Listen, Understand & Act: A Conversation on Race

 

June 4, 2020

In early June, we asked our team to take some time to find their path to confront racial injustice. Two days later, we gathered together for a conversation about racism, empathy, and our initial steps in taking action. To hold ourselves accountable, we want to share with you as well.

Three special guests joined our CEO Jason Kilar and Chief Enterprise Inclusion Officer Christy Haubegger: Dr. Robin DiAngelo, best-selling author of "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," CNN Political Commentator Van Jones and CNN Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates.

And just as importantly, more than a dozen of our brave Black colleagues shared their experiences with us in an honest, impassioned way.

Like many companies, we donate to partner organizations and programs engaged in social justice work. We write checks and yet racial injustice persists. This moment teaches us that money is only a part of the solution.

So, in addition to our ongoing financial support, we are providing these organizations with access to our platforms to tell and amplify their message. To start, we’re giving dedicated on-air inventory to Color Of Change and NAACP LDF. Others will be added in the weeks to come.

We are taking an additional step to help more Black and other underrepresented creators break through by expanding our content innovation program OneFifty with an additional $500k to seed issue-focused creative ideas from communities who often go unheard.  

We’re offering free content that addresses the systemic racism that plagues society. Warner Bros. movie “Just Mercy” is available as a free digital rental in June. HBO programs “Notes from the Field” and “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas” are available on YouTube. And much more to come. 

On Saturday, June 6, our friends from Sesame Street joined us on CNN to talk to kids and families about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.

It is also important that our team knows that we share their outrage and sadness. We are creating group discussions for those employees who are impacted by racial trauma and increasing counseling resources—including remote resources, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is only the beginning—there will be more to come over the days and weeks ahead. Black lives matter every day, not just today, and we are committed to being part of the solution.