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To My Community

To all the Black members of my community, we stand with you, always. My team and I love you, and you matter to us.

The United States is reeling with the murder of George Floyd and the consequent boiling point that has been reached in America – and beyond – over race issues, the oppression, the violence towards Black people, which of course is nothing new, has been going on for a very, very long time. But it seems to have reached, I suppose not even a new level of awareness, because I could only imagine the frustration of the Black community in knowing that these images are put forward time and again and nothing gets done, but does seem to have reached a different crescendo in terms of the chord that it struck with people at scale.

I have thought long and hard this week about what to do with this week’s video, about what I wanted to say, about what I could possibly say that wouldn’t sound trite and cliche. And I spoke to Black friends of mine this week, I spoke to a friend of mine Darien for two hours this week, where he told me, “We don’t just want to hear a repetition of the narrative that we know so well.” He said, “This violence has been happening to us our whole lives, it’s just that white people are now being affected emotionally by the violence that has been happening physically to Black people.”

I also am so aware of the risk that people like myself run of simply jumping on the bandwagon of something because it’s popular to do so. And the last thing I want to do is trade on the attention that this moment has created and do something just because it’s expected, or just because it feels like the thing to do. Everything I do, everything I’ve done over the last 12 years, I have strived to do with intention and with authenticity, and I see this as no different.

And in the interests of being authentic, I don’t exactly know what to say about this issue. I’m out of my depth in talking about these issues. I certainly don’t understand them. I’m working to. I have always felt that one of my greatest strengths in life, one of my natural gifts, is empathy. And yet, how could anyone understand, having not lived that life of both overt racism and subtle undercurrents of racism that are faced daily by people in the Black community? That is something that we can only begin to connect to through hearing these stories, through seeing these videos, and through talking to people and listening – the great skill that is needed right now of truly listening.

What would pain me is to think that Black people in our community, people who watch me every week, think that I am not there for them. Think that I’m not showing up for you, think that I’m not sitting with you in some way. And so I thought let’s just take this week’s video, not for me to give advice, not for me to pretend I can be an expert in any way on this or come along with some really intelligent insight, but simply to say, I love you and I am here for you.

And I know that you are on an emotional roller coaster through this time that I cannot possibly comprehend. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be there with you in some way. Just as in a relationship, we don’t always understand the thing that our partner brings us: they could bring us a family issue, they could bring us an issue from work, they could bring us a health issue, none of which we can fully understand or solve, but we can still sit in the room with them. We don’t need to leave the room and be silent.

One of the things that I get messages on all the time when it comes to people’s love lives is the idea of gaslighting. That the person they’re with makes them feel crazy for the thing that they’re upset about, for the thing that they see very clearly is wrong in that person’s behavior, but their partner is making them feel crazy for saying it’s wrong. That they’re being over-reactive, that they’re being difficult, that they’re seeing things that are not there. It is a nasty, nasty thing that is done in relationships that makes people feel like they’re crazy.

I watched David Goggins this week make a video about the experiences that he had growing up, the racist experiences that he had, and how, when he wrote them in his book as an adult, there were people from his past that made him feel crazy, that made him feel like they never happened, that he was exaggerating, and how crazy making that was for him.

As disgusting and as horrible as these videos we’re seeing are, I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that we are seeing them, that we’re being made to feel this uncomfortable. Because these things are inarguable, they are indisputable, they are wrong, they are a disgrace. And it’s time for me and for people like me to check their egos and to listen. To not be defensive when we’re being told these things, when it’s being revealed to us the ways that we have ignored things, the ways that we have stayed silent on things. But to check our egos and be brave enough to relinquish our story of how wonderful we think we’ve been, and to understand what we can do to do better. To take on new ideas about how we can proactively make things better, and how we can learn more about what the experience still is for so many, how so many people in this world are having such disgraceful and uncivilized experience of our apparently civilized modern world.

For those of you listening right now, watching this, who are Black members of my community, I love you. I’m with you. I am in your corner. And I don’t know how to contribute on the level that I want. I don’t know how to solve this, clearly very few people do. I don’t know what the answers are, but I know I love you, and I know that I am so, so grateful that you are here.

