This week has been heavy. Just as we’ve seen glimmers of hope in the US that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re met with another tragedy—one that is, sadly, not new but born from a complex history. In this season, the brokenness of our world has surfaced louder than ever. I am profoundly saddened by the death of George Floyd, and so many others, at the hand of generations of systemic racism. I unequivocally believe that racism is unacceptable and that there is much work to be done for a society of privilege to recognize, celebrate, and lift up the humanity of the marginalized among us. Recent events are worth our anger.
At GAN, we have the opportunity to put a stake in the ground, defy racism, and restore the world to a better place. Every human is born a human, and it’s our broken systems that have valued the worth of some humans over others. This is not okay. Anytime we see inequality we will stand up. We are standing up for Black lives right now. And going forward, we will continue to bring inequality to the surface wherever we see it around the globe—especially in startup communities, where we have a particularly important role to play.
In this moment, the GAN Community has the unique prerogative to fight for the rights of the marginalized, specifically by helping build and equip minority-owned businesses with human and financial capital. We’re seeing GAN Accelerators turn the tides to ensure Black founders get access to funding and mentorship that they were never able to access before. GAN Ventures is connecting Black founders with investors who specifically fund minority-owned businesses, and has made a number of investments in businesses owned by people of color. GAN Managing Directors are talking about inequality and the problems we need to address, including the places where the GAN company can and should step up its efforts to support Black founders. We will continue to educate ourselves on how to make the most positive impact we can.
I am challenging myself to have tough conversations, build relationships with people who are different from me, change the systems around me that don’t work for everyone, and be humble and curious at every step of the journey. I hope you do the same. Together, we can and will make the world a more equitable and just place.
With much love and trust,
Pat Riley, CEO
Resources I’ve Found Educational & Helpful This Week:
- Seventy-five things we can do for racial justice.
- How to talk to kids about racism, early and often.
- “Who Gets to be Afraid in America” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion”, Peggy McIntosh at TEDx
- Krista Tippett’s book, Becoming Wise.