Last year we made the decision to observe Juneteenth as a paid annual holiday for our team. For this year’s holiday, our employees are free to do what they want, but we’ve asked them to take some time to further their education on black history and race relations in our country whether it’s through a conversation, a learning resource, or even self-reflection.
Over the past year, we’ve also done some serious self-evaluation on what our role is as leaders (especially black leaders) to consistently be an engine of progress and inclusivity. It can’t be a fire-off-a-social-media-post-once-a-year-and-feel-good-about-it type of thing.
As we had more internal conversations, we came to the realization that what we needed to do was lean into the NOOMA Core Values that we had already established years ago. Three of them in particular.
We’re Good, Positive People - It’s pretty simple. If you don’t check this box, you can’t work at NOOMA. Part of being a good person in our eyes is building a culture of inclusivity and coming with an empathetic mindframe. Bringing this attitude every single day is the consistent drip that turns into a tidal wave. We view it as the table stakes for not only a healthy workplace, but also the progress we’re looking for. It's a kindergarten type of lesson but it’s undoubtedly powerful, important, and true.
We’re Productively Honest - That means all the conversations we have come from a place of good intent and in an effort to make things better, no matter the conversation or if we agree or not. Whether it’s at the workplace or not, approaching conversations this way leads to seeing a different perspective from another’s shoes and not immediately viewing it as an attack. It’s not about agreeing on everything - you shouldn’t agree on everything - it’s about understanding someone else’s underlying motivations for the viewpoint and then working together from there.
We Star in our Role. Over the course of the past year we’ve had many discussions about our role as black leaders of a company. We know that NOOMA wasn’t founded necessarily to be a tool for social justice but we realized that what we do and say on this front can make a real difference. So for us to fully star in our role, we feel we need to embrace this. We’re committed to not just being a good example and recognizing the potential, but being a proactive voice of inclusivity and equality, especially in the health and wellness space that is severely underrepresented on so many fronts.
We’re not here to tell anyone what they should do or how they should feel. This is simply what we think makes the most impact, how we want to run our business, and ultimately how we want to live our lives to proactively be a part of the progress.Jarred + Brandon