Black Lives Matter. We, as a company, as individuals, and as a nation, have not done our part to root out systemic racial injustice, police brutality and white supremacy. If we had, then the events of the last week would not be taking place and this statement would not be necessary. We must drastically increase our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and, to that end, Encore is taking the following actions:
- Invest more internally, in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (timeline: immediately): Encore will continue to pursue diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce and will expand this effort to install one or more persons of color on our advisory board.
- Educate our team (timeline: early summer): Encore is not a faceless brand and the actions of our employees represent Encore on a daily basis. Encore will dedicate the resources necessary to implement team trainings and education, continue to promote employee safe spaces and the ability to voice thoughts/concerns without fear of retribution, and further promote understanding throughout our team.
- Build additional partnerships and allies (timeline: months to years): In the future, Encore will make it a priority to partner with organizations owned and/or operated by women, people of color, disadvantaged groups, etc. We must learn from others and use our financial capabilities to amplify historically disadvantaged groups.
- Business engagement (timeline: months to years): Starting now, Encore will make it a priority to partner with businesses owned by women, people of color, disadvantaged groups, etc., including organizations and individuals. Whether this is specifically tied to the work we do on a daily basis or whether it is tied to more peripheral activities such as marketing, team development, or community engagement, we must seek to understand the challenges faced by women, people of color, people of different gender expression, etc., and use our financial capabilities to assist these historically disadvantaged groups.
- Community and political engagement (timeline: immediately and ongoing): We will use our voice in our home state of Vermont and beyond to speak up for those who cannot. We will demand that local, state and federal laws and regulations be developed and implemented to protect the most vulnerable (including those issues beyond our core competencies of civil rights and social justice). Encore will be donating to the Color of Change, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of Black Journalists, Center for Diversity & the Environment, and the ACLU.
We will make space, we will listen, we will learn, and we will take action. Through these actions, Encore pledges, in the days, weeks and years ahead, to promote racial understanding and diversity within our company and the communities in which we work.