A Message From Our CEO

Like so many of you, I am outraged and distressed by a steady stream of news involving the needless deaths of Black Americans.

Written by
Justin Benson
Publication Date
June 8, 2020
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Update (June 25 2020): We’re proud to share that Spreedly has now donated $20,000 split evenly between the NAACP and the ACLU. We’ve also updated our company holidays to ensure recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth.

Like so many of you, I am outraged and distressed by a steady stream of news involving the needless deaths of Black Americans. These events for me sit at the top of an iceberg that has its roots in slavery and then institutionalized discrimination.

The common thread we all have is wanting to know the system around us is just and fair. The reality for Black Americans is that the system is not just and fair.

Black Americans need to know we have their back. That we see them and feel them and empathize with their pain.  We need to avoid a dialogue that sounds like "sure but..." and instead acknowledge that discrimination is real, and actively drive change.

The next step is to continue the journey forward. We can and will help through our efforts at civil, religious, and workplace institutions. Progress is too slow, and we have far to go. We are committed to active change and a sustained effort forward.  

For Spreedly, our mission statement is "the world is better off with an inclusive, diverse payment ecosystem," and that includes diversity within our four walls. I felt that way before recent events, and I am unchanged based on current events. Starting with my team, I'm a better problem solver than ever by working with a team that has unique perspectives on challenges and that I lean on for help with complex problems. That's never been truer than today.

Actions speak louder than words. I’ve asked for the Spreedly team to help me lead by example. Here’s what we plan to do:

  • Spreedly will be focusing our charitable donations towards Black progressive groups and anti-racism initiatives starting with support for we are located here in Durham, NC
  • We will also focus on efforts internally to further conversations centered around diversity, inclusion, and racial equity
  • Actively listen to our community as we progress forward

A team member pointed me to Kareem Abdul-Jabar's words:

“Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.”

All of us can shine light and stay vigilant.

Justin Benson
CEO, Spreedly

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