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BLM and Your Brand

Not that long ago, Nike’s move to feature Colin Kaepernick in its campaign was seen as controversial. Kaepernick’s kneeled during the National Anthem in protest of the treatment and oppression of black people and people of color in the United States.

racism 5273779 640Kaepernick's protest drew attention to the issue, got others to kneel, and attracted the ire of President Trump, who criticized the players protesting and the league for not clamping down on the kneeling quickly enough. Now, many firms across the world are not hesitating when it comes to voicing support for Black Lives Matter.

Unlike when Kaepernick first started his protest, for many the question isn’t whether or not to voice support—the question is whether that’s enough. Many firms are taking action to:

  • Push for civil rights and policing reforms
  • Support black-owned businesses and initiatives
  • Address systemic racism and inequality

Bombas, for its part, announced it will be donating $250,000 in the form of five $50,000 donations to five organizations “working every day to combat the root causes of systemic inequality.” Two of those organizations are A Second Foundation and Sister’s Circle.

Postmates, the restaurant delivery service, said it is making it easier to find black-owned restaurants and businesses on its app. All visitors need to do it type in “black-owned” into its search bar, according to a recent article from Uproxx.

The company is part of a growing list of companies to come out in support of the Black Lives Matters movement and the nationwide protests in response to the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—and a long list of others before them. “We stand with those that need their voices heard and demands met. We’re committed to using our platform to effectively drive change, and change starts at home,” reads a statement from Postmates. The company has also taken a number of other steps to support black-owned business and to push for police reform.

A recent article from Campaign offered “five steps brands can take to genuinely show that black lives matter.”

  • The first step is “put your money where your mouth is.” Back up your words with action now—and in the future. For example, if you support peaceful protests, donate to bail funds for people fighting oppression. Or start your own grant to support education programs or black-owned business.
  • If money is tight, donate your time, efforts or space to include black voices and help influence positive change.
  • Third, look within your own company before speaking out. If your company may appear hypocritical with a statement about race, take steps to improve your workplace and then lead by example. This approach should extend to outside influencers and brand ambassadors, as well.
  • The article recommends firms examine their supply chain, look for opportunities to involve black businesses, and weed out firms that have “problematic policies or do not speak out on racism.”
  • Finally, the article recommends making “a difference with your offline presence.”



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