Small Business Town Hall
All right welcome, in friends, welcome, welcome, welcome. Thank you so much for being here with us tonight, we are so excited, to. Have you here with us we are so looking forward, to the conversations. That we're gonna have tonight. But more so the action, that we are going to be able, to, take so as you come, in, as you get yourself, comfortable. Um i want you to say, in the comments, tell us where you are joining us from are you here in new york are you in new zealand where are you so please put in the comments, below. Where you are joining, us from. And, you know one other thing that may be pretty awesome, is you know so many people from so many different industries, are here tonight. So let us know what world you're joining us from are you coming from the theater world are you coming from online marketing, are you coming from the wedding industry, wherever, you are coming from, please, put in the comments, and let us know oh my gosh i'm seeing all of your comments, come in, minneapolis. Seattle. Charlotte vancouver, come on canada. Uh south carolina. We've got amy, from australia. Amy what time is it there, uh we've got phoenix, arizona. So, many, incredible. People from, all, over, oh my gosh this is incredible. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome for those of you, um that are joining us here on the live stream i just want you to also know that we are also going to be live on youtube. Where there are closed captions, for those of our friends that need that, and we are also live streaming on facebook, and linkedin. As well if you want to engage, in the comments, over there, and just a heads up. Just a heads up. If, we go down if hello7, dot co goes down do not worry we will transfer, all of this, goodness, tonight. Right on over to our facebook, page so. Stay here. Um but thank you all truly, for coming in the comments, and saying, where, you are from everyone's from all over i'm obsessed. Uh for those of you that do not know i'm robert hartwell, my preferred pronouns, are he him his. And, welcome to reimagining. Small, business, which is a town hall to come together. To listen to learn and commit, to building, equitable. Anti-racist. Organizations. I am. Truly so blessed to be here with you tonight as your mc for those of you, that were just meeting for the first time i have had a 10 year career as a broadway performer, here in new york city, i've been in five broadway shows, two national, tours most recently, hello dolly with bette midler. I'm also a director, and choreographer. My work has been seen at lincoln center here in new york city and also, the. Assistant, director of the first national, tour of once on this island and when i am not busy directing, and choreographing.
I'm The founder and artistic director of the broadway, collective. And what i want you to know. Is that. You are not here by accident, tonight. I know. You know. That change is happening. And tonight, we get the opportunity. To be active, participants. In that change. So. Your mere being here, is revolutionary. It is activism, within itself, so i just want you to. One take a breath. Okay, because i think we all need that in this time right now, but i want you to know that you are in the right place, at the right time. To get some action steps because we all, have work to do i am right there with you so, before we go any further, i want to know in the comments. Right now. Truly. What are you hoping to walk forward with, from tonight. In the comments right now let us know what are you looking, to, walk, forward. With, from tonight. Because tonight, is about, action. We can talk, all, day, all night right but it's about action what do we want to move forward with. Come on, come, on, all right i am seeing it i am seeing it coming in well. We, are so blessed, to have, an incredible, panel, of, um. Of people here with us tonight. Um and the first i want to introduce, you to is sonia renee, taylor. She is the founder, and radical, executive, officer, of the body is not an apology. It is a digital media and education, company that is committed, to radical, self-love, and body empowerment. As the foundational. Tool, for social, just justice. Sonia has shared her work as an award-winning, performance. Poet. Activist, and educator, in numerous, countries, and on major media outlets, around the world, reaching, hundreds, of thousands, of people with her commitment, to radical, self-love, and transformation. Sonia, continues, to perform. Speak, and facilitate. Workshops. Globally. So please welcome. To. The stage. Sonia. Renee. Taylor. Uh. Good afternoon, everyone, good evening i don't know what time it is for y'all because i'm in new zealand. And so it is morning time for me. Um but what a beautiful. Opportunity, to get to spend. Um what is my. Uh, wednesday, thursday. Which means, whatever i'm a day ahead of most of you, and i want to tell you that it's a beautiful, next, day. That we're getting to be a part of together. I want to thank you for coming here and for being part of. The intention. Of transformation. Um and i believe that. All, good, action, all good impact, starts with right intention. And that when we have right intention. And we are considering. The impact that we want to bring about in the world. That's that's the right recipe. Um, for how we create change. I'm gonna open with a poem. Uh which i like to think of as my first language. That i hope, speaks, to. This, unique, moment that we are in in history. Where we really, have the opportunity. To. Create the world we say we want. Um. And that, then we get to be part. Of, a legacy. That we are coming, that. We are not in a new place in history. We are in our moment in history. But our ancestors, have been here before. And we will need their guidance, in order to know where it is that we should go, so that those who come after us, can say. They did the work to make it possible. For me to be where i am today. So this piece. This piece is called. It's called evolve, and i'm going to take my glasses, off for it. Your great-grandmother. Sips, jen slow, in a speakeasy. In chicago. Or detroit. Stokes the flames of a pot-bellied, stove in alabama. Or arkansas. She has cigarette, fix the precipice, of red lips, tells a suitor. Maybe your great-grandfather. Maybe not. What she expects, of his corning. There will be no hoarding, pleasure, in her house, your great-grandmother. Was fast. And ain't that what we call a woman, well acquainted, with the topography. Of a hostile, world yet unbowed, to its backhand. A jew joint majesty, a siren, of her own fire a thing this world, has endlessly. Tried to expire. But could not, which is why you. Are here. Today. Your grandmother, cursed are never cursed. Drank or never drank, new men the way job knew trials or never knew sin at all, she was a country girl, or familiar, with the infinite, heat of a new york city street she was sweet on a woman once, they kissed and never told, she was irish or dominican, or golden, brown as the mississippi. Dirt road, glinting, in the sun, she has labored whether with hand, or with heart, she has known part and parcel, of struggle. Knew she was done birthing, after birthing the child that birthed you, or knew others would follow. She has swallowed, decades, of broken, promises, made to look like men, or money, she was choice made flesh long before we flung a pro around its neck, and called those words movement.
