Standing with Black Elphas and supporting the Black CommunityFeatured

I want to start by checking in on our Black members. If there are ways Elpha can support you that would feel good to share, we are listening and are ready to support you.I’d also like to highlight a few resources that I thought might be helpful (thank you @dom for pointing them out): Ethel’s Club’s virtual group healing and grieving sessions led by licensed Black therapists. Additional mental health resources can be found here.Elpha and I stand in solidarity with our Black community. Hate, racism and violence are unacceptable.For our white members: here are videos and resources I found valuable. If you want to learn, take action, donate, or be a better ally, please take a look and add your own.Here's some advice on how to check on your Black friends.Here's an article with suggestions for how to support George Floyd protestorsHere's an article with recommending orgs to donate or volunteer with to support the struggle against police brutalityHere's a directory of Black women owned businesses to buy fromHere's a list of Black owned restaurants in the bay area to support.Here's a Twitter thread on how to be an ally right now.Here's a Tweet from Ava DuVernay on what it really means to not be racist.Here’s an article shared by @iynna on how white people can learn to talk about race and racismHere’s a post started by @amy on what white people can do that includes many great resources, articles, and actions people are taking.Here's info and a list of resources on how to take concrete action at the local and national level from note, we will be moderating this post more strictly than usual with an eye toward the comfort of our Black members.
Wow. I must say I was dreading turning on my computer this morning, but seeing this really renewed me a bit. Living in America as a black person can many times feel like the ultimate form of gaslighting so seeing white people publicly acknowledge racism as it stands today is a step. THANK YOU for also posting resources that white people can reference to start to learn about the topic. Too often it is up to the black community to do the teaching and this has to stop. Just like with any other learning environment, if you don't put the work in on your own its hard to actually practice it in your everyday life.
Thank you for this post and your continued leadership. Let this be an example to any non-black person wondering what they can do to support or show empathy. This is an example of how to not be silent and us your voice against racism on social. Thanks for checking up on us! I'm am weary, sick and tired, sometimes feeling hopeless and helpless. Above all I am more than angry!
Thank @cadran for the prompt, the check-in and your leadership in reaching out and speaking up. I'm weary, and just so very sad. I also know I am resilient, faithful and mindful of being part of longer continuum of ancestors that went before me, whose sacrifices allow me to be here. Perhaps like others, I've heard from non-black acquaintances, colleagues and friends. There are a few things that stood out, and I'll share three takeaways in the hope that it will be instructive in interactions. 1) It is meaningful that people I have pre-existing relationships with made an attempt to reach me directly, even if it was awkward or jumbled. (Think we all remember more clearly who showed up for us in crisis, difficulty or just uncomfortable times more than those who pile on when things look promising). I get it. Time is tight and we're busy. But calls are especially appreciated (more than text, emails, or dm's) b/c it was an attempt at active listening and thoughtful questions, making space (For some reason, some feel the need to ask for absolution?- this newsletter describes it well: What was more significant was when someone used the events happening as a prompt to grow, and just do better in their own spheres of influence. A chance to use this awakening to do the work to take a clear-eyed look within their lives: assess the demographic make-up of their boards, teams, and close friendships; interrogate the alignment of professed values in practice & reality; and make the first step to make the changes. Thought Amy Porterfield's post was a start of what that looks like: (an unfortunate example is what blew up in the b-school FB community)3) Doing the work, over and over again. Everyone building something knows there is no shortcut to excellence. Sure, there may be more be efficient way to do things, better people you could have hired, or lessons you wished you'd learned sooner. But if you're consistent, clear-eyed and keep showing up, you will get there. We've all made that commitment - that's why we are here. It is the same in the work of being anti-racist. This goes beyond a call or awareness and awakening but consistent, continued action. Anti-blackness is endemic in the origin story of America. This is what justified the enslavement of black human bodies and criminalized black lives in order to extract enormous wealth. It should be no surprise that this narrative continues to permeate every part of our society - from the stories we tell about its founding, to the funding, housing, labor, leadership, mass incarceration, media and mobility. What does that mean for what you (the person reading this) are building, and how to imagine new systems? []
I share the sentiment of the other Elphas here including appreciation to you @cadran for your speaking out. The biggest way white/non-black allies can support (IMO) is speaking up to their own constituency. Have the hard conversations first with yourself and then with others. Understand that a lot of questions may be hard for us right now because we’ve got more of them. Then, give black people space to grieve how and when WE need. Be mindful that may look different to each one of us. I appreciate the mindfulness of this community.
