In our statement on the killing of George Floyd, we said that our firm and our industry “have a long way to go towards fully living our values.” Indeed, we, the partners of Foundation Capital, have been having hard conversations among ourselves about how we can better foster inclusion, especially of black Americans. We’ve decided on some initial concrete actions to take, and plan to do more in the coming months.
We could simply announce these first steps in our channels, as some venture firms and companies have done. But we know that, by itself, the news would be quickly forgotten. Indeed, we recognize that probably too soon, present passions will begin to wane. Therefore, rather than squander the anger and energy of this moment, we want to harness it constructively, to organize and advocate for reforms, and help bring about long-overdue progress.
Friday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in America. Some tech companies have announced that they will be observing the day by making it a holiday for their employees, and we applaud them for it.
We want to mark the occasion with a day of action in venture capital. We plan to share the initial modest efforts that we’re undertaking to combat racism and make our industry more welcoming of underrepresented communities. We hope our fellow firms and venture investors will join us. To do so, please share any such commitments you’ve already made, or plan to make, via Twitter (#JuneteenthVC) on or by June 19.
Alone, it would be hard to hear any one of our single voices. But, in chorus—as with the worldwide protests—perhaps it will sound like change is finally coming.
To be clear, this is not a competition nor a rendering of judgment. Nothing any one of us does will solve our country’s or our industry’s problems. Even what we commit to doing collectively, this Juneteenth, will fall short. It will be insufficient and it will be imperfect. But, it will be a start.