Movement. Is what she has always, known, prone to survival. Which is why you. Are here. Today. Your mother was never only your mother. Never only lover, or law clerk or domestic, worker your mother was defiant. In a bathrobe, in slippers. In a board room, in a bedroom where she said no, or yes, or more with a body like the one she taught you to own like your own good name. She has failed, and flawed, and fortune, forged, in flame. The best of what could be made of this star shine, and play. An inheritance. Of blood. And grace, which is why you. Are here. Today, and we call this, evolution. The way one idea, becomes. Seven billion, by splitting. A seed like a moment. How, a single notion that every woman ought to be the absolute, mistress, of her own body, could gather us like rain water, deliver, us here. Queer, and trans, and man and woman and none of the above but out loud love, and the certainty. That a true word spoken 100, years later, is still, true. You deserve, every option available, to you in service, towards your best life there is no light brighter. Than the blaze, of resistance. Evolution. Is the insistence. That we grow. Or die. Which is why we, are here today. Redefining. The way we see each other. With broader, vision. Carrying a great grandmother's. Mission forward, like a seed. Tucked in the pocket of humanity. We are not tasked with the awesome, calling, of making a tree we are tasked. With the noble, work, of nurturing, good soil. A place where we each might grow, and toil, toward a self-determined. Truth, where trans, women, undocumented. Youth. Little black boys playing alone in parks, each, make it home safe at night, where the light of mourning, kisses, them awake, the work of evolution. Is not to figure out what the next 100, years will make the work of evolution. Is to plant, the seed. That from this precipice, of history. We cannot, see. Or know. But, nevertheless. We'll grow. Until you are the furthest, point. On a map. That looks a hundred years back. To an audience, that looks exactly. And nothing, like, you. Or, us, but nevertheless. I trust, will say. They. Are why i. Am here today. And we will call this. Evolution. Thank. You. My god. If you did not just set, the atmosphere. Sonia renee taylor i just have to give that, a hand clapper phrase, because, that is so powerful, you said, redefining. The way that we see each other. My goodness. My goodness thank you for that gift, thank you so much i want to know from all of you out there right now that are, here and are, are are ready to make the change let us know in the comments.
What Hit you because that shot through my spirit, like. Like truth. You know and i think that's why we're all here right now you know i know that's why we're here right now so thank you, so much for that sonia that was. Beautiful. Thank you thank you thank you, um so i, have the distinct, honor, and privilege, to, introduce. One of the most. Influential, women, that i know in my life it is the reason that we are assembled, here together, tonight because of bravery. Because of courage. But because, of. The vision. To be able to say hey. Instead of talking about it what if we, reimagine. Possibilities. As small business owners what if we reimagine, how we talk how we speak how we act. So i am so, so honored to introduce, rachel rogers, to you all rachel rogers, is. A black woman, a mother of four and a seven figure business, owner, in that order, rachel started her career, on the hill with non-profits. Federal, judges, and hillary, clinton. When she realized, that changing the world is easier, when you have some cash, in your bank account. She decided, to build a million dollar business, and then teach, other women, how to do the same, my god. Rachel, is the creator, of the hevelo7. Podcast. The founder of we should all be millionaires. The club, and the million million-dollar. Badass, mastermind. Her forthcoming, book we should all be millionaires. From harper's, leadership, is due to publish, in spring, of 2021. Every week her no-nonsense. Business and life advice, gets delivered to over 30 000 fans, and her visionary, guidance for female entrepreneurs. Has been featured, in times. Forbes. Entrepreneur. Fast company, and the washington, post. Please welcome. Rachel. Thank you. Oh my god. Who gave me that fire. Um. That you decided, to be a part of what we're doing right now. Um. Can. You can't hear. Me. I muted. I don't know what's happening. My audio's no good. Okay, y'all can hear me now should i i can't hear you robert. Can you hear me now, yes you are okay, so what i want you to say was we couldn't hear you. You're me so what i'm gonna do is i'm gonna do that all over again right. So please welcome, to the stage. Rachel. Rogers. Hello, everyone. Welcome. To our imperfect, action, which is exactly, what we're going to ask you to take as well. Um i want to thank you for being here, for choosing. To, be change makers. And, for choosing. To. Wake up, right, and, take action. Uh you may know me because. I had a video. Be shared a lot, recently. Of me, calling. People out. Um, various, people, uh because that's not all i do but it is an important part. Of. What was happening, over the last couple of weeks. Because, it's like on the process, right. The goal of calling out is to make the powers that be uncomfortable. So that they will take action, and that is what we're doing when we're protesting, in the street, and that is what we're doing when we're calling people out online, as well. And i don't want to just call people out though, i want to call them in, and that's exactly, what we're doing here today, the goal here today is to call you in. My biggest, fear. As things were unfolding. Over the last couple of weeks. Would be that this would just be a moment in time. That it would just be. Social media, posts, and it would be, marches in the street. And then it would be forgotten. And we'd go back to business as usual. For me that is completely, unacceptable. We can never ever, go back to business as usual. And so i wanted to, figure out a way that i could make, lasting, change. Not just calling people out because i can't call everyone, out and, i can't just rage on social media every day right i got. Kids to take care of in a business, to run. Um. So i needed a more effective. Way. Right a more effective, way to create change, in the world. And so. Welcome, to the imperfect, action that i am taking today. Uh. This is my way. Of, asking, our small business community, to take sustained. Affection. Effective, action, over time. Uh i'm not an expert on racial justice, or anti-racism. And. You know i have lived experience. But i do not have the amount of experience, of the person i'm going to introduce, next. But i'm taking in perfect, action, i'm putting myself, out there i'm taking a risk and that is exactly, what i want you guys to do, as well. And that is exactly why i'm going to invite you, later.