Thank you for being vocal about this, it is unacceptable for us, especially white women, to stay silent. I also want to share resources for other white people to speak up in their organizations, especially if they are managers or leaders in their company. Here are a few I've seen that may help:5 Do’s and Don’ts for White Leaders and Colleagues Discussing Racism at Work Today Managers Can (and Should) Address Race and Violence in The News Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not
thanks @cadran for taking a clear, decisive, and public stance on this and for Elpha's consistency in addressing posts and comments that attempt to minimize or dismiss these problems
Yes. @cadran, you consistently remind me of why I respect and admire you. ✊🏻😘
Thank you @cadran for vocalizing this and thank you to our Black members who contribute so much to this community and this space.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It has been a rough couple of days, just tired and exhausted to be reminded that no matter how much I will do, as a black woman, it will NEVER be enough. Screw the motivational messages that we see on IG "you are enough" blabla when clearly no we are NOT and we are being reminded of this every single day. I am tired.
Amen. I’ve been thinking about this a lot as well over the past few days and it’s exhausting. I’m studying for the LSAT to prepare for law school next fall to help my career pivot to tech policy and law, and there’s this nagging voice that says “why bother.” I’m still, of course, pushing forward but it’s such a different type of risk (financial, career, educational) for me as a black woman knowing that systems are designed to sideline, dehumanize, and dismiss you.
You will ABSOLUTELY crush the LSAT - others have done it, so why can't you. At this point , I have become numb, to the noise, let's try to focus on excellence, because there is nothing better you can do to ssve yourself.When it comes to your pivot, so proud of you! I did one myself working at the UN into VC and I would love to support you as you go through this yourself! Message me anytime!
Just know you're building your path to excellence. As hard as the reality is, thick skin, determination and fierceness are all built in adversity. Just know that you are one of the ones who is going to know how to cope with hard times, so many "perfectly Lay out" lives path in the comfort of the system just fall apart after failure. You won't. Remember that every day. And, when You are feeling tires just know you have the right to be tired, and sick and angry. Just breath and keep building your path. 💜
Hey. Hope studying is going ok. Remember to climb into an “insulated mental box” when you schedule yourself for study mode. Fight for yourself and for the difference you and your values can make in the long run. Xx
Ohh @ellenflanagan could you expand more on insulated mental box? I am really curious!
When we have a specific task at hand that is time sensitive and there are multiple pulls on our heart, our mind and our values, it is really critical to be able to quiet the “monkeys” in our head. The societal wrongs and BLM are front and center but, it is likely that an education may be the most powerful way that you can effect change in the long run as you will have a unique skill set that no one can take away from you. Insulating yourself from all of the many important pulls may be critical to provide yourself with the wherewithal and energy to study and crush the LSAT. Be intentional with your studying so that when you are scheduled to study, you give yourself permission to not engage with critical outside issues. I had regular nightmares for a decade- trapped, over and over again! The nightmares stopped upon graduation from medical school. No one could take that degree and the opportunities/possibilities available from me and my boys. It was freedom and, I know that I’ve contributed more to people (patients in the community and at my university hospital, undergraduates, med students, residents, fellows, new faculty and university policy) than I would have had I not gotten my professional degree. Take the time to rage, fall apart or do whatever you need to do. Then dust yourself off and “insulate” to power through your study session.
@ellenflanagan Oh wow I love this and I love how you broke this down! Thank you for sharing -great weekend wisdom for me :-)
Thanks @cadran amazing list of resources. I’ve noticed that a lot of women in tech orgs are eerily silent about this on their public socials. It would show solidarity if you were to post a few words of support and link out to this page via your twitter etc. Much love
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You're right that I (and others) should be posting on social media. I've done so. I didn't link to this page since it's private – in hindsight I realize I should have made this a public Elpha post.
Just saw and amplified. You’re awesome for responding so swiftly!
@cadran will you post from the company page on LinkedIn?
Ah yes forgot about LinkedIn. Will do shortly.
I made a code change so this post in now public and on our home page, but everyone's comments are private. That way Elpha's stance is more clear. Thank you for your feedback on this.
@cadran you/Epha the only WIT org that I requested to say something publicly who actually did it. Thank you!
I'm really disappointed to hear that
Just checked in on them - happy to see that things have changed and they did post about it later yesterday/today. Progress!
