June 8, 2020
Recent events have cast a stark light on fundamental inequity and systemic injustice at the core of our society. Our country is in crisis, our people are sick and the systems that are meant to keep us safe and healthy are failing. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others are unfathomable personal tragedies. The disproportionate toll that Covid-19 has taken on communities of color is abhorrent. Anyone paying attention should be horrified and heartbroken. We certainly are.
Unfortunately, these events, while horrific and shocking, are not aberrations. They are the inevitable byproducts of decades of inequity and injustice. They are the results of systemic racism, a rapidly growing wealth gap, an under-funded education system, a broken healthcare system, an imbalance of opportunity, and of the extreme polarization in our political climate today.
While there is plenty of blame to go around, we must recognize that we all share responsibility, because these tragedies are what happen when good people are complacent with the status quo. They are what happen when we allow ourselves to operate in silos of race, gender, and nationality. They are what happen every time we turn a blind eye to a discriminatory act or a racist slur. They are what happen when our good intentions amount to half measures that are just not good enough.
It is only by taking personal responsibility that we can effect change. Whether we are politicians, business leaders, activists or individuals; colleagues, neighbors, family members, friends or perfect strangers, we all have a role to play. We need to be more than just reactive and supportive, we need to be proactive and vigilant. We need to hold ourselves, our leaders and our systems accountable. We need to vote. We need to be active participants in the dialogue. We need to contribute what we can, when we can, how we can. Even if it makes us uncomfortable – especially if it makes us uncomfortable – we need to meet these issues head on, speak openly and plainly about them, and commit to acting with empathy and appreciation for the common humanity within us all.
In this spirit, RTC Partners will be taking the following actions:
We will be conducting a thorough review of the diversity programs at all of our portfolio companies and make the strengthening of these programs a top priority
We will be adjusting our investment criteria to prioritize further investment in minority and women-owned businesses
We will endeavor to choose partners that share our common values in regards to these issues
We will ensure flexible scheduling across our portfolio on November 3rd so that all employees may be unencumbered to participate in election process
We will actively look for ways in which we can effectively contribute our time and resources to support equality (and we welcome suggestions and open dialogue on this)
These are first steps and we look forward to engaging in a robust dialogue with our employees, partners, investors and all stakeholders on what else we can do.
Tony Brindisi and Christopher Lee
Co-Managing Partners, RTC Partners