NOTE: At Elastic we have an email alias that goes to all in the company. In it, we welcome new employees, celebrate wins, and address issues that touch the whole company. The message below was sent to all of Elastic on May 29. This topic is so important that I wanted to share it publicly. The dialogue from our Elasticians is what gives me hope for our company and, collectively, for our world.
The headlines have been coming in at a devastating pace. The tragic murder of George Floyd; the belated acknowledgment of Ahmaud Arbery’s and Breonna Taylor’s unnecessary deaths; the threat of police violence against Christian Cooper, a birdwatcher in Central Park. And all of that within an unprecedented pandemic that has affected the black community at an unproportional rate.
I ask everybody,
as a sign of solidarity,
take a deep breath,
hold it, and count,
My blood boils and my heart breaks.
This is just the tip of a racist iceberg that is all around us. A “normal” that members of our company, and society, in the US, around the world, have to deal with every day. This is maddening, frustrating, and outraging. As we all wish to get back to our normal after the coronavirus pandemic, getting over the racist pandemic should be dealt with at the same level of intensity.
You can feel stuck at the enormity of it all. I know I do at times. Where to start? I do know this must change, and I will do what I can to make this change. From this simple statement, I can start to work my way through it.
I look at people I admire, like Martin Luther King. I read his writings and they help me understand: “A riot is the language of the unheard”. They help me frame a way forward: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
For all of our Elasticians, I know that it can be hard to know what to do, to say, or how to be a powerful Ally. The resources below are a starting point:
- Give to organizations that support anti-racism work. These donations are matched in Benevity and can be found here.
- Take action. While making phone calls and sending letters may feel scary, collective action drives change. A list of ideas as a starting point is here.
- For Black Elasticians (and all Elasticians), there are resources available to you through the Employee Assistance Program and Ginger to help you manage through the personal impact of these events. Take time to disconnect if needed.
- Learn more. There are articles, books, podcasts, movies and more about anti-racism and allyship here. While it is by no means exhaustive, it’s a place to start.
To our Black Elasticians (and self-coined Blasticians) - we see you, we love you and we are here for you. We know we can do better and at Elastic we are committed to doing better together.
Please also know it is ok not to be ok. If you need Space, Time, please take it. And please reach out for support. We are all a message or zoom away, starting with myself. It is also ok if you are not ready to talk, I know I was outraged and at a loss for words after some of the videos that came out over the last few weeks. I still am.
This Monday is Black Lives Matter day at Elastic. Let's start by showing solidarity across the company with our black team members and community, and make a statement against racism. I will wear my black Elastic hoodie. Feel free to be creative. Hopefully our design team can create something by Monday for all of us to use. And make sure to take the time to read some of the resources above, take an action or two, and reach out to team members to discuss it.
I 🖤 y’all,