Thank you @cadran.I'd also love to point out that Asian Americans have our own role to play in this. Too often we are bystanders and complicit in our silence when the issue is oversimplified to literally black and white. I recommend this as starter reading about Asian American complicity in racism: then a couple of excellent articles by Michelle Kim on concrete allyship action items as well as ways that Asians are complicit in anti-black racism.
south asian american here, just adding this resource that was helpful in my own political development:
Thanks @tracy & @cadran This reminds of me of an article my fellow Jews might find helpful."White American Jews must realize that they’re a target of white supremacy alongside Black people, but understand that it’s tactless, divisive, and factually incorrect to compare or equalize their experiences with those of Black people. "
Thank you for this, @Gentry!
Thank you for posting this and totally agree. More can be done. For an example of Asian/Black allyship, check out “Love Life of an Asian Guy” on Facebook which covers this topic. He is in your face about allyship and sometimes his posts can be controversial but there’s a lot to learn from them. Apologies, I don’t have FB on my devices, so I cannot share the link.
Thank you for this post, Cadran. It's so important what's happening right now.
I wanted to share this graphic which was posted yesterday on Twitter by Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood and live in one now. My parents had a wide variety of friends. But, many people stay in their cultural bubble, and don’t realize how things can affect our black friends and colleagues. This chart was last updated in 2016 and may need updating again, but it is helpful.
Thank you @mickimaynard this is so important to share! So many think only things that are overt are racist which is just not true and are also caught up in the binary of good = not racist and bad = racist when in reality these things are not correlated
I wrote a piece called "How to be White: Tangible Advice for Business Leaders" that may be helpful for the white members of the elpha community. IMO, it is white people who have to fix this problem, not Black people. White folks started this mess with slavery, which means that it's our responsibility to fix it, and not place the burden on our black friends to show us how to do it. Feedback welcome from all.
Thank you @cadran! For those of you looking into making donations, this is a great resource: here's how to make it go further with Jen (Away's CEO) and Stewart (Slack's CEO) donation matching (they've set aside $300k):
Thank you for this post Cadran, it's extremely appreciated!
@cadran and all... It's a true delight to see so many fellow Black Elphas and this statement of support filled with resources! I almost didn't realize there were so many -- there already a community for this?
We have Women of Color Elphas, but we don't yet have one for Black women. We'd love to have you start one and we will feature the space in tomorrow's newsletter if that's something you'd like to do.
Hi Cadran - I just created the Black Elphas community. What's the best way to give visibility to it for all to join to continue this conversation and have a home for other related topics?
Great. Do you want to write a quick Elpha post with the link and say a few words about the community and also indicate how you feel about having folks who aren't Black join? Then we will feature the post in our newsletter and pin it on the Elpha feed for visibility.Also here's the group link:
This is super useful @cadran. I just talked to my best friend tonight and she and her partner are POCs. I've reached out a few times over the past few days trying not to push it as their good white friend, being sensitive to how their experience is so different than mine. We finally caught up on the phone tonight and she let me know that the best thing white friends can do is SHARE what they end up doing from lists like the above. I was avoiding this, personally, because I didn't want to appear to be making this about me, or centering the narrative on my 'white savior' list of activities I should get a gold star for. In reality, that's now how I am perceiving it at all...however...I didn't want to give out the PERCEPTION that many of my liberal friends can sometimes do that I'm some sort of savior. It was good to hear that my good friends would appreciate seeing MORE of their white friends sharing what they are doing to help and in turn, influencing more connections to consider doing the same. Anyhow, hope it also helps further. Appreciate so much all the work you put into gathering these resources for folks.
Thanks Cadran for your post! What is happening needs to end soon. 🙏❤️
I’ll be hosting a guided meditation on June 8 at 12p EST via Zoom for everyone who feels called to attend. To come together and connect by love and compassion for all.
Will you be doing more meditation zooms? I would love to join but missed this one. Thank you for doing this!
@michellewong793 - Hi! Actually, yes! Have one scheduled for Saturday, 6/20 at 3PM EST. Here's the link for this one: And, it's on the Elpha calendar, as well...just in case! :-)Would love to have you! Play·maste!
This sounds like a wonderful event. I want to make sure everyone sees the opportunity to attend. Would it be ok if I make a separate Elpha post about it?
