From the moment I first encountered Ethics In Tech, it was engaged in intersectional solidarity. Back in 2014, when EIT was a one-man operation, I met founder Vahid Razavi not at a tech conference but rather at a San Francisco street demonstration in support of the Palestinian people. That summer, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a brutal land, air and sea attack on Gaza that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, the majority of them innocent civilians, including nearly 500 children. I was covering the San Francisco anti-war protests and interviewed Vahid for my article. He told me about Ethics In Tech, for which I was soon writing blog posts and attending meetings.
Just a few weeks later, Michael Brown Jr, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Vahid and I hit the streets again as the Ferguson uprising — and the Black Lives Matter movement — grew. Brown’s killer was never brought to justice. But in death he fueled the greatest movement for racial justice since the Civil Rights era.
Ethics In Tech grew too, and so did our diversity. Our board, admittedly small at just four people, is composed 100 percent of people of color and women. Seven of our 10 advisory board members are also women or people of color. This isn’t something we set out to achieve; it’s just the way it happened organically. When we wrote our mission statement, we explained our commitment to civil rights and equality for all human beings. We believe in peace and justice for all.
We wonder why Silicon Valley tech companies seem to have so much trouble with diversity.
As we watch the historic protests against police killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, Maurice Gordon and too many other men, women and children to list here, we affirm that Black Lives Matter. As we watch reactionary racists respond to the uprising, we declare that All Lives do not — cannot — Matter until Black Lives Matter.
Ethics In Tech has always believed that Black Lives Matter. We have called out tech companies as well as the Trump administration and other officials whenever bigotry and discrimination rear their ugly heads. The only thing we are prejudiced against is injustice.
A different world is possible. At Ethics In Tech, we work toward a day when not just the tech industry but all of society is a space in which each and every individual is free from bigotry and discrimination and free to maximize their potential to make the world the kind of place we are proud to call our home.
(Photo Credit: Anthony Crider/Flickr Creative Commons)