Black Lives Matter: What We Believe and What We Will Do

By: Chris Lacinak
June 4, 2020

What we know and believe

The systemic and historic racism and injustice in our country, and the world, that results in persistent and pervasive inequity and ongoing oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) is very real.

The murder of George Floyd by police, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the unjust handling by law enforcement and prosecutors, the murder of Freddie Gray by police, the murder of Eric Garner by police, the murder of Breonna Taylor by police, the murder of Michael Brown by police, the murder of Trayvon Martin and the lack of justice served, the murder of countless others at the hands of police, the failure of the justice system to deliver justice to BIPOC victims, the beating of Rodney King by police, COVID-19’s disproportionate toll on BIPOC communities, the 13th amendment and mass incarceration, the risk of [fill in the blank] while Black, the systematic and constant oppression that manifests in ways large and small on a daily basis for BIPOC people: these incidents and moments, going back to the founding of our nation, pound away with such an unrelenting consistency that it bores a wider and wider hole into the soul of our country.

This injustice and inequity cannot stand and be allowed to persist. Black lives matter. We must speak, act, and follow through as a country, communities, organizations, citizens, and individuals.

What we will do

We cannot and will not be silent. It is important to speak out and let people who are the target of oppression, inequality, and racism know who their allies are. At AVP we can do more and we can do better than simply making a statement. As the President of the company, I take full responsibility for our past failures and for the obligation to correct course. Here is what we will do:

  1. With a team of our size it is representative of our past failures that a visit to our website shows a preponderance of white faces. This has the larger implication of failing to amplify perspectives and voices that ultimately shape the communities we serve and the professional fields we work within. There are no good excuses for this. Making sure that we prioritize hiring and giving a platform to BIPOC will be front and center as we continue to grow our team.
  2. AVP will dedicate $50,000 in pro-bono services to projects, causes, initiatives, and campaigns in support of addressing issues of inequality, injustice, racial discrimination, and oppression. As we figure out the details of where and how these pro-bono services will be allocated we will report out on the specifics in order to be transparent and accountable.
  3. AVP will offer 8 hours of paid time off for employees to volunteer in support of causes and organizations that they believe in.
  4. AVP will financially support organizations fighting for racial justice, including the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, and Color of Change.
  5. We will amplify the voices of people and organizations who are doing hard work to help bring about progress and change.
  6. We will initiate training for our entire team that focuses on implicit bias, anti-racism, and building an inclusive workplace culture and organization.
  7. The preceding points are just the start and they are not enough. We know we have work to do and we will continue to add to this list of action items and hold ourselves accountable for following through on them.

Chris Lacinak