Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter.

Lizelle van Vuuren Women Who Startup

We at Women Who Startup denounce racism as the plague that it is. And we vow to continue to do the anti-racism work necessary.

We know that we are stronger together and we must stand up for and support our Black communities more than ever. We are grieving for our friends, colleagues, partners and loved ones. 

To our Black community members I am here for you, I will continue to fight for you and stand up for injustice and I’m grieving for your sorrow, fear, anger and your exhaustion from inequality. 

To our white members we must do better. We must start at home. We must start at work. We must never let racism slide and we must fight for equality for our Black peers, colleagues, friends, loved ones. We must learn and find the language to discuss these very complex systems of oppression and then do better. We must take action and stand up for anti-racism. 

Sending you strength and love during this very difficult time. May we entrepreneurs be a part of the future of smothering the plague of racism as well as all the other incredible innovations we are capable of. The anti-racism work needed across this country and countless others starts with us. Now is the time to lead. 

Here’s what Women Who Startup is up to to learn, educate, organize and support when it comes to human rights for Black people; 

  • We have donated to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund on gofundme.com
  • We have donated to Black Lives Matter
  • We are continuing our education about white fragility and white supremacy with several books and resources, listed below and will continue to grow (list is actively growing on WWS Online)
  • We are continuing to make sure that the women entrepreneurs we spotlight in our events are a diverse group of womxn
  • We are researching organizations to partner with to accelerate black and brown women entrepreneurs
  • We will review our Women Who Startup Foundation Board and be proactive to include Black Board members by 2021
  • We will continue to listen, learn and unlearn harmful cultural norms and face anti-racism with the same commitment and vigor that we face sexism, homophobia and inequality in access to capital for women entrepreneurs
  • We will continue to hold investors’ feet to the fire when it comes to Venture Capital and look at their portfolios not just of women and LGBTQ but black and brown founders as well 
  • We know we will make mistakes and ask for forgiveness and continue to learn and grow as people and citizens

Here are organizations you can Donate to today

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund on gofundme.com

Organized by Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, the fund was created to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings and to assist the family in the days to come as they “continue to seek justice for George,” according to the description. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd, which benefits his children and their educational fund. As of May 29, the fund has received over 80,000 donors and raised $1,895,460.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Donations to this legal organization go toward helping “win landmark legal battles, protect voters across the nation, and advance the cause of racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.”

Black Lives Matter

An organization with the mission statement of bringing justice, freedom and healing to black people across the globe. You can become a “Global Member” by donating $5 to support their campaigns. 

Communities United Against Police Brutality

This Twin Cities-based organization accepts donations via mail or PayPal for “office costs, copwatch equipment, court filing fees and other expenses.”

The Minnesota Freedom Fund

An organization that helps pay jail bonds for those who cannot afford to fight discriminatory and coercive jailing. “Every dollar of financial donations to Minnesota Freedom Fund helps us help free people,” the website states.

Please feel free to share some other organizations that you suggest we donate to or platforms we should be aware of during this trivial time.

Invest in Women of Color Founders

iFundWomen 

iFundWomen launched IFundWomen of Color in January 2020 because they firmly believe in supporting diverse, women-owned businesses.

SistahBiz Global Network

Black women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing but among the lowest funded and lowest earning groups of entrepreneurs in the country.

Here are things to Listen to, Read and Watch

Listen: Let’s Talk About Whiteness by Eula Biss

This conversation was inspired by Eula Biss’s stunning New York Times essay “White Debt,” which had this metaphor at its core: ”The state of white life is that we’re living in a house we believe we own but that we’ve never paid off.”

Read: White Debt by Eula Biss

Reckoning with what is owed — and what can never be repaid —  for racial privilege.

Read or Listen to: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

A Resource List: Anti-racism resources for white people

This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Read or listen to: How To Be An Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

Read or Listen to: Me And White Supremacy

“A bracing, highly useful tool for any discussion of combating racism.” – Kirkus Review

Listen to: Stepping Out of Privilege

“We need people who are willing to turn within and see: How am I part of the problem?” says global activist Layla Saad.

Please Register to vote. The time is now to protest in power with your right to vote as a citizen.

Stay strong. Rest. And Keep Climbing.

The best time to fight racism was 100 years ago. The second best time is now.