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Our Commitment to Diversity and Fighting Racism

By Travis Todd | Other

In the US, George Floyd was murdered by policemen and pitted daily against a system built with racist motives. He was not alone. Sadly his murder is not an isolated incident and racist police violence, oppression and racist murders are committed everywhere, including Germany

At Silicon Allee we have been publicly quiet so far but that doesn’t mean we’ve been silent. Our team has been having passionate debates internally about how we can create a real impact and where our place is in this problem. We wanted to formulate a meaningful message with actionable items for our community; not a black square or a hashtag.  

We unequivocally condemn the injustices and violence that the black community faces on a daily basis worldwide and we are committed to taking action to dismantle racist systems.

At Silicon Allee, we have always preached that diversity is the reason for our success. We know that Berlin’s startup scene would be nothing without the input of migrants and the welcoming policies of the Berlin and German governments. The support of new arrivals to Germany is core to our mission. But we know we can do more in amplifying marginalized voices, standing up in the fight against racism and holding our elected officials accountable. 

Firstly, below we’ve shared resources which include organizations to donate to, social justice leaders to follow, anti-racism books to read, and anti-racism resources, some of them specifically for the tech and VC community. We know it can be overwhelming. We chose to donate to the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.. We encourage you to donate to one organization as well. Just one to start. Like founding a startup, once you take that first step you likely won’t stop.  

Secondly, we are pledging to reserve up to half of the remaining spots in our Berlin Founders Fund for entrepreneurs of color or other marginalized groups. Please apply to BFF if you are a founder from a diverse background. You are welcome! Our team and our network are excited to support you.

These are small steps we are privileged enough to be able to take. We know it’s not enough and that we still have work to do. As we work to make ourselves more open and accepting, we are also asking you, our community, to keep us honest. Call us out when we are silent or fail. Thank you to those who have asked us to use our voice over the last week. Our diversity is our strength and our honesty with each other is what will connect us and drive us forward towards real reform and progress.   

Germany-Centric Anti-Racism Resources

List of anti-racism projects from Flüchtlingsrat Berlin e.V.

Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.

Seebrücke

Black Brown Berlin

4 June 2020: Berlin passes first German state anti-discrimination law

US-Centric Anti-Racism Resources

Campaign Zero: Data-backed research on the causes and solutions to end police violence in the US

Anti-racism resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020

Talent and Opportunity Fund from Andreessen Horowitz

Anti-Racist Resources

Anti-Racist Resource Guide for the Tech & VC Community by Female Founders Fund

Additional Resources

10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship by Mireille Cassandra Harper

Resources for parents and caregivers about race and racism


Thanks to our friend, Lauren Gaillard, for the following resources.

This is a growing list of restaurants, cafes, markets, and other businesses in Berlin owned by Black and Brown communities

Book Collections & Writing

Deepening Your Commitment to Racial Healing and Racial Justice

The racist roots of American policing: From slave patrols to traffic stops

Instagram Activism – Germany

@dussman.official – Read their Story Highlight entitled ‘BlackOutTuesday’. There is a wonderful list of books on race, discrimination, and books by Black authors that may provide a different perspective than what you might be used to reading.

@aminajmina – As a German politician and activist, Aminata speaks on and advocates for Anti-Racism, Women, and the Queer & Youth communities. Her posts are extremely informative, full of interviews, live streams on cross-cultural political conflicts, and infused with Story Highlights –also mentioning German Black literature and resources for non-POCs.

@bpb_de – The Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung is a governmental organization that focuses on education and democracy. Their account has more general information on political education and less so on racism, but it’s a decent adjacent account to follow.

@isdbund – der Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland – This is an account specifically aiming to discuss the nationwide, German initiative for people of color. They post quite informative resources and dedicate posts on their feed to educating all on what we can do to rid of racism. Demonstrations for various movements and international commemorative days for people of color are mentioned and advertised. Make sure to check it out.

@tupoka.o – This German author, Tupoka Ogette, of Exit Racism and activist for the Black community in Germany is wonderful to follow. Her account is much more of a personal depiction of race, racism and issues surrounding the like. She throws in nuggets of wisdom on how to combat racism.

@tesfu_tarik – Tarik Tesfu is a moderator, comedian, and human rights activist. His instagram is also quite a personal account on how he is dealing with race, gender, sexual orientation

@ffabae – Fabienne Sand, a German writer and editor who posts mostly about racial injustice. She explains what non-POCs can do and learn about such issues – see story highlights.

Instagram Activism – United States

@chimamanda_adichie – Nigerian American author, writer, activist and all around eloquent and elegant storyteller. Though this is her personal account, activism and sharing black love is what she does for a living. Follow this iconic, award-winning progressive, diverse feminist of our time to learn how to just embrace diversity.

@theblackcurriculum – This account focuses on teaching Black British history with lots of simple ways to learn about inequalities and ways to push for justice using animations, videos, and Zoom sessions with activists.

@barackobama – Barack Obama and @michelleobama have posted videos with very poignant, encouraging words on the recent matters in the US regarding the killings of black men and women at the hands of police officers.

@iamthabithabrown – Not only is she funny, but she has been coined “The Mom of America” due to her innate ability to soothingly and lovingly talk to the public about sensitive topics. As a Black American woman from the south, her perspective especially at this time is integral and informative. Take a look at her posts directed at the white community and also the POC community.