During This. Live stream, to. Take a pledge. And to commit. To taking action, and to take it very seriously. And to commit not just to me but commit to yourself. Commit to your community, commit to your clients commit to your employees. That is what i'm asking you guys to do. I saw something on twitter recently. That was shared, by, martin luther king jr's, daughter. And. She said, you know we often, say, i'm paraphrasing, but she said something like. We often, say i wish somebody would come take care of this problem. And she said you are somebody. And i am somebody. Right and so, we have to take care of this problem, we can't see it as somebody else's problem. We have to decide, that it is our problem. And we have to commit to actually, solving, it to taking, action, and taking action that doesn't just. Make us look good or make us feel good but taking action that actually, touches. Black people, that actually, touches, those who are intended to be impacted, right, does this provide, food for them to eat does it provide, a way for them to, sleep, better at night, right does it put money in their pocket. Take action that actually, touches, us and don't just take action. That, is. Surface, that looks good and sounds good. But doesn't actually have any kind of effect. Right that's what we call impotent. And, that is not, going to serve us, at this time. So. Why are we talking about small businesses. Um, specifically. Because. As entrepreneurs, we're visionaries. We're creative, problem solvers. And so we need to use our vision, and our creative, problem solving, to solve this problem. We are also. The people who hire 47. Percent, of the workforce. 47. Of the american, workforce. Works at small businesses. And so what that means is we have the ability. With our influence, and our resources, to affect a lot of change. So, let's commit, to doing that let's take action. What i want from you guys is to, be as outraged. By the injustice, that my people, endure, as i am. I want you, to be my ally or better yet my co-conspirator. In this fight that is what i'm asking you to do. So. Let's talk about the goals of this gathering tonight. Uh my goals. And when i shared this with the person i'm going to introduce, next she said it has to have a point otherwise i don't want nothing to do with it. And i was like. You're totally, right, it does have to have a point and i want to have clear goals and so, the goals of this gathering, are to come together, in solidarity. And publicly, commit, to using our power and influences. As small business owners, to actively, make progress, in the fight for racial justice, and equality.
To Share a plan of action. That every small business owner can take, large or small. We have solopreneurs. Here with us tonight, and we have multi-million. Dollar. Software, companies. Right and and we have a plan of action that every single one of you can take. To ask you guys, to take a pledge, to build an anti-racist. Organization. And, to have you share that pledge with your audiences. With your communities. And to create lasting. Change, in the small business, community, and to lead the way, on how all businesses, can become anti-racist. Organizations. And i truly believe, that, not only is this. Good for society. Not only, will you feel, as an entrepreneur, like you are doing more in the world. But it's also good for your bottom line the reality, is we cannot go back to business as usual if you haven't noticed. Your customers, will not stand for it i will not stand for it, we will hold you accountable. You will be held accountable. So, you have to take this action, right. Let go or be dragged i believe is one of the sayings, so that's what we're going to do here tonight. I want to introduce. The person the first person i asked, to join me in this when i thought of this idea of doing this town hall. It's erica hines, and she is my friend, she's my neighbor, she lives, in north carolina, here with me. And she is the principal, of every, level, leadership. She's a consultant. An advisor. A strategist. And a senior trainer who works with organizations, to align their commitment to inclusion, and equity, with their everyday, actions, and operations. She has worked with government, agencies. Non-profits. And foundations, across the country to help their staff, and stakeholders. Learn how to work in more inclusive, cultures. To date she has trained over 3 000 individuals, in skills that will help them be, more inclusive. Equitable. And skilled, leaders for their teams and organizations. She has also served as a lead researcher, and contributing. Author to the national publication. Awake, to woke to work, building a race equity culture, published in 2018. By equity in the center. She holds a juris doctor from the university, of georgia school of law and a ba.
In Political, science. From, wright state university. So, i would like to introduce, you to my friend, and co-conspirator. Erica hines. Thank you. Thank you rachel. Uh, yes, so. My name is erica hines, and. All of those things. That rachel said are true, and, this is the work that i do. Every day, with, organizations. Um across the country, i work in both the public, sector, the private sector. Um. Really, around. Helping. Organizations. And companies. Create, inclusive, and equitable, cultures. So when rachel, said, do you want to do this yes i did say, it should have a point and if it doesn't, i'm not interested. Um. So i want to start, out by giving, people, who are thinking, about, how do you really. I use the word embed, this into the dna, of your operations. How you run as an organization. I want to give you. Um. A framework. That you can start to think about this. And, i want to start this out by, having, everyone, truly, understand. This idea. Of. The, the idea of do, no, harm. And. In addition to being actively, anti-racist. As you are. Growing, your organization. Into becoming more anti-racist. What we really, don't want you to do, is to be harmful. In that trajectory. So, as you're trying to align your deepening, commitment, that i see happening, on social media i'm on social media. I see companies. I see emails. We've all gotten the emails we've all seen the company, saying we are in solidarity. With black, lives. We, care, about black individuals, we care about racial justice. People like me. To be very honest are cynically, saying so now what. So here's a way to start thinking, about, what's a clear, framework, that you can use. That would be useful on both a professional, and a personal. Level. That can help you organize, your efforts. So that you can positively. Contribute. To being. More racially, equitable. And helping to address the racial inequities. That are occurring. In society. But let's draw that back, in your sector, and let's draw that back a little. Closer to us. In, your. Company. And let's draw that back even further, in your community. And let's draw that back even further, into your friend circle. And. I teach this framework, all the time it is not my framework. This is a framework developed by barbara j love who, is an organizational. Development, consultant, who talks about liberation. And it's called the liberatory, consciousness, framework so i'm going to spend my time walking you through this framework. And as i'm going through this framework. I want you to think. Where am i now. And where do i need to be going, actually i'm going to tell you where you need to be going, but as i'm talking about this i want you to think about where are you now. So a little bit about the liberatory, consciousness, framework. Is that, this framework, serves as a daily reminder. Of how, we can be. Developing. And really, embedding in ourselves, and in our organization. A way to be more equitable, and just and liberatory. It shows, that seeking, equity, and liberation. Is not mysterious. It's not difficult. It's not static. It's not something that's fixed. That we are continually. Engaging, in it. And that is only available, to some of this people like me who do this work all the time no it's available, to all of us. And, it also happens to be alliterative, so it has four a's. And those four a's, are awareness.