And I hope that you’ll leave a comment, either letting me and other people like me know where we should put our attention right now, what books we should be reading, what voices we should be listening to, and perhaps most importantly of all, what your story is. I know that it’s an intensely vulnerable thing to leave a comment that talks about yourself and your story, especially when it relates to race issues, but I know that we would be grateful to read it. I know I will be, I will be reading them, every single one of them, and listening to everything you have to say.

So I’m here to learn, I’m here to listen, and I’m grateful for anything that you can share with me to help me do that. I’ll see you next week.


P.S. For anyone interested I have included a list below of organizations I have chosen to support with donations this week. **In addition, when we first posted this video this morning, I had it demonetized out of respect so as not to profit from this video. However many of you pointed out in the comments that it would be better to have ads turned on and have the revenue go to the cause. I love the idea, so I have, and 100% of the proceeds from this video will also be donated to the causes below:

1- My Brother’s Keeper Alliance https://www.obama.org/mbka/
2- Center for Policing Equity https://policingequity.org
3- Equal Justice Initiative https://eji.org
4- NAACP https://www.naacp.org
5- The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund https://www.obama.org/girlsopportunityalliance/

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64 Replies to “To My Community”

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thank you real and genuine response to racial issues we as African Americans face in this country. I am from California which a very liberal stat and I’m very lucky to have been born and raised here as I feel I have had many opportunities which have led to my success today. I feel the weight of this because I am black but also because even though I have no children and not married I want to look my family members in the eyes and say that I stood up. I have lived in Denmark as well and sadly i will say I have not experienced racism there as I have here in my own country. Systemic racism is real and thriving in America. Many times I wish I could go back to Europe permanently to not have to live like this. Here is some helpful advice on how you can support our community:

    • Ask your colleagues how they would like to be supported.
    • Listen and acknowledge their feelings.
    • Hold your peers and managers accountable and report any instances of racism, however big or small they may seem to you.
    • Mentor: Identify talent within teams and support them with the knowledge and opportunity to succeed.
    • Speak out, because silence is not allyship.
    • Donate to causes that further education and take action to end racism.
    • Read or seek out books to educate yourself about the history of systemic racism across the world. Watch movies like 13th by Ava DuVernay.

  • So terrible…. and has being going on for years….As a black female from The U.K white privilege is ALWAYS exposed in every part of my daily activities.

    It hurts to know that we are not treated fairly and have to work extra hard where as others get away with all sorts.

    It’s difficult explaining to my teenagers… please be careful Out there as you may not be treated as your white friends by others.

    Being watched And followed by security when you are buying products….

    Being rushed To eat when you go out to dinner…

    Being followed and stopped by police while driving….

    Being told by careers advisor at school … you could never be a lawyer… how about legal secretary!

    It’s good to know other people are finally…. seeing wrong is wrong and that it is not acceptable to be killed for being black.

    I’m thinking of all the others who have been murdered and their families.

  • As someone who is fighting for equality and wants to fully show up in this world, I can say you’re doing great. Please keep going! Take a moment before you scroll to the next comment and know YOU are showing up with the tools you have! That’s amazing and so needed. Take care of you and please know you’re doing great work.

  • Matthew, I really appreciated your vulnerability in this video about not having the answers and still having a lot to learn. I also appreciate your willingness to learn and to listen to Black members of your community and to create a space for that by asking us to comment.

    I am a Black woman and I have been in your community for years. I attended your retreat in 2014 and it was honestly the catalyst for so much transformation in my life. I will be forever grateful to you and the amazing people on the retreat team.

    In terms of feedback on what you can do, I would like to suggest looking at having more racial diversity on your team. I’m not sure who is on your team behind-the-scenes, so I can’t comment on that, but I remember noticing that at the retreat and at other events I’ve attended of yours, there were no Black people (and possibly no POC at all) on your team.

    Having a diverse team brings such a richness of experiences and would be a real asset to your business. Also, the experience of dating is very different for Black women than other women and having voices to share those experiences would provide more context for you when Black women share the specific challenges we encounter.

