By: Tabitha Mason-Elliott – Partner at BARK BARK

I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmingly tired of talking about race in America. I don’t want to reiterate how much rage and fear can co-exist as a part of the black experience. I don’t need to recount the brutality and violence black people face in America with an empty message of ‘standing with you.’ I am you and I want more than words. Words are not a balm for centuries of wounds. Despite my fatigue, I have a responsibility. As a black woman in America who also leads a production company, I understand that I have to address these things with my two partners, our staff, and our clients.

First – I wanted to be clear with my partners. We would not be posting meaningless social messages to virtue signal to other progressive white people that we were not a part of the problem. Black people have had enough of that, and we don’t believe you. We have to do more. We need a real commitment to action. I also wanted to be clear, this is not my or our black employees’ work to do. This work will need to start at the top with an example set by us as the leaders in this arena and placed upon our staff in the way it needs to be placed upon our country.

Second – I needed to talk with our black employees, directly, about what we face and lend support to stave off what can often be a sense of utter despair at a system that seems unchanging. I wanted each of them to know there is a safe place to talk about their fears and that I understand the need to take time for emotional wellness. This is a lot to process and work through and they should know, I will have their backs if today or another, they needed a break.

Third – I wanted to address our entire staff with a step one. All three partners of this company understand that there is REAL WORK to do. We are committing to that and want every single person at BARK BARK to join us in our plan. The work that lies ahead of us will be deeply uncomfortable and challenging because the problem is deeply complex and pervasive. Going forward, it’s not enough to rely on your black friend or partner to comfort yourself that you are not a part of the problem. The goal here is to deeply understand, and I warn you, it will not feel good. That’s okay. Discomfort is a prerequisite for growth.

With those things out of the way, here’s how we’re committing to taking action in the coming days, months, and years ahead:

  • We’ll be providing reading materials to our staff to educate and foster company-wide discussions on the history and current landscape surrounding racism in America.
  • We’ll be donating money to the Equal Justice Initiative to help fight racial injustice and mass incarceration.
  • We’ll be doubling down on advocacy and equality within our own organization and demanding it for our wider industry.
  • We’ll be offering our services to help relevant organizations spread their mission and create change.


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