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Reflections On Charlottesville From Jopwell

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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Photo Credit: Kelechi Mpamaugo

On Monday mornings, we start the day a little earlier so we can hear from internal teams about their latest projects. Different teams present, and each week we learn a little more about the details that make Jopwell what it is. This morning, August 14th, was different.

Our CTO put away his slides, we gathered our chairs around Jopwell’s “living room”, and we talked about Charlottesville, Virginia. The white supremacy rally and violence that happened there were yet another reminder that our society is still deeply fractured and there is more work to be done. As a team, we asked ourselves:

How do we continue to provide support to our community regardless of the miles that separate us from one another?

What can we do to be better allies to POC?

How can we replicate the safe space we are in for the members of our community in more hostile areas?

We are a career advancement platform, but all too often we are reminded that our community needs support that extends beyond their professional lives. We aim to provide resources that enable our community members to land the job, build fulfilling careers, and succeed professionally, but we realize that success is impossible when the very existence and identities of our communities are threatened.

We found ourselves thinking back to Jopwell’s post-election discussion last fall, and returned to the same question: “Where do we go from here?” It’s a tough one to answer, but below are suggestions from our team on how to keep moving forward.

  • Make your voice heard. Research local protests to attend, or organizations you can volunteer for or donate to, to show your support.
  • Participate in constructive conversations about race in America and provide your unique perspective.
  • Reach out to friends who consider themselves “white allies” for support and ask them to spark conversations with individuals who look like them - the real way to create change is to get more people involved and engaged
  • Acknowledge the atrocities that have happened to people of color, as a society. We need to move forward with restorative justice for victims and begin an honest dialogue on how to heal from this pain and injustice together. Our country’s leadership should be leading this conversation, but if they won’t, we must be the leaders of this deeply needed change.
  • Reflect on the type of healing that you need and the type of leader that you can be based on your personal context, background and talents. Can you be a support system for others in your community? Is yours a voice that can clarify and enlighten? Do you need to prioritize self care? Sometimes simply thriving can be a powerful form of resistance.

We’re also resurfacing these reflections and suggestions from members of our community who have contributed to The Well in the past. Their words feel just as relevant today:

Do you have thoughts on how our community can move forward from here? Let us know by tagging @Jopwell on social media or sending us an email at [email protected]

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