Knotch stands in solidarity with the Black community and supports protestors’ right to march against systemic racism and police brutality. We recognize that there is much progress companies and brands need to make to amplify Black voices—ourselves included. Here are some of the steps we’re taking today to make the world, and our organization, more inclusive.
Earlier this week, Knotch made a donation of $1,000 to Black Lives Matter. We are currently matching up to $100 for any donation made by an employee to any social justice-focused organization of their choice. Some of the other organizations that Knotch employees are giving to are The Bail Project, the George Floyd Memorial Fund, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Campaign Zero, and the The Marshall Project, among others.
But donations are just one way we’re taking action. Additionally, we’re addressing how brands can amplify the voice of Black LGBTQ+ individuals during our Pride in Stride Webinar on June 4th. During the webinar, we will be raising money for organizations that focus on the Black LGBTQ+ community as part of our Pride initiatives. We will match $10 for the first 100 donations made by attendees during the conversation.
Time to Act
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we gave our employees the time and space needed to process what we’ve been collectively facing. One way we did this was by instituting a 1-hour mandatory break in the middle of the workday. We’ve encouraged our employees to continue to use this time to reflect, learn, and process what they’re going through.
We recently held a mental health lunch as part of Knotch’s mental health & wellness initiative—Ocean. Ocean was created to encourage a people-first environment at Knotch and foster transparency and inclusion—two of our core values. We believe mental health means providing a safe space for conversation about the issue of systemic racism and police brutality. These events allow each employee to address their fears, concerns, and anger about issues affecting our world, as well as brainstorm actions we can take to make Knotch a more inclusive company.
One such idea we have decided to act on is the creation of a People of Color (POC) Employee Resource Group. We have also paused our referral process so it can be reviewed and adjusted to encourage more diverse candidates to be considered in our hiring processes. We are reviewing all of our recruiting practices and policies to look for opportunities to make them more equitable.
Amplification of Diverse Voices
Over the past month, we have been planning our annual Pros & Content Conference, which will take place virtually this year on June 24th & 25th. Given the pandemic our country is currently facing and the epidemic of systemic racism we have been living with for years, we are re-focusing the conference to be an opportunity for diverse leaders to share their unique experiences and perspectives.
Beyond discussing content and marketing, we have added panels, TED-style talks, and inspirational sessions with bright minds, including entrepreneurs, creatives, small business owners, and others working to bring the world closer together. They will share their stories of resilience and in effort to promote unity. The conference will also feature a panel with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) experts and marketers and communication leaders of color that will discuss the importance of inclusive storytelling.
Lastly, it would remiss of us to not address the work we still have to do. We must find more ways to recognize and support victims of police brutality, like George Floyd, protesters organizing against systemic racism, Black-owned businesses and products, and organizations that support the Black community.
It’s the responsibility of all of us, especially white people, to educate ourselves on challenges facing the Black community and encourage difficult conversations about race that can help us all understand each other better and work towards a truly equitable future.