizations already making great strides toward these efforts in our communities.
The Racial Equity Initiative kicked off on July 15, 2020. In this kick-off meeting, we recognized two directions we wanted to investigate: internal improvements we can make and external organizations already doing great work that we can support. To act with greater expedience, we created a sub-group for each focus and established a bi-weekly meeting to determine progress and next steps.
Group 1 : Internal
The internal group's current focus is:
Group 2 : External
The group working on external opportunities for support and change is reaching out to organizations that are already making a difference to see how we can support the amazing work they are doing. We are still identifying organizations that we can support, and who have near term needs that align with our talents and abilities. We understand that sometimes "free help" can create more work than value, so we're wading into these relationships carefully to make sure we can add value. In addition, we look to partner with small-business owner networks to help empower Black business owners to create the companies they envision.
We are sharing this information publicly because we know that the difference between success and failure often lies in accountability. We have a significant amount of work ahead of us. This blog will serve as a space to update others on what we've done and what we're planning in the future. The fight for racial justice is ever-going, and setting up this initiative is just a small step in the right direction. While we don't have all the answers, we know that change requires much more than a one and done "check the box" type reaction to current events. Change will not come easy and we are committed to the long-term.
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