Analysis. Action. And accountability. Slash, allyship. And so i'm gonna spend time walking, through those and i'm gonna tell you. As i'm walking through them. Where i see. People and organizations. Either stalling, out. Or tripping, up. So the first one, that i talked about. Was awareness. And awareness. And to quote the work of dr love. Means that we are giving up the numbness. And the dullness, that we have been lulled into our entire. Lives. It's when we notice in society. And in others that something or someone is harmful, or unfair, or unjust, it's when we start pointing out. And letting everyone, know. That this world is unfair, and unjust. And it's when we're figuring, out why we care about it. And answering, how does this relate, to us. So let me tell you you know because we've all been on social media. Let me tell you what this looks like on social media on social media this looks like. Everyone. Putting up. Every single news story, that is coming down the pike. About. Over policing. Police brutality. Racism. Um. Defunding, the police, etc, etc etc. It is that, those thousands, of articles that we are seeing in our timelines. I also refer to this as like the sky is falling syndrome because everybody, is putting up these articles, in quick succession, and we're being bombarded, with them thousands of times a day, and that's really important we do want to raise our awareness. But we actually can't stop at just raising, our awareness, and have, and raising each other's awareness going did you see this, you know, we know about george floyd, we know about brianna, taylor. Uh. We knew about corinne gaines, we knew about ahmad aubry, we know about sandra bland. We, we can. Sort of fall into this cycle. That's only in building awareness. So i want to talk about the next step of this, consciousness, framework, which is analysis. And i want like i'm using my fingers to. Emphasize. This. The i the the need we have to build our analysis. Around. Why there continues. To be. Racial inequities. Or inequities, or oppressions of any kind in this country. Is an area. Where we. Are all sorely, lacking. What i see happening. Is you know i said it's awareness. Analysis. Action accountability. I will tell you, that people, and companies. Jump from awareness. To action. And i call it throwing spaghetti, on the wall. And seeing what sticks. That's not helpful. What is helpful is developing your analysis, so that you know where your sphere of influence, is, so that you know where you can be the most impactful. So i want to tell you what analysis. Means in this framework, analysis, means that we begin to educate ourselves. Further. To identify, the why of what is happening. We, start to hypothesize. What we can do about it, and what are all, of the different. Factors, that are going into perpetuating. This continuing. Inequity. What are all the factors, that we continue, to, have. Structural. Racism. And in analysis. We're also developing, a certain amount of literacy. Around the idea. Not around the ideas around certain terms. And so, um i could go into full educator mode i'm not because i don't have enough time but what i do want to call out. Are three terms that i hear a lot, that if i can give you any homework i'm going to give you the homework to go and find out the definitions. For. They are. Structural. Racism. Anti-blackness. And white supremacy. We are using these words currently they are in, the, popular, culture. And there is nothing. That is more irritating, than having people using them and not knowing what they mean. And also. Not dedicating. Their interventions. To, where they need to be dedicated, structural, racism. Is and i just want to talk about that one a little bit in particular. Is actually when a series. Of institutions. A whole bunch of whole bunch of institutions. Are. Working. Together. Maybe they don't know that they're working together, but they're working, together. To create. A bad, effect. It is cumulative. And it is compound. Effects, on people of color. Just, that example, of what structural, racism, to me. Starts to show. That when we're talking about structural, racism, and we start to think about like who are all the, organizations. Or systems that are involved. It gives us more entryways, into how we can help be a part of the solution. Okay. So i want to move into action, action is the third sort of part of this. An action, is. Asking, us to figure out what's our personal, and our professional.
Role. And how can we commit. To the fight of systems of oppression. This whole town hall was really built on what actions can you take, now i'm going to emphasize. As a part of that that you deepen your analysis. But what actions can you take. And i will also want to say something about the actions, not every action needs to be direct. That the role that you can take, can be indirect. It can it can be in the role of supporter, it can be invisible. I like to tell people to donate, subversively. And you start to figure out in the action, phase. You know, what resources. Do you have. To commit, emotional, financial, political. Time. Where do you have spheres, of influence. Where your voice is valued. That you can start to speak out but also that you can bring, additional, voices to the table to be heard. And valued, and taken into account as decisions. Are made. Okay. And the last. Part of the framework, that i want to talk to you about is accountability. And. Allyship. I, want to talk about the idea of ally versus, allyship. Allying, is a verb. Let me say that again, allying. Is a verb, we do not get to designate, ourselves, as. Allies. When we do that. We, are placing. All of the, sort of uh. The focus, on ourselves, that is not ally. We want to be in solidarity. With. Groups that we are trying to help. So, we need to think about ourselves. As being in an active, role, of solidarity. With groups, and asking, them. What do you need from me. How can i be helpful to you. What can i do, that will help your efforts. Not rolling in and saying i have 19 ideas of what i can do. Pick one. Asking. And then placing, yourselves, and using. Your. Resources. And, spheres of influence, to bear. To help, them. You take a back seat. Because ultimately, when we think about, accountability. Where accountability. Is, not to yourself. It's to. The groups it's to humanity. And who. How we're trying to advance humanity, and we are at, this, very. Exciting. Period, of time that is scary. But it's also exciting, where we can have impact. But let's do it from a space, of being. Actively, anti-racist. And really, committing. To doing. No, harm. Thanks. Whoa. Thank you. Eric hans. That is so powerful. Thank you. So much for that i i'm sitting over here i'm like, taking my notes and i'm like. Yes, people are going, off in the comments, you all are incredible. Thank you. So, erica thank you so much for that that was fantastic. And one of our friends in the comments, chris just said hey this is amazing. There are 3, 000 of us joined together, around the world right now. Seeing, how we can do something, different, right, how we can bring these voices, to the table. And so. Our task right now is to get six thousand. So what i need you to do, is you have a co-worker. You have a friend you have a cousin you have a nephew, you have someone. That currently, has a seat at the table, and they need to be here with us live right now so i want you to get your smartphone, out and i want you to text them hello, seven, dot, co. Forward, slash, town hall. Again that's hello, seven. Dot co. Forward slash, town hall and i want you to say hey, come join me, right, let's all be at this table together because this is some powerful, and very revolutionary. Stuff and if we take the action. My goodness, erica, truly truly thank you so much for that, um the next person that we, want to and i'm not playing with y'all get your phone out and text your friend, okay. Hello, seven dot co forward slash town hall let's do this i'm serious we're about a revolution. We're about, change, okay. All right so our next friend that we have joining us tonight, is susan hyatt. Susan, is an author and master, certified, life and business, coach, her number one passion, is helping women get more of whatever, they crave. More energy. More confidence. More money, or more free time to relax, with the people, that they love, she is the founder of bayer which is a trademarked.
