Like so many other progressive organizations right now, we have been thinking carefully about Cornershop’s role in the world and how we do our work. We’re so proud of the work we do to serve awesome nonprofits every day.
But we know that work, in and of itself, isn’t enough. We need to whisper and shout and repeat BLACK LIVES MATTER. We’ve always worked against injustice, but we need to do more to specifically work against racism within our own structures and systems.
We see the ways that our work has become even more urgent than ever. COVID-19 has laid bare the broken systems that victimize our marginalized communities, and recent, powerful protests have made it clear that more of our country is finally ready to have long overdue difficult conversations, face facts, and address institutional problems in a way that we haven’t been before.
We’re hopeful for radical change, and we’re even more eager than ever to work with amazing organizations that fight racial injustice, build up our communities, and work hard to fix so many broken systems that have benefited from white supremacy.
What we’re doing
These actions aren’t enough. We know that this work is not done. But we hope, like so many others, that our steps as a company will help to grow conversations and support continued systemic change.
Providing time off to advocate and to rest.
We’re offering our team time off to attend local protests, participate in webinars or other learning efforts, and work through their own personal stories in relation to racism in America. We know this work needs to be steadfast and ongoing, and we’re actively working to see new ways to support anti-racism and systemic change.
One small policy change felt like a proper shift in the way we’re used to thinking of our work as a company: We are now including Juneteenth on our list of company holidays. This annual celebration commemorates the day when federal orders declared all previously enslaved people in Texas free. Our team plans to honor this day through reflection, service, and action.
Providing a safe space for honest discussion.
We usually have some pretty great team conversations, but the Black Lives Matter protests have spurred us to participate in more vulnerable conversations than usual. We’re so grateful to our team for their flurry of resource sharing, tips, conversation, and support. We know we need to find ways to keep these conversations going as our country continues to evolve.
Supporting more anti-racist initiatives.
One-time donations aren’t the magic answer to all of this, but we figured they wouldn’t hurt! Our team recommended this list of amazing nonprofits working to fight racism and injustice, and we donated to each of them:
- ACLU: The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Their mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.
- Bail Project: The Bail Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to combat mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system ‒ one person at a time. They believe that paying bail for someone in need is an act of resistance against a system that criminalizes race and poverty and an act of solidarity with local communities and movements for decarceration.
- Black Lives Matter: This is the organization that started it all. #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, they are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
- BYP100: Founded in 2013, BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. BYP100 was, at one point, just a hashtag for the 2013 “Beyond November Movement Convening” developed through the vision and leadership of Cathy Cohen.
- Campaign Zero: This incredible organization digs through massive amounts of data to determine what policies and responses are most effective at reducing police violence, then provides guidance & tools for if your local police departments have those practices in place. Their tagline says it all: We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
- Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action think tank, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, they use data to create levers for social, cultural and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.
- Color of Change: Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.
- Equal Justice Initiative: The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
- Movement for Black Lives: The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy u. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.
- National Bail Out / Black Mama’s Bail Out: The National Bail Out collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant.
- National Lawyers Guild – National Police Accountability Project: National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) is a project of the National Lawyers Guild, which was founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated national bar association. In 1999, NPAP was created as a non-profit to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement and detention facility personnel.
- Survived and Punished: Survived & Punished is a prison abolition organization. They believe that prisons, detention centers, all forms of law enforcement, and punitive prosecution are rooted in systems of violence, including racial, anti-trans/queer, sexual, and domestic violence. Their work specifically focuses on criminalized survivors to raise awareness about the integrated relationship between systems of punishment and the pervasiveness of gender violence. They aim to initiate mass defense projects that will free all survivors, which would require the abolition of prisons and other systems of punishment.
- Voting While Black: Voting While Black is a voter mobilization movement led by Color Of Change PAC, a Political Action Committee focused on building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values, and holding them accountable to our communities.
We already have a tradition of donating a portion of our annual profits to nonprofits, and we will continue to donate to more anti-racism projects in the future.
We know a new holiday and some donations won’t fix everything. We’re not doing this perfectly. But we’re proud of the work that we’ve done so far, and we’re even more proud to work as a company and team to further the realization of a more just, progressive nation.