A Statement From Ripple Effect President and CEO Amy Bielski
I have felt a deep sadness over the past few weeks. Right now, America seems defined by tragic violence, countless racial injustices deepened by systemic inequalities and power discrepancies. I feel sad because I hope for better.
It seems easy, to say the right things in standing up to racism, prejudice, hatred and intolerance. But too often, we fail to do what’s required to rid ourselves—and our society—of these moral failures.
I do not have the lived experience of any Black American, or any person of color, who has endured racial discrimination in this country. I can’t ever know what that feels like, and that’s the plain truth. But I empathize with the frustration and outrage of feeling robbed of opportunities, held back, and denied the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness promised to every American.
Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of listening. I’ve sought to better understand the depths of pain that so many Americans, friends and strangers alike, are feeling every day. While the pain of racial discrimination—and w orse, the loss of precious life—runs deep, that pain only deepens when our institutions fail to offer sufficient redress to prevent those injustices from recurring. Our society has reckoned with gender and economic inequality for years; today, racial inequality is finally receiving the serious, long-overdue attention and reflection that it deserves.
Much of my own reflection has led me back to this big, important question: How do we learn from the past, commit to change, and move forward from here? I entered the workplace more than two decades ago with open eyes and personal missions. I was mentally committed to lifelong learning, and emotionally prepared to confront inequality when and where necessary. Today, as the founder and CEO of a growing small business, I’m even more committed to those missions as we continue to listen, learn, and evolve ourselves.
At Ripple Effect, we have worked hard to build and grow an inclusive culture that celebrates diversity as a core value. What does that mean? It means we cherish the experiences that shape every person, from education to ability, identity to philosophy. It means we embrace the full range of human differences, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability. But simply, it means we encourage our employees to be their best selves, personally and professionally. This national moment in which we find ourselves, for all its tragedies and shortcomings, offers us at Ripple Effect a chance to double down on that core value.
President and CEO, Ripple Effect