Sift was proudly founded in Detroit, a majority Black city whose history has been profoundly shaped by segregation, discrimination, and racial tension. It’s impossible to live and work in Detroit and not to understand, to some degree, the role of discrimination and racism in our city, as well as the incredibly powerful role of the Black community.
Surrounded by this history, we condemn the recent murder of George Floyd and countless others. In the last week, steps forward feel as if they’ve been erased, or at the very least halted. So, we’re taking the time to reflect.
We hope this message is not seen as an empty gesture, but for what it is: an earnest affirmation of our deeply held beliefs. Recent events have caused us to look inward and to critically evaluate if our own house is in order and if we live up to our own ideals as we scale our company.
We choose to speak now as it is not a time to remain silent. Empathy is one of our founding principles. We seek each day to listen and broaden our understanding of others around us. It would be impossible to live up to our stated beliefs if we did not affirmatively state where we stand.
While we are still a small company, we pledge to be transparent in the steps we take to address inequality in our company and in our community. We stand with the statement made by Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans and Rock Family of Companies. We hope that all clients, customers, community members, and team members stay safe and that the current crisis can serve to help our country continue moving forward to true equal justice.
As a tangible first step, our team will be working with Lauren Hood, a local Detroit activist and community leader, as well as other facilitators on internal learning and dialogue sessions on the recent history of the Black Lives Matter movement and to better understand the lived experience of members in our community. Change only happens when we can learn to see the world through different eyes. We hope this first step will help us achieve a new perspective from which to help push for a more inclusive Detroit tech community.