Program That helps women. Shed insecurities. Build confidence, and treat their bodies, with love and respect, leading to huge mental, and physical. Health, breakthroughs. Susan has been featured, on national, television. And, oh the oprah magazine. Cosmetopolitan. 17. And women's world, she was recently, a finalist, for the athena, award. Honoring, her work in the field of women's, empowerment. And, entrepreneurship. Please. Welcome, to, the town, hall. Susan. Hyatt. Thank you, robert. Goodness. Thank you so much for being here with us tonight. I'm honored to be here and to learn. Oh my gosh i love that so susan, i have a question, for you, yes. What are the fears, that you have had to overcome, to begin. This work as a white business, owner. And, what are. The benefits, that you have noticed. Well so. There are probably, thousands, of white business owners, in the audience. Who. Maybe, are feeling, a lot of fear, around. Doing it wrong. I would love to see in the comments, how many of you, maybe haven't spoken, up or haven't spoken up as much as you wanted to. Because you're just afraid you're going to say the wrong thing you're going to do it wrong. There's probably, a lot of perfectionists. In the house, and so. I have. Been interested in social justice, issues my, entire, life. But. Learning. As i have about diet culture and hustle culture and how it's related. To the patriarchy. And ultimately, white supremacy. That's really, led me to. Talking, to black women, and women of color. About their experiences. With their bodies which are very different, than, a, a white hetero, woman's, experience, with her body. And so, i had to really get over. Ego. Fear of doing it wrong, fear of saying the wrong thing. Not knowing, um, what the proper solutions, were, and being committed. To listening. Hard. Learning, as much as i can and i'm still learning. And i'm still hiring diversity. And. Inclusion, experts, to help me further my learning. So i'm certainly, not up here as an expert, in that way. But as a white business, owner. I had to get over. A lot of. Patterns. That were taught. And. I had to. Be committed. To helping. All women. And and be, an intersectional. Feminist. Um, and i am graced, with having a 19 year old daughter. Who has been pulling, me along the way since she was probably, seven years old. And so. The benefits. The benefits, of being willing to be wrong. The benefits. Of um admitting, you're wrong, the benefits. Of, being willing to face your fears. Is that. I have a much richer, life i have a much, richer. Community. Of business owners that i collaborate. With. I'm. I'm, committed. To, allyship. And to, helping. Um as many women as i can, and and, the benefits, i mean, are.
Unbelievable. For our businesses, if we're willing to get over our fear, if we're willing to face. Um, what's ingrained. In us since birth. What we can do is experience. More freedom and more peace, and more harmony. And so. I have a long way to go, and when we go through the pledge, later. I'm really excited to talk about different facets of that and what, my company is committed to doing. Um, because i'm in my business i'm all about action, and we are, everybody, who's here, is probably, a business owner and entrepreneur. This is what entrepreneurs. Do. Right. Entrepreneurs. Can, can, do all the mental gymnastics. To make more money. To solve, economic. Problems. We can absolutely. Take that same. Skill set all those super powers, and apply it to social justice. And. That's what we need to be doing, so. That is. You know, as an imperfect. Woman. Um. What my. History, has been, and. Um transforming. The coach certification. Programs, that i have. Um. My master level certification. Program. We did make it. Inclusive, and diverse. And. It was a much better training, program, and so now all of our training programs. Are going to have an anti-racist. Foundation. And. What my coaches, experienced. At that master, level training, program, like blew them away. Because, we were willing. To say. Hey we've been doing, it wrong, and we need to do a better job here and this is what we're doing. So. That is exactly. What leaders, do, and that's what i'm inviting, everybody, watching, to do. Susan that's, so powerful, and something that i love that you said, is. I'm, i'm bringing in i'm actively bringing in experts. To further my learning. Totally. There is my learning. Right, you know a lot of us are coming to the table right now saying teach me. And you just said no we know how to solve problems, right, like no. We can bring in the experts, but, we can stop pretending, to be confused. And we can use the skills that we have. To solve, these, very big world problems. Everybody. Can we just give some snaps in the comments right now, first using hyatt, come on. Oh my gosh thank you susan, thank you. Wow, wow that is a very powerful, woman thank you so much for that susan, so the next one that we want to uh bring to the town hall, is, nathan, barry. Nathan, is the founder, of convertkit. An email marketing, platform, for creators, to connect, with their fans. It's used by more than 30, 000 creators, ranging from tim ferriss. To nicole, waters, and gretchen, rubin, to tim mcgraw. Convertkit, has distributed. Has a distributed, team of 58. Wonderful, humans, in 28, cities, around the world. Last year convertkit. Was the fastest. Growing, software, company, in the united states, on the eight. Five. Thousand, so please. Welcome, to, our town hall. Nathan barry. Hey thanks for having me on. Oh my gosh thank you so much for being here truly, so. Um, nathan, i, have, a uh. P.s how you doing. I'm good. You are, honored to be here. Amazing. Um so i have a question, for you nathan. What made you take, this work seriously. And what steps have you been able to take at convertkit. Yeah that's a good question. So first i'll just say that, i'm new to this. To taking action and trying to have an impact on issues of race and diversity, and representation. So i'm learning alongside. Everyone, else. Um, and, i just want to acknowledge, that part of the reason that i'm new to it is that, that's my privilege, to not, have to have dealt with this to not have to be discriminated, against because of the color of my skin or anything else. And so. Um. You know i'm i'm late to the party but also, i'm realizing that there's a huge impact that i can have, and i'm so grateful for. Everyone who's been doing this work for such a long time. And really. My, business, started out you know, i think like so many people here i'm just trying to. Get a business going get traction, get customers, you know. Everyone talks about how many small businesses, fail and so a lot of what we're trying to do is right it's just trying to succeed. And, i think, you know maybe in the last um. Four years so probably, three years into, my journey of starting this company, i realized, like, okay. We're making it as a business. And. A business can actually be a force for good, it can actually be one of the biggest forces for good that, exists because businesses have the ability to do things in such a sustainable, way and reach so many people.
