News June 5, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Where do we start. We’re shocked, angry, and quite frankly deeply sad about the racism and brutality against Black people across the world and here in Canada.  

We stopped posting on social media this week. Nothing we had planned needed to be posted. It just wasn’t that important. There was no reason for a creative agency to post a single thing. We also didn’t join in the #BlackOutTuesday wave that took over social media. Again, as we surveyed the landscape on Tuesday, many were misusing the hashtags and ended up getting in the way of actual information that matters. Others posted without any tangible next steps or action. And many more still tried to sweep under the carpet Canada’s similar treatment or actions here. 

It’s hard to summarize in a social post, or even in a longer article, how to even handle these issues as an agency – or any company for that matter. But there are things we are not unsure about and will not be muted or silent about. 

After all this we are left heartbroken. Mad that we witnessed how all of this plays out like it’s on repeat. The deaths of George Floyd and countless others is unacceptable. Black Lives Matter. What’s hard to get about that? Police acting brutally is unacceptable. Police treating anyone differently based on the colour of their skin is unacceptable. Institutionalizing that evil and not holding individuals accountable is not acceptable. And protestors peacefully trying to change all this should be given the space to do so. While as business owners, we don’t condone the destruction of businesses, we can certainly have empathy of the rage that brings it about. There is just so much more to do than smashing and burning businesses to allow us to all make good on the opportunity that this moment has presented to us. 

What’s been helpful in a week where we are not worried about posting on social media, is that we can really think about how we have tolerated black families living in fear right in our own backyards for so long. It didn’t start this week and it isn’t just happening in America. It’s ignorant to believe that Canada doesn’t have these same deep rooted issues. We do. And it is completely unacceptable. It’s not just unacceptable on a Tuesday or on social media. It’s wrong every single day. 

It’s clear that we all have a lot to do in the interest of making change. We’ve tried our best at Pound & Grain to honour and celebrate diversity and inclusion of all stripes in order to make a better company and an environment that can foster better ideas. 

But there is always more to do. 

We can listen more. 

We can learn more. 

We can have more empathy. 

And we can most certainly do more. 

Here’s a few things were doing:

  • As a company we have made donations to Black Lives Matter chapters in Vancouver & Toronto. With Covid-19 still impacting our business, we’re in no position to make a huge donation, but every contribution helps make change. We will also match any team member’s donations up to $100 to their preferred allied charity of choice.   
  • We are actively re-looking at our own code of conduct to ensure that we have even more content and support around diversity and inclusion to continue to help us create the best environment we can for all our staff, our clients, and together create the right impact for our end product. 
  • We built out a great set of resources that we have found helpful this week and are going to share with our team and our community using our regular weekly content series The Weekly Wins. We called this, The Weekly Resources. 

We are excited to see how our team and company can strive to be better. At Pound & Grain make no mistake about it, we believe Black Lives Matter.

These words are by Jackson Murphy

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