This is part 3 of a guide about collective action in tech for organizing against racism in tech.
After you build a collective, it’s important to create a plan for how you’ll communicate your values and demands to management. We’ve put together a template demand letter to send directly to your leadership and management team. Feel free to make this your own.
Dear <COMPANY LEADERSHIP>,
<COMPANY> has made a Black Lives Matter solidarity statement, we’ve had a group meeting, and we’ve heard from leadership about the need for change. Leadership has committed to making changes but it’s not enough. It’s time <COMPANY> makes internal changes that address systemic racism with the urgency this moment calls for. We are the workers who build this platform and we demand accountability.
<Sentence or two about company values and how they are not living up to them if they continue to participate in systemic racism.>
Internal Commitments to Dismantling Systemic Racism
– Introduce pay equity by instituting transparent salary bands that elevate workers to consistent compensation levels.
– Make measurable hiring commitments at every level of the company.
– Commit to Black presence on hiring committees for every new employee.
– Commit to __% of Black leadership by 2021 and __% Black leadership roles by 2022.
– Commit to 3rd party oversight of performance reviews to check for and address racism.
– Commit to documented, consistent, and transparent approaches to addressing reports of racism in the workplace.
– Commit to paying any PoC employee for time giving feedback on D&I initiatives.
– Allow employees to work remotely so we can choose to live where we find community.
– Commit to having internal training and leadership programs that have similar diversity standards as above (with safe spaces/communities for Black and POC employees).
Product Commitments to Dismantling Systemic Racism
– No Tech for Oppression commitment that enables employees to anonymously report and upvote concerns about the impact of product decisions on society. Followed by leadership > employee transparency about how these concerns are being addressed.
– Cancel any contracts with government agencies who are complicit in state violence, including ICE, CBP, the FBI, the CIA, the military, as well as state and local law enforcement.
– Commit to monthly audit of all algorithms by the Algorithmic Justice League.
Signed <COMPANY> Workers
Sample outreach conversation
When you approach coworkers, you can use the following sample messages.
“Hey I saw this template shared on social media. I think a lot of the demands apply to us. Do folks want to talk through how we can use this?”
“Our management has already put out a statement, but I think weas workersshould get together and come up with a Black Lives Matter solidarity statement to keep our company accountable.”
There’s a Movement Behind You
This guide is a jumping off point. These are strategy templates that workers can take to utilize collective action in the workplace. But remember, each situation is unique and you should feel free to take whats useful from this guide and make it your own. If you would like guidance on your plan of action, please contact us at collectiveactionintech [at] protonmail.com or direct message us on Twitter @tech_actions. Well do our best to connect you with experienced tech industry organizers that can give you support.
There’s a movement behind you — go start talking to your coworkers, build a collective, and take action!