For the past year, anti-Asian sentiment and violence has been increasing at an alarming rate across the globe. Most recently, the attacks have been targeting the most vulnerable – elders in the community. Asian and Pacific Islander leaders have been calling attention to the escalating cruelty and urging action from allies and brands alike. As brands start to respond, it’s important to remember that more than two-thirds of Americans believe it’s okay if a company makes a statement of support to communities of color, but they need to follow it up with action. This week, we examine the brands that are going beyond external communications to make long-lasting change in the fight against racism and Xenophobia.
- Peloton made an unwaivering statement saying it will continue its goal of becoming a “truly anti-racist company.” The statement goes beyond the messages of solidarity for the Asian and Pacific Islander community to detail how it will be turning these “beliefs into action.” The fitness brand will be starting this work with a $100,000 donation to the Asian American Federation, a nonprofit focused on supporting the pan-Asian American community “through research, policy advocacy, public awareness and nonprofit support.”
- Airbnb also released a statement that was crafted by its employee resource group, [email protected], reiterating the company’s mission to “create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” This announcement was unique because it provided an extensive list of resources on what allies can do to fight xenophobia. The company also included the email that was sent to staff by Hiroki Asai, Head of Global Marketing and Executive Sponsor for the [email protected] Employee Resource Group.
- e.l.f. Cosmetics’ chairman and CEO, Tarang Amin, was one of the only CEOs to personally release a statement of solidarity. In his statement, he outlines measures that the company is implementing immediately. These actions range from sharing Asian stories to creating employee groups and conducting unconscious bias trainings for staff.
Fighting racism requires much more than a statement. These brands showed how the business community is learning from past mistakes when addressing racial injustices to advance equity and move towards true systemic change. As Black History Month comes to a close, reports of violence against many communities are ongoing and we must continue embodying justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) in our fight against racism of any kind.