We Stand in Solidarity with the Black Community
By Patrick Maynard, PhD
Like many of you, I’ve spent the last week watching as protests spring up across the country in response to the senseless murder of George Floyd. Some of you have reached out to ask if Boundless intended to issue a statement on the protests or the most recent tragedy that sparked them. The short answer has always been “yes.”
These are important and serious issues, and I’ve spent several days trying to put my feelings into words — even wrestling with if I’m the most appropriate person at Boundless to issue a statement at all. I felt it necessary to release something beyond platitudes, something that added to the conversation rather than the noise. Yesterday, it struck me as I fumbled to find the exact right language that this is one of those times where it’s important not to let perfect be the enemy of good.
In other words: Black lives matter.
Boundless is committed to true integration and the acceptance of everyone as equals, regardless of ability and regardless of color. This is our mission. It’s who we are. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and acknowledge the ongoing terrible reality of systematic racism and white supremacy. Our hearts break for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have suffered, died, or been otherwise dehumanized. It is repugnant on every level and can no longer be allowed to stand unchallenged because, as a great man once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
So what are we going to do about it? First, I’m going to thank all of you who reached out to share your stories with me. They were painful, illuminating, and absolutely necessary for me to hear.
Second, I’m going to remind you of our first fundamental: do the right thing always. If you see something, speak up. It is never wrong to point out racism or injustice. It’s up to all of us to build the community we want to live in every single day, and that doesn’t happen by turning a blind eye.
Third, I want to stress that this is the beginning of a very long conversation. To help guide that conversation, I’m pleased to announce that Graciela Chanfrau, our vice president of people and culture, has agreed to serve as Boundless’ new diversity officer. In the coming days, she will begin assembling a Council on Diversity that will provide actionable recommendations to leadership and our board.
Fourth, we will be sending a resolution to the board later this week. I’ll have more information about that board action, along with details about how you can get involved with the Council on Diversity shortly.
These are the easy steps. Not everything that comes next will be so simple. But that’s okay. At Boundless, we don’t shy away from the hard stuff. We don’t substitute platitudes for planning, slogans for steps forward. The hard stuff is what forces meaningful action. The hard stuff is where we thrive.
Patrick Maynard, PhD, is the CEO and resident of I Am Boundless, Inc. and its affiliated companies.