    Thanks for listening xx

  • Hi Matthew,
    It’s good that you haven’t hidden away from this issue . I’m a white police officer in the UK and I’m proud of the work I do. I have so many thank you cards and it makes my day to receive one.
    I have dealt with two separate cases this week Involving two different countries and the stories I have been told about Eastern European police forces, and their total inadequacies have been astounding. They’ve called victims of crime ‘liars ‘ and walked away. Here in England we would investigate their claims properly.
    I’m proud of who I am and how I treat everyone on their own merits no matter where they are from.
    The USA police are far too violent and I’m glad that we aren’t armed in the UK and we use communication first and foremost. If we handcuff anyone in the UK we have to fill in a form- that’s how monitored we are here.
    I have experienced being a minority when I went to Africa and then I understood what it really felt like to stand out and to feel insecure and intimidated simply walking down the street, I have to be honest and say that I didn’t like it. I was nervous for no reason other than I was a minority- but it gave me a taster of how people feel, and I’ve never forgotten it. Ot was an excellent lesson.
    It is a case of understanding. Treating people as you find them and appreciating how others might feel and giving reassurance.
    Yes George was no angel – but on the day in question he offered no violence and should have been treated as so.
    In the UK we are taught that even a person lying on their front can suffer asphyxiation, let alone kneeling on a neck. OMG common sense should prevail .
    I’m sure in every corporation there are people with prejudice, but to be professional, it has to be put to one side.
    I just hope that we aren’t all tarred with the same brush, because it simply isn’t true and I work with some amazing people who go through hell and stress to help others.
    Please convey the message that all the good cops out there don’t want to be anything to do with violent, racist cops. The shit ones are a minority who we do not want to associate with. We don’t do this job for money- we are poorly paid, in company, we do it to make a difference. I feel good about what I do everyday and that is enough for me.

  • Hi Matthew,
    It was such a compassionate gesture for you to address the numbness I and many women in the black community are feeling,in that another murder of young black persons has been exposed.
    My heart once again is in pain, with the hopes that one day soon we will all view everyone as human. These current incidents may be the catalyst to bring a greater empathy to the human race. Thank you for caring as our community processes this grief and works to heal and work for change.

  • Thank you Matthew for the invitation I do have issues with getting the phone number of men and getting the first date even if it is virtual date what do I do about it? A lot of them like to play games.

  • Hi Matthew, many thanks for allowing space in your community for this discussion. As a black woman, and DC native (the “stuff” is hitting the fan here) my spirit has been heartened by the number of business and thought leaders who have been vocal in the past few days about the need to not only commiserate and sympathize, but to take action to stop the systemic racism that continues to tear our country apart. We simply must come together on a grassroots level to make the legal, political and institutional changes necessary to stop the marginalization of minority groups and to achieve a shared and collective consciousness to do and be better. This is an election year folks. Let’s elect the right people and hold them accountable to ensure the necessary change to heal our country. #weareinthistogether

  • “The Masked Singer” is what I keep thinking about over and over again as this new wave of change evolves. Of course I am not down playing the importance if this movement and comparing it to a T>V show but it amazes me how easily we “could” LOVE at a person for who they are and what they bring to the table as opposed to “liking” them for how they look. This show has confirmed something that I like many others have experienced throughout or lives,sadly our society places too much emphasis on the superficial.Things such as the way a person looks, the way they sound(accent) and who they choose to believe in take priority over the fact that they too are a person, a human being. I can’t believe we live in a time so technologically advanced that you can turn your faucet on and off with your cell phone; yet we are so far behind as “people” that we failed to recognize that…….We were ALL created equal. At the end of the day, we all have red blood and if you put a knee on any of our necks for 9 minutes….We die. YES, Black Lives Matter.EVERY LIFE MATTERS!!

  • Nobody likes to be disliked.

    I’m white and I’m a minority living on the island of Kauai. The locals can’t stand the visitors . The visitors are white but I’m a local now since I’ve been here since 2004.

    So, I can see what western society has taken from the Hawaiians. I’m a teacher, helping the local kids to learn and grow.

    Anyway, do I get treated poorly? Yes. Am I accepted? No. It’s like walking on eggshells.