So. That's when we started, to. Really transition, how we think about. Convertkit, as a company, and our role in the world. And so. We. Set aside our mission as a company is we exist to help creators earn a living. And, we realize, that, yes there's a lot of creators right in front of us who we can help with email marketing and reach their audiences. But there's so many other things, um. That we can do and so many creators who have different opportunities, so. Really, uh, i guess a few things that i want to touch on. One. As we've put out, uh, statements, as we've taken stances, on these important issues, something that has, come up, often. Not as much as i expected but often. Is that people have said, don't put your politics, in my face. You know we we sent out an email to several hundred thousand people and we get these responses, back like i don't want to hear about your politics you're an email marketing company. And we never set out to be political. But, really easy response. Right for us is when we come back we say. This is not politics. We are not. Talking, politics, here, this is a human rights issue not a political issue, sure we're not going to get into how you should vote on some. Particular, issues or something like that, but one thing that we know for sure. Is that this is not politics. Racism. Is a human rights issue and as companies, we have, a responsibility. To step up and play our part, not just in what we say and how we spend our money, but how we recruit for our teams and everything else. So. Um. That's the first thing and that just made. All of the responses. Uh so clear right that everybody else is coming in saying oh, you know we don't want to hear from you whatever else. We could just, ignore those say hey do you need us to cancel your account because if so that's fine. Um, we're going to take a stand on human rights, issues. The next thing, is, to really work in sustainable, change, so. Building an ongoing, giving, so that's something we've done with our company, um, actually for, for three years now, where we've had ongoing, donations, to. Um, partnering with organizations, that we believe, are providing, for creators, so. The organizations, that we focused on are providing. Clean water health care and housing around the world. And more recently, we came to the. Now in hindsight, very obvious realization. That, there are issues, that creators are facing at home that are really important, and so we've added two more organizations. Uh that we donate to one is code 2040. And then the other is campaign, zero, because if you don't have equal access to. Education, you're not going to have these opportunities, in technology. And. Side note. If you, are fearing for your life from the police or from other oppressive, forces, then. You are not going to be able to earn a living as a creator, and so if we're going to live out our mission.
We Need to do it in all these other areas. Now the last thing i want to talk about is representation. And this is an area where i think we've been able to make some progress we have a long way to go. But we've been able to make progress because we've set, clear goals. So it's not just about giving money right now, or sending out our email or you know having our, um. Facebook, or instagram, post go out saying that you know we stand in solidarity. Um. There's so much more that we can do because it's about, how we operate. As a company how we all run our businesses. And so, things that are really important to us, is for example getting a diverse, range of creators, on our stages, building a diverse team. And those all take time, but that's something that we've been working towards. And. You know i feel like everyone out here is saying we need to do better not everyone in this panel but everyone, you know companies. Globally, right they're saying we need to do better. But they're not putting concrete, things to it and so if you were to, to create concrete, change in your business, like if you were to say i want to increase profits by 20, next year, you would make a spreadsheet. You would make a plan, you would track those details to that plan. And, then when you're over here on these important. Human rights issues and you're like we'll do better. There's often not a plan there so i'm gonna give you an example, of something that we track very closely. And that is, uh for the conference that we run. We want to make sure that we have, a very diverse, representation. So that all creators, can look at, that and see. Themselves, or see their future, self, uh on that stage, so we track it very carefully, so for example we have a rule. That there will always be equal or more women on stage at our conference than men because in the technology, world, that is a. A serious problem so we track it carefully. So over the last four years of our conference, we've had. 48 percent men, 52. Women. We've had, 67. White speakers, 24. Black speakers, and 9. Um, people of color speakers. And so. In tracking that we can see okay. This is exactly, where we need to do better this is where we need to, put in the work. The next thing would be an actively recruiting people that work like that look like you, right you're just trying to keep up with customer support requests, and growth and everything else and just, you know, uh. Trying to make that happen one day if you're like me you look up and go whoa. We didn't put in intentional, effort here. And the first thing is you realize that that's great, now, it is time to actually, make that change. And so for us. You know instead of just putting up job things and seeing who came in and all that we realized that in order to build a diverse team, we had to go, to new sources, for talent, and we had to, really. Get our job blessings, out in front of people who weren't in our exact communities. And one thing that we found is when we started doing that, then our applicant, pools. Dramatically. Changed. Right when we stopped posting. Um. Just on the most generic job sites, or. On, the regular remote work and tech sites, that, had one demographic, as. As visitors, and we started going to these, specific, communities, and recruiting. You know women in technology, people of color and technology. You know all of these different groups and posting, and paying to post on their job boards and get in front of their communities. Then we found that our applicant pool became, incredibly, diverse. And we were able to make. Some, incredible, hires of getting, you know really fantastic, people on the team. Who are now bringing in, not only. Uh, there are the great team members but they're bringing in incredible perspectives. I feel like i said incredible, a lot, but um, if you can't tell i'm very. Excited, about, the opportunities, here and everything else. So. I guess the last thing that i want to say as as. I wrap up, um. Is that all of this. Isn't easy like i'm not going to pretend that it's easy like just do a b and c and you'll get it done. You can't just do a book club, or make a donation. Or get your facebook post up, and then be like yep i did that check check the box and now i can move on to the next thing. Building an anti-racist. Organization. Is gonna take considerable, time and effort, and you're going to have to make an ongoing, part of what you do. But guess what. You're capable, you built a whole business. And it was an uphill battle, the whole time, right nothing about what you've done to get to where you are is easy, and nothing about where you're going forward is going to be easy either. But. We don't shy away from doing things because we're, they're hard, we're entrepreneurs, we're founders, we step up and we lean into, creating the change that needs to happen in the world, so.
