A Message from Joe Hyrkin, CEO
Like so many Americans, I’ve spent this week at a loss for how I can play a meaningful part in helping to move our country and culture forward. I am disturbed to my core by the murder of George Floyd and I applaud the peaceful protesters across the country who are shining a brilliant light on our need to acknowledge and finally deal with the decades of racism and inequality that is woven into the fabric of our culture. At Issuu, we stand with those who are striving for a real change, focusing on the humanity in us all and giving voice to the despair and fear that so many feel. We stand with those against racism, injustice, and inequality.
There is a lot of hurt in the world today. While many of us were just hoping to get back to our workplace and our pre-COVID, “normal” lives, the killing of George Floyd reminds us that we need our collective focus to be on something bigger than getting back to normalcy. It’s a wake up call, that for many, normal has been about living with racism. It’s time to do more than we ever have. Let’s not make this one of those moments in time where we look back and remember the George Floyd protests. Rather, let’s expand this movement to create a new normal which is about the hard work of making the changes we need to put in place to be able to embrace each other and to look for and see the value in each other.
It’s time to listen. It’s time to support both those we know that have suffered from inequality and those we’ve never met. It’s not enough to just be horrified and disturbed. This has to be a turning point where together we look beyond our politics, class, and race and, step by step, move toward embracing our similarities and our humanness. We need this to be the commitment of our lifetime, rather than just a week or two where people protested, tweeted and blogged. This has to be a sustained movement that creates the new normal built on a foundation of seeing and appreciating each other’s value.
I’ll start with a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration and protecting the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in American society. At Issuu, I’ve created a matching grant to encourage our employees to also give. We’ll continue to share the great content on Issuu that celebrates diversity, challenges our thinking, and offers insights into ways to support this movement and create real change. I know this is only a step, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not sure how to really make the difference I want to make, but I’m committed to learn more and share what I’m learning along the way. It’s time, America. Dignity calls.