  • Firstly, just thank you… acknowledging the issue and seeking to know and learn more means more than you know. You create positive change and this video is another example of that.

    I’m a mixed race women from the UK and this has been a very VERY difficult week. What has shocked/upset me the most is the lack of acceptance in the UK that this issue is real and happening everywhere, not just the US… There’s a wave of defensive commentary on the current protests… “why are they protesting here”… “all lives matter, not just blacks”… “it just gives them an opportunity to loot and steel”. Every time I read this, it feels like im being punched in my stomach! I’m ashamed to say I lose hope that things can be better because those that can effect change do not accept there is anything wrong. Listening to the video has helped more than you know and it’s important you keep reaching out and using your platform to illustrate and educate those that simply don’t see (or don’t want to see) the continuing injustice.

    Like you, I find it difficult to know what to say or do to help make a change. I have found reading people’s experiences of racism a more effective way of illustrating what happens on a daily basis and what needs to change. In terms of my experiences… well I, without fail, receive a shocked or raised eyebrow every time I tell someone I’m a solicitor (and I vividly remember being told by my 6th form teacher that Law was too difficult for someone like me); and sadly I’ve been followed around in shops by security guards too many times for it to be a coincidence. Other examples relate more to simply living in a society that caters to one particular colour… so having to go to “black” hair shops to find shampoo that is suitable for my hair because my local supermarket won’t sell these products… or finding a hairdresser that actually caters for my hair! And don’t get me started on the trouble I had trying to find a clinic that could safely provide laser hair removal! The majority of lasers would “attack” the pigment in my skin!!! Can you believe it!!

    You asked what you can do… I really appreciated the comment from a lady above about being more diverse in terms of your business and who you have advising you. It may be you already have a wealth of people from all walks of life and I would simply say that diversity and hearing from those that are not like you or think like you is no bad thing! You will reach more people that way.

    Finally, I want to mention what it’s like to date being mixed race. I don’t think I’m alone when I say this but I’ve struggled with my identity my whole life, which stems from growing up with a white mum in a white community but clearly not being white. Having white traits and these being frowned upon by my black community… I am conflicted with who I should date; and whether I am ever fully accepted by any man because of my colour. This goes to confidence, which I know you do a lot of work around. I simply wanted to give you that insight from my own experiences of being a mixed woman.

    Thank you for reading this; for inviting feedback and for your heartfelt video. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Hi Matthew! I certainly don’t like talking about this, just because it brings up things that happened to me as a young girl. I am of a visible minority..I am a Canadian first..but, my ethnicity is Chinese. I can’t tell you how hard it was to hear being called a Ch**nk from people I didn’t know…other children & adults. I was 6 years old the first time I recall being called that. Or being teased with the phrase “Ch**nky Ch**nky Chinaman” by kids I didn’t know. I was born in 1961…so I saw alot of TV news from the United States highlighting Martin Luther King. I remember my Mom watching our old black & white TV with my family…and watching her cry as one of the Kennedys (President) was shot in the head as he was in the parade & watching his wife climb across the back of the car only to realize he had been shot in the head. I asked my Mom why she was crying…& she said a very bad man had shot the President & killed him. It is so vivid in my memory…etched forever. It’s something that I have stuffed down…something I don’t like to remember. But, in light of what is happening in the US…it brings it all back …that emotional trigger or button. I am not that naive to think that racism doesn’t exist. I know it is alive & well. I have NOT experienced any of the racist remarks due to the COVID. I didn’t even know it was a thing..until one of my friends from Seattle..told me his Asian friend has been receiving nasty remarks about bringing the COVID to the US & to go back where she came from. Ironically, she is American born…with a Korean background. I have yet to experience that…& happy to say…I have not received any comments like that. So, there is the ugly truth…something I didn’t want to remember…but, you asked for it. Food for thought Matthew. It happens to all people of color. Worse things happened to generations of my family. Like the Head Tax..probably some of my ancestors are buried under the railway in Canada. As it has been said..”You will probably find a Chinaman under every foot of railway in Canada”…as they sent in Chinese men who would risk their lives to blow up sections of mountain to forge the railway through it. These men sent money back to their homeland…and found it very hard..almost impossible to bring