Thanks For having me and, i'm excited to continue, this whole discussion. Oh robert i can't hear you. I was muted, i would totally, i was congratulating. You telling you it was incredible. And. No one heard it um, but truly, thank you so much for being here and thank you for, um, not only saying what you said but. Doing what you're doing. Um so i would love to, welcome, back, rachel. And susan. And, sonia. And, erica. Um, how y'all doing. Good. You're looking good. Just, looking good. Um, so, what we're gonna move, into, now, is. Truly. The reason that we're all here, it is, the pledge so, do me a favor and can you put in the comments, right now. It's time to pledge. I'm, going, to. Hand it over, to. Rachel rogers. And, we will all. Um, you know collectively. Chime in but, at this time i'll give it over to rachel, and i think panel for us if we're not talking let's go ahead and mute our mics. Okay, sounds good. Um. Thank you everyone. Who's spoken, so far, uh so helpful, and i was watching the comments, and seeing. Everyone, share, uh, so that was great. Now we're going to talk about, this pledge. Okay, and why a pledge. Right. Do more. Than, just. Say, that they're going to do something, or say that they're going to take action, i want you to actually, do it, and so a pledge feels a little bit more mighty, than a social media post that gets forgotten, and buried. And a pledge is very specific, and it's something that you can be held accountable, to, and i am keeping records y'all so just know that. So. What we want to do together as a panel, is walk through this, pledge, step by step. And we want to talk to you, about, why we chose, these five things. Why these things specifically. And, give you a little bit of context, and a little bit of meat around each of them. And so we'll discuss that as a panel. And, i want to share a quote from ijoma. Olua. Who, said earlier this week in the news, be wary of anything. That allows you to do something that isn't actually, felt. By people of color. Right and so we have to ask ourselves, can black people feel this effort. And so as we go through each of these things, know that, you know we chose them, as. The organizers, of this event, because. We felt that they are things that black people can feel. That your communities, can feel that your team members, and employees, can feel. And and that is why we chose them we also wanted it to be simple, we wanted it to be doable. Again whether you're a solopreneur. Or a multi-million. Dollar, corporation. We want you to be able to take action, on these five things, and i do want to be clear that these are a start, these are the beginning, of building an anti-racist. Organization. These things, are the very least, you could possibly, do right these are the beginning. Of this work. And you will find that as you continue, this work. You will uncover, layers, and discover. New things, at every. Level, right you think that there's one thing that you need to do, and you go and do it and discover that there's more, maybe you thought that all i need is to hire more black people or have more brown faces.
On My team. You know zoom calls. And then you realize, oh i can't keep them employed. Right, because i don't have a an inclusive, environment, they won't stay, right. There's also a difference between equity, and equality. Right it is not necessarily. Equal, to give. Black members of your community, who are purchasing, your program. The exact same thing, that white members are experiencing. They may need, more support. Maybe they need, uh certain types of resources. Because, of white supremacy, in our culture. So i want you to really educate yourself and that is one of our tenets and we'll get into that. But let's go through these, shall we does that sound good. Squad. Awesome, okay. So the first one that we're gonna talk about. Is. Uh naming. White, supremacy. Name white supremacy. And the impact, of racism. On both our personal, and professional. Lives. Acknowledge, the omnipresent. Existence, of white supremacy, and how it operates. And is supported. In your company. Name it in your company values, and business operations. Discuss, it with your employees. And discuss it with your business partners. Clients, and greater community. Let's talk about this, anybody, want to share. Why do you think naming white supremacy. Is important. I'll go. Um. So. I think that when naming, white supremacy. Why it's important. And i talk about. This. Is. When you think about. Any type of like leadership. Management. Let's go back to like where we learn. Theories of how to manage, and how to how to lead, and how to start a business, i want you to think about the books that you read because i know some of you are writing books have written books for major publications, i want you to think about the books that you read. And that you're reading, and i want you to think about who. Wrote them. And if you think about your bookshelf, i, i accidentally, decolonized. My bookshelf a couple years ago. Yes. I'm thinking i'm gonna write a post about that but anyways.
Because Most of them. Are white. Men and women. So the culture of whiteness, which is another thing that we could talk about. And what we're not because we don't have enough time, the culture of whiteness, is, embedded. In how we run our organizations. So we actually have to call out the fact that our structures, our policies, our practices, our procedures. The data that we collect the way that we collect it. Actually has roots in how white, men, and to a certain degree, white women have said that we should be collecting it. We can, do it differently. But we need to be aware, of. Where there are not where there are, mental, gaps. That did not take into account. The perspective. Of black, indigenous, people of color and how we can lead, how we can manage, how we can show up and tell narrative, and story and how we can communicate. And also. Just thinking about the data piece, like collecting, that data and understanding. That there are as you said rachel, different, needs. That, black indigenous, people of color may need in the programs, that you're running or the services that you're offering. That's important to know you can't offer the same, cookie. To everyone. People may need different. Cookies, and yes i use that word on purpose. I love that anyone, else who wants to share about. Why naming white supremacy. Is powerful. Um yeah i want to jump in and say, that, i think, part of i saw someone say in the comments right like it's about naming the systems, it's. Not necessarily, about individuals, and i actually want to challenge, that notion. That, the truth of the matter is that all of us. All of us in this society, have been indoctrinated. Into the system, of white supremacy. From the time you were born. It is the language. That you were learning to speak whether you knew you were learning to speak it or not, and so, the systems, i said this the other day the system is not some amorphous. Blob, of random. Dark energy, coming to get black people. The system. Is, your uncle. Who's the mortgage broker, when he gave no mortgage, to black people in 30 years. The system, is, you're all white board, and the reason that you're all white board is an all-white board is because it's never occurred, to you, to think about the lives of black people indigenous, people and people of color, and so. Naming white supremacy. Also means naming the system that is inside, of you, that you are trying to extract, from yourself. So it's not just about what we're doing outside, is we got to do both right now you got to take external. Action, and you have to take internal, action how does this system, live in me. Yes. So good. Susan you have any thoughts. I just want to add to that that i mean you, you have to name the thing, if you're going to work on it right and so, i think it and especially i've seen in the comments, people are like explain what white supremacy, is explain what i mean like, i'm working with my team. And. Um. You know, explaining. Just white privilege. How many of you, and you be honest in those comments. For the first time. Are learning what white privilege, is, right we have to name these things if we're gonna work on them because i think white people. Weep myself, included. Tend to go oh well i have a black friend, what are you talking about, you know, and, it's like no, let's, let's, break this down let's get educated. And then we can make some change but until we name it that's not possible.
