Taking Action Against Racism and Injustice, the Nitro Way

[Editors Note: The text below is an email sent from our CEO and Founder, Sam Chandler, to all Nitronauts this week. We are sharing it here to call attention to the broader impact of this issue and also what Nitro is doing to help our team to take action and support our local communities.]

Dear Nitronauts,

The events of the past week – the senseless killing of George Floyd, police firing upon peaceful and lawful protests, a President who seems determined to fan the flames of division and discord when what we need most right now is leadership that unites – have left me horrified and heartbroken. These tragedies follow the needless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor earlier this year, and sadly, many other people of color before them.

To all those hurting right now, especially our Black Nitronauts, know that your Nitro family stands with you, we are here for you, and we will always support your right to be seen and heard.

I certainly won’t pretend to fully understand or even begin to imagine what you’re going through, including the fear and injustice you face on a daily basis. However, as a leader of a company that has always embraced and celebrated individuality and diversity, we stand together in solidarity with you and the Black community to condemn hatred, racism, and oppression. But just as importantly, I want to solidify our commitment as a company and a team to being better, to listening, to continuing to educate ourselves, to facilitating the often uncomfortable conversations, to holding each other accountable to the standards we expect of one another, and ultimately, to taking action toward making progress and driving meaningful change.

I am proud and honored to see our Nitronauts live our Be Good value, each and every day, fostering an environment of empathy and support, especially during incredibly turbulent times like these, but I know we can and must do better. Change often starts small, in our own communities and work environments, and we must all be part of the solution.

Accordingly, while long-term action is needed, we plan to take the following steps immediately:

  1. Nitro is donating $10,000 to Black Lives Matter and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and will also double our Nitro Gives matching (2:1) for all relevant Nitronaut donations up to $50,000.
  2. We are committed to listening and learning, and being better as a team. With that said, we’ll be offering ongoing access to resources to help with that, including Diversity & Inclusion training, Town Halls for open discussion and feedback, web resources, books, podcasts, etc. We will be following up with a more extensive initial list of resources for the team and I also encourage you all to share anything you feel will help further this cause and our objectives.
  3. While we have always had diversity goals as part of our Talent effort, we need to do better. Today, we are committing to playing a more proactive role in ensuring we have increased diversity, not just in the hires we make at all levels, but in how and where we proactively source candidates, particularly within the Black community.
  4. Finally, we are shuttering Nitro this Friday (June 5) across all regions so that our team can take a mental break from work. The events of the past few weeks (on top of a global pandemic!) are taking their toll, so please use the time to look after yourself, donate, volunteer, sign petitions, listen and learn, meet up with some fellow Nitronauts (in a socially distanced way of course) to discuss and determine how we as an organization want to respond in these remarkable times and to build a better, more equal and just future. We want and need to hear from you.

I recognize this is only the start of an ongoing dialogue, and there is so much more to do. As a company, and as individuals, we can and must play a leadership role. And at times like these, leadership matters. So, let’s keep an open discourse, commit and follow through with action, and be sure to take care of each other. We are wide open to any feedback and ideas, so please share all additional suggestions or recommendations, and reach out directly if you’d like to connect 1:1.

Stay safe and be well,

Sam