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As you know from our co-founder, Nicolas Dessaigne, in his blog post a couple of weeks ago, he recently handed the reins over to me to succeed him as CEO of Algolia. Almost 3 weeks into the job, it has been filled with many highs but also such sadness as a result of the recent world events, which have been terrible and deeply upsetting. The recent senseless death of George Floyd, at the hands of those who have a sworn responsibility to protect all of us, leaves me very frustrated. Racism and discrimination of any form cannot be accepted, nor can any act of senseless violence.

The recent tragedies and subsequent civil unrest come at an already stressful time with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is broadening societal gaps in many respects. This is why I personally believe we need to “be the change we want to see in the world” — giving voice to the unheard, visibility to the unseen and compassion to all. When I look at Algolia’s core values, equality is built into how we express humility, how we believe each team member is as important as the other and how caring is about helping one another succeed.

So let’s talk about what happened last week. We can’t turn away and think it will all just go away if we go back to our daily lives. We have to continue to move forward and make progress — but we can only do that by actively continuing to listen, to have a conversation, and to continue caring. We stand within a broader community, and we believe it’s up to all of us to work together to create a future where we end discrimination and bigotry. We must do better through justice, empathy, and compassion.

On Tuesday, we had an extended All Hands meeting, where we shared immediate steps we are taking. And as always at Algolia, candor and care poured out as employees came forward with suggestions on helping one another, and stepping up to the plate as a team. Here’s what we are doing today.

For our team members, we want to be there in as many ways as we can:

  • We are checking in on our employees to see how they are doing, listening to their stories and suggestions, and offering free counseling resources.
  • We will be hosting a listening circle where employees can share their experiences with one another to increase empathy and provide a deeper understanding of issues that minorities face every day.
  • We will be bringing in speakers to talk about racial injustice and provide ways in which we can each help one another in the workplace and in our communities.

For our local, national and global communities, we are taking immediate actions, as well as developing new ways for Algolia and its team to be a force for change:

  • We are teaming up with other companies to urge members of Congress to support a May 29th, 2020 resolution condemning police brutality, racial profiling, and the excessive use of force.
  • We will contribute to organizations that are working to help change our country.
  • We are encouraging team members to leverage our charitable matching program to double their own impact when they help their preferred organizations to create change.

As we take these humble steps, we commit to doing better and doing more. The systemic racism and brutality towards people of color can’t be ignored, and are long overdue for change. We join in as the world says: enough.

Take care,

Bernadette

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