Sure - thank you!Here's more info: (waiting for it to be added to Elpha events calendar, too) - This is from the event description on Facebook.**PLEASE NOTE: Meditation will be held on Zoom. Must register to get the access link** come as you are to a safe and welcoming space (dubbed the Perfect PlayGround) where you’ll be guided into an experiential visualization and meditation to amplify compassion - Compassion for Self and Compassion for others.In coming together at the same time, we turn inward to shift ourselves to shift the outward with loving kindness for all.Through the Self in meditation, you have thrown a pebble in a vast ocean with amazing ripple effects.We intentionally shall change the collective Consciousness together.Actions mean different things for different people. As true to the Wu Wei: there is movement within stillness.WHERE’S THIS BEING HELD?On the lovely Zoom! Please REGISTER to get the link. This helps on so many levels to create the loving container for everyone 🥰I WANNA JOIN BUT HAVEN’T MEDITATED BEFOREIf you’ve never gone into meditation before or are just starting, no worries, boo! It’s easy peasy...just join the Zoom and listen to instructions.All’s that’s required is to be open to what may come in this transformative experience.IS THIS ASSOCIATED WITH RELIGION?Nope, it’s not. Meditation in the field that I’m guiding you is to connect you with your inner Being and Higher Self.While I may use words like “Divine” or “Universe” or “God,” it is not to be interpreted to be with a certain religion. Feel comfortable changing the word to what feels more right to you.That’s it! Invite your peeps from all over the world and let’s do this!
@cadran Thank you!
Love this!!I have been trying to compile all the opportunities to support black orgs and businesses, would love everyone's help! Feel free to add to that spreadsheet here! :)
You sure can help by donating to my business' GoFundMe. I really would love to receive the match from GoFundMe!My Business: https://www.beaforeigner.comGoFundMe Link: Blog:
Thank you for starting this chain @cadran. I wrote this article about my experience as a black person in white spaces for any who are interested:
Thank you for this so much. I’m deeply grieving for so many reasons. I don’t have energy to offer any solutions, or eloquent statements of my experience as a black person striving to live out my full talents and potentials while I again must process traumas on so many levels. I am watching to see...what really happens next, in our society at large and within biz culture.
Thanks so much for this great post.I have found that my colleagues often encounter silence or pushback when talking about systemic bias in their organizations. They hear things like "we should keep this professional" and "let's stay neutral."So yesterday, I wrote a short article that unpacks the problem with these kinds of statements and gives some suggestions on what to do. I have found that if you isolate and name a problematic behavior, it's easier to talk about and address. I hope this helps!
Presentation on the neurobiological affects of living in this American Nightmare:
Thanks for this. This time is definitely difficult. When people say "What do I do?" I think the answer is to make sure you're treating everyone with respect, to not make any assumptions about someone, make an effort to give resources, hires, and recommendations to people that don't look like you, call out bad behavior, and read more about racism and it's history in America. I've been spending more time off of social media because I find all the content to be mentally draining. I hope all the black people on Elpha are being conscious of their social media consumption and overall health during this time.
8 Can't Wait is an incredibly helpful resource.💡It has templates for major cities to easily email your mayor with pre-populated copy outlining the 8 policies that could be enacted today to end police violence.
Thank you for posting. So helpful! Sharing this resource for minority women dealing with the Amy Coopers of the corporate world. While I did not think I'd ever allude to my story given the systemic fear I had and still have after a traumatic time working under such a boss, I cannot stand silent knowing my knowledge can help others. While this guide is to help minorities, it also sheds light on the truth many of us face in management consulting, investment banking, and most jobs. Finding allies in the workplace with greater political power and privilege can help break the cycle.
Thank you @cadran for being so thoughtful and sharing so many actionable resources. We’re hosting a panel on Monday of female leaders to discuss how we can become active allies & accomplices in our companies and communities.We'll be discussing steps we can take to make our workplaces actively anti-racist and ensure diverse voices are in positions of power. 1 pm PST Monday, June 8th if you want to join us!Link to register:
Hi, Was going to post this on Twitter, but thought it would better to offer this to Elphas first. I know I'm late to the game, but the work has just begun because its a long road ahead. 1/4 Any black or brown founder who wants to get pitch / startup feedback my calendar is open:'ve worked Y Combinator and created programs for founders at All Raise. I've also co-founded a VC backed company that raised $245M2/4 Matching donations to groups who are doing social and racial justice work. DM me receipts. 3/4 Opening my network. If you are a black or brown person, please fill out the form and I'll do my best to make an intro. My network is strongest in the tech professional world. If you want to open up your network, send me a note and I'll share you on the spreadsheet of asks. "and yet we still rise" Jessica O. Matthews"let's get our nerd on" Hasan Manaj"But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Amos 5:24 The Bible
Thank you @cadran and team! I've found Elpha to be such a wonderful resource for professional and personal growth since I joined and continue to be impressed.