Absolutely. And. On that you know i have a black friend comment. My mother is white so she has black children. And had a black husband, and she still had many many many many many blind spots. So, you think your black friend is is, you know that's all you need. Let me tell you something. Anywhere, near. Right you're gonna. Pass muster, that's not gonna help right not gonna help you. All right so, name white supremacy. That is the first, piece of this pledge. The second thing is to engage, in anti-racist. Education. For you, and your team. Nathan do you want to share thoughts on this. Yeah i mean. At the highest level. Whenever we're trying to learn something in business. We go out and we pay for resources, we pay for courses. We hire coaches. We. Uh take courses, everything, right you want to learn this thing we spend money to make that happen and then, often when it comes to these other topics, we're like oh. That doesn't directly, tie a profit. Yeah i don't know how i'm going to learn about that maybe. Maybe i'll wait for someone else to educate me i'll just sit here. And wait for someone up. And it's just like what are you doing, you didn't get to where you are in business by waiting, by, um. You know learning from those other materials like you actively went out and pursued it you paid for that training. And that's all i would say here is is go and do that, you don't hire the outside experts. Um buy the books. I made a comment earlier about it's not just a book club. And it's for you it's not just a book club but a book club is a really good place to start, with your organization, right you can do that you can read books together you can have those conversations. But just go out and start to pursue that training in the same way that you pursue, the rest of your business goals. Absolutely. Absolutely. Robert any thoughts to share. Yeah that one i'm loving this conversation. My goodness, um. You know it's so interesting, erica you said i had to decolonize. My bookshelf. You know. And. What we're all going to have to do, is take the opportunity, to see how this. Um. Translates, and permeates, into each of our own markets, and i'm thinking, of. Every, you know i'm. A black man i'm a proud gay black man right and so, a part of you then starts, then say oh we're diverse we're diverse. But then if i think of every, single, book, that i have. Given to my students, and i've taught thousands, of students over the years. It's all the authors. You know, i've i've. Assigned. One black book which is black broadway. That's, not enough. So i think for even those of us that are on the call that are black, you know indigenous, people of color, that are founders, and have positions, of leadership. There is a decolonization. And restructuring. Of our own mind and our own brainwashed, narrative, that we even have to unsubscribe. To. Because, you know another thing erica that you said is that. Our, new students, that we are going to find. They are going to need a different level of support and i did not understand, that until, last summer we. Did a, um, diversity, and inclusion, scholarship. Fund for, students to come to our summer program. And i was so excited, about it because i looked at our summer program the summer before, and it was so white and i was like. How can this be as a black business owner right, but then, as the students, before they come, to, the summer program. They have to do an eight-week, coursework, before they come right. And i kept saying to myself. We're we're giving them full scholarships. Why are they not. Doing this work, and i didn't even sit my own privilege. My own privilege, of being, a, seven-figure. Black business owner i didn't think, robert. These students. Don't have internet, at home, they don't have smartphones. They don't have a mailing address that you can send the t-shirt and the course book to you know, so i think that the education. It goes for all of us you know and. And. It, starts, now. But it goes for a lifetime. It truly, goes for a lifetime. For all of us. Absolutely. I will also share i'm sorry i didn't read the full paragraph, or engage in anti-racist. Education, for you and your team. Um what we said here is to commit money and time as nathan. Stated, to be educated, on anti-racism. On an ongoing, basis, for you and your team. This is not a one-time, thing. Anti-racism. Must be active. We recommend taking courses, reading books, and participating. In a book study, hiring black and or cross-racial.
Dei, Consultants. To come in and offer training to you and your whole team. And other educational, activities. Active, anti-racism. Learning, should happen, in your company, on a quarterly, basis. And, the reason we plug that in too is because, we often see sometimes people will do this one time, they'll go to that one workshop. Two years ago. Right. Or they'll do this once a year and i don't think it's enough. I think the action has to be a lot more, active, and the education, has to be because here's what we want to do as entrepreneurs, and i'm a quick start right so i'm the fastest, one, to want to jump in and be like what can i do let me immediately, start taking action. But there's so much to learn, there's so much to unpack. Right there's so much privilege, that you have to start digging through you're not ready to take a lot of action, yet you have to go internal, and start learning and so that's why this is towards the top of the list. Erica anything you would add. Oh, i was just, wanting to underscore, what sonya said which is like. Uh, so i want to say i want to dispel, the myth that you can just do this by learning the tips tricks and tools. I love tips tricks and tools i. I love a framework i will give you 19 frameworks, that is lovely. But. But. This, part of this is behavioral. And behavioral. Is individual. And it's organizational. So i want i like i don't i don't want us to just slide over and be like if we learn all the tips tricks and tools no no no. The internalized. Piece. The interpersonal. Piece. Is pivotal. To you being inclusive. And equitable. So i just want to underscore, that. And i want to jump in really quick and. Sector add. The uh town hall today, and in the wound sector it's not just behavioral, i'm gonna tell you all a word that you might not be ready to hear, it's spiritual. It is, a deep, internal. You have to figure out what it is in you, that is clinging. In the way that it is clinging. To that un. Explored. Aspect of white supremacy, that lives in you, all of us have to do that that is spiritual, work, that is let me go back and figure out my roots and how we got here worked. And i think that people got to be willing to do that. Absolutely. I love that, yes. Okay, so number three, is to commit to open conflict. And allow. Discomfort. Okay are y'all ready for this because i don't think you are. When conflict, arises, on your team and within your communities. Let it arise. Imagine, that, right, let it arise, don't try to hide it, delete, it or ignore it, and do not protect, hate speech. Acknowledge, the conflict. Allow space to community, members to be heard. And deal with. The underlying, issue rather than demonizing, the community member who raised the issue. These conversations, are happening regardless. So, allow them to happen in your spaces, and be a part of the conversation. Be willing to sit in the discomfort, of being called out. And take action to implement, the needs expressed by community, members. Set up community guidelines, and train your community, moderators. On how to have culturally. Responsive, communications. And handle, conflict. Online. Okay. So. My cat has a lot to say about that moses. Is speaking. Better let my mama talk because she's got some conflict. Going on all the time. Um. I, i think, that what i would love to say about this is if you have. Any sort, of community, facebook, group. Um, open forum. For, members. It's important to have guidelines. It's important. To. Um. To welcome, discussion. Not delete, threads. Um, but also, to be really specific, about what's not tolerated.
So Within, the membership, community, that i have we actually had. Something arise the uh two days ago. When, we posted. That all of the, the contest, prizes, would be donations, to black lives matter. There was a particular, member that decided, to stream, a watch party, for a really racist. Video. Um. That was, an opposing. Um. Uh, thought, about, black lives matter and so i just had zero problems. Deleting, it blocking the member and revoking, their privileges. That doesn't mean i'm not open to discussion, i'm just not open to discussing. And promoting, racist, ideals. So i think that's like a caveat, or a nuance. That we should talk about. Absolutely. Sonja. What were your thoughts i think you had something to say. I think you're muted. There were two things i was laughing because i was like of course right after i said spiritual. Susan's, cat named moses. Would me out for us so that's one. That's what. Moses, said we're gonna find the promised land, um, and then. And then the other thing that i wanted to say what, susan just bro