Day by Jay #5: BLM

🎨 Our America 📊 Read, Listen, Do 🧘‍♀️ Speak

Welcome to “Day by Jay!” You may notice this edition is a little different. I follow the same format as my usual newsletter but the content is not mine.

I’m grateful to the many friends and startup community members for sharing their stores and advice over the last weeks. These are powerful, inspiring, and actionable accounts. Of course, there are many, many more.

Much, but not all, of the below, is directed at the venture and startup community. If you’re looking for a wider range of resources and background, please visit Educate Yourself.

Thank you to the authors for sharing.

P.S. If you have found other resources, please share @jaydimonte, DMs open.

🎨Art

…the possibilities being created by Black Founders are endless. We are creators, we are curators, we are builders, and we are designers. Through it all, we are finding ways to uplift one another, navigate the unpredictable funding landscape, and change the world but we need our allies to have the tough conversations with their family members, friends, and coworkers if we’re ever going to see the American society that we wax poetic about.

So the next time you hear someone say, “this isn’t the America that I know,” remind them that not only is it the America that we have known for centuries but it has a design flaw and you know the builders and doers that are doing the work to fix it — with or without permission.

— Harold Hughes, Founder & CEO, BANDWAGON, in Behind by Design

📊VC & etc.

Here are a few resources for those trying to become better allies.

To watch:

Almost 4,000 attended the live event, We Can't Wait put on by BLCK VC. A collection of stories, insights, and actions, from some of the people we in the venture community look up to most.

To read:

A comprehensive list of books on anti-racism: Bookshop.org

A look at NY Times bestsellers, and a reminder you can get sold-out copies digitally:

“I’m grateful that people are working to seek out information to help them better understand what’s happening in our country, and I hope it’s not a knee-jerk reaction due to shame and guilt and not wanting to be on the outside,” he said. “I hope people understand that this book is the beginning of a journey of a lifetime.”

— Jason Reynolds’s “remix” of Ibram X. Kendi’s “Stamped From the Beginning” in NY Times’ People Are Marching Against Racism. They’re Also Reading About It

To do:

Here threads with actions you can take personally and within your organizations. I recommend reading each and choose the one that resonates and implement diligently.

For investors, by Samara Hernandez, founder and GP, Chingona VC:

For those in and around startups, by Nicole Sanchez, Founder & Managing Partner, Vaya Consulting:

For all allies, by Melinda Briana Epler, CEO and Founder, Change Catalysts:

… Again and again:

How to convert one-time actions to recurring habits:

And a reminder on why this is important. The only way to create change is to keep acting:

If your anti-racist rage is going to cause a tweet-storm for the ages, but not be enough to ensure your organization and industry sources, screens, and brings black and brown people into the fold 2 years from now - don’t bother.

—Mike Asem in Racism won’t die in 2020

🧘‍♀️Deep Breath

You see: everyone, in some way, chokes on the right words to say at the right time to actually move our conversation about race in America forward. But only we black people actually die from this lack of oxygen. And only we black people feel even less heard or respected.

…As a society, as Americans, all searching for the voice to say what we feel, we need to give oxygen to this moment. We shouldn’t attempt to be silent. We shouldn’t attempt to return to normal.

What we all must do is speak.

— Garry Cooper in The American Choke


Thanks for reading, please let me know what you think. Stay safe and healthy. Ciao! 👋