06/02/2020 Toby Dayton

Using our platform: What companies can do in the fight against injustice

LinkUp is a proud, Minneapolis-based company. There simply are not adequate words to express our pain, outrage and sadness at the horrific murder of George Floyd just over a week ago. We unequivocally support the prosecution of the officers involved to the fullest extent of the law – both for their actions and their failure to act to uphold their duty of care. We stand with those demanding an end to the persistent, structural racism that exists in our community, in our institutions, and in our country. Just as vehemently, we condemn the actions of those who seek to exploit this peaceful movement and compound injustice by fostering chaos and destruction in our community and throughout the country.  

As events continue to unfold (many of them just outside our office doors), our support is with those demanding racial equality and human dignity. Our hearts are broken and our community is in pain. But we love Minneapolis, now more than ever, as stories of the incredible compassion, strength and resilience of this city emerge in the midst of the tragedy.

While the ripple effects of what happened in Minneapolis spread throughout the world, one thing is clear: for companies of any size, silence in matters of social justice is no longer an option. Businesses must grapple with the reality that anything less than a full-throated denouncement of discrimination in all forms perpetuates the factors that have led us to where we are today. Gone are the days of overly finessed statements that managed to say very little. Consumers demand to know that the companies with which they do business are willing to do what’s right, and assume the risks of speaking out. CEO’s like Tim Cook of Apple, Dan Schulman of PayPal, Sasan Goodarzi of Intuit and Brian Cornell of Target are just a few of the high-profile leaders lending their voices to the collective call for justice in the midst of this nationwide civil unrest.

It is imperative that companies of all sizes make clear where they stand in the movement to combat systemic racism. Statements are powerful in illuminating your stance, but actions speak far louder. If you’re looking for ways that your company can get involved, there is an ever growing list from which to choose. If you live in an area where demonstrations are being held, look for organizations that support those on the front lines and that help impacted communities address immediate needs and rebuild. Share your efforts with employees and offer ways for them to participate on an individual level. Fund drives or collecting needed supplies allow teams to rally behind the cause. Some Minneapolis companies are even offering employees vacation time to volunteer for city cleanup efforts.

We cannot simply let this moment pass us by. It is more important than ever that companies actively advocate for our fellow humans and use our platforms to make the world a more just place. We are in a position to stand up, speak out and move things forward in the right direction, but only if we all use our voices.