Net Impact Celebrates Black History Month with a Recommitment to Amplify BIPOC Voices and Advocating Change | Net Impact

Net Impact Celebrates Black History Month with a Recommitment to Amplify BIPOC Voices and Advocating Change

Net Impact Celebrates Black History Month

This February, as the US enters Black History Month, we reflect on the achievements of Black Americans who have labored tirelessly to ensure our democracy works for all. This past year has been a crucible for that democracy. We celebrated the inauguration of the United States’ first black female Vice President in Kamala Harris and saw record voter engagement in both the presidential election and the Georgia senate race, an effort led by black women who have long known that the full promise of democracy cannot be achieved if it is only accessible to the selected few. And while we celebrate these triumphs, at the same time we reckon with the ongoing effects of a pandemic that has isolated us all but has particularly devastated communities of color. Further, we watched in horror as a mob stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to disrupt and dismantle a free and fair presidential election. The insurrectionists' treatment by elected officials, government intelligence, and police was a stark reminder for all to see, of the inequitable way power and the law treated a largely white, violent mob relative to the collective experiences of those participating in the largely peaceful protests related to Black Lives Matter this past summer and in all like encounters of the past in America. 

These events remind us that in 2021 we still live in the echoes of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described in 1968 as “two Americas.” In one America, freedom and human dignity are unalienable rights. In the other America, injustice and inequity stifle hope and access to opportunity. 

At Net Impact, we believe that in order to address these injustices we must, with urgency, continue to strive towards our aspirational objectives of being an anti-racist organization. For us, that means centering our work in advocacy for racial equity and social justice and continuing to support democracy that represents and serves all people. We believe that the unbridled and activated civic engagement of all people serves democracy, but that we must hold ourselves and our elected officials accountable. In doing so, we can rebuild trust in our communities, governing institutions, and influence positive, collaborative governance that reflects all of those it serves. 

We acknowledge the enduring culture of white supremacy and white privilege and will take actions internally, within our member network, and with our corporate and foundational funding partners to dismantle it.  Through collaboration with our Black Professional Chapter, we are committed to narrowing the gap in this discordant inequity in all ways and means we can collectively muster and are doubling down on our commitment to amplifying the voices and influence of BIPOC and lesser-heard voices. We also hope to foster more honest, accessible conversations with social impact and DE&I leaders through our Town Halls series, which will allow us to remain present and engaged in the current challenges our society faces. 

We take this moment to invite our entire community to continue to have these conversations and activate change, not just during this month of February but always. In doing so, we may continue to better understand how issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are intricately woven in all aspects of society, education, business, and the environment and how addressing these issues is crucial to making sustainable change. Only through our acknowledgment of where we come from and where we stand today can we move towards a more equitable and prosperous future.  

 

Peter Lupoff                                     Net Impact Black Professional Chapter

CEO, Net Impact



The Net Impact Black Professional Chapter invites those in the sustainability and social impact ecosystem, who identifies as a Black professional, to join the Chapter


On Friday, February 12 at 1pm EST, join us on Facebook for a LIVE special Net Impact Town Hall event: Two Americas - Building a More Democratic Future, the first event in a new digital Town Hall series where we bring social impact leaders directly to your feed to engage in honest conversations about the challenges we face in building a better democracy. This event, presented by the Net Impact Black Professional Chapter and RFK Human Rights, will be moderated by Jochebed Bogunjoko and Melynnie Rizv, founding members of the Net Impact Black Professional Chapter and feature leaders from RFK Human Rights, HeadCount, and the American Sustainable Business Council in dialogue on how to forge a democracy representative of all people.