As so many have pointed out already, those of us who are aspiring* allies need to transform our statements of solidarity into meaningful action.My team and I are hosting a conversation tomorrow for NBPOC and white-presenting folx who work in tech and tech adjacent fields. We're discussing ways we can be better allies to the Black community in our industry. I hope some of you will join us for this conversation. <3 use the term aspiring allies because the title of ally is one that is earned through consistent learning and action. It's a lifelong journey, IMHO.)
Thank you for being vocal about this. I am happy to see that the Elpha community speak louder than other politicians. Sad reality but during this period of crisis and search for opportunities, I have 2 to 3 times less chance of finding a job than a white person with the same qualifications.During my professional experiences, I was often the only woman of color in the office.When I worked for a big luxury brand, my supervisor said to me one day: "You are very lucky to be there for a girl like you". The next day I resigned.I preferred to leave a gap in my professional career rather than explaining the reason for my departure, rather than explaining that I had been the victim of discrimination for several months.Elpha is a professional social network where we mainly share our successes, but very little is said about our failures and the pressures (or even depressions) suffered at work.
Thank you for sharing your experience. You make a really good point that it's important to share failures and frustrations in our careers, too. And there should be space to talk about the awful experiences you've gone through that no one should have to go through.
Thank you for posting! Here are a couple more resources published by some friends of mine who work in the DEI space. They offer actionable/tangible things to do by corporate leaders (in addition to writing an All Staff letter with a list of resources & making a donation which is good but not sufficient). What to do if your company is silent about racism: Open Letter to Corporate America, Philanthropy, Academia, etc.: What Now? Aiko Bethea, Esq., PCC (she-her) | May 31, 2020
Hi Cadran! I wanted to share our Black women-owned businesses directory! The mission of the FFC is to create opportunities for women-owned businesses to gain visibility and to enable and empower female-owned and led companies to positively impact our communities both socially and economically.And right now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we raise the voices of Black-owned businesses and encourage our community to vote with their dollars. Brands and buyers have the power to better distribute wealth in America and affect long-term change including you—yes, you—with your individual buying power.Our Black women-owned business directory is live and includes a list of brands you can start supporting right NOW. Link here --
Thank you for sharing, there is so much amazing and valuable information here. Please feel free to add this to the list
Thank you so much for sharing these resources! It's clear that everyone has to play their part to work toward a more truly just and inclusive country, and it can be hard to know where to start. Standing in support of all those who have ever been made to feel less than.
Hey All,Times are heavy right? I want to personally extend an invite for you to join the Unpacking community as a safe space to unpack all that's going on involving racism in our society.Unpacking is the leading online training program for everyday people in the active pursuit to end racism. We run an anti-racism accelerator, team trainings, and on demand content servicing everyone from individuals, youth organizations, and corporate professionals.Apply by Friday Sept 4th for the September Cohort of the Anti-racism Accelerator or book a team training now through December.Download our Anti-racism Toolkit and check out what our alumni have to say on our | @unpacking_co | #unpackingit
Thank you for this important and wonderful post! This year has been a reality check and eye opening in so many ways. I’m a white girl who has always considered herself extremely inclusive to all colors of skin in every aspect of my life but I know now that that isn’t enough. In order to help close the diversity gap we have to actively work hard at this - to support women of color everywhere in all that they do. I’m dedicated to doing my part through my new brand Loveable. I’m in search of some talented and amazing women of color who are in the hand-crafting artisan world or make and sell their own products and are based in California. A week ago I launched my new brand Loveable: a curated collection of unique handcrafted goods by love-spreading artisans based in California. All of our goods are handmade with the ultimate goal of spreading love around the world. I’ve hand picked every “maker” and product that appears on our site. We’ve built a really special place to help women grow their businesses. It’s extremely important to me that Loveable highlights women of all races and color. If you feel like I’m describing you or someone you know please email us at [email protected] and I’d love to check out your work and see if we might be a fit to sell some of your products, art etc. in a drop ship format on our site. Please check out to learn more about who we are and what we do - as well as the current women we’re featuring on our site.I really look forward to hearing from you!Thanks,Kim DiVine Founder / Designer
I am just learning of this platform yesterday @cadran and glad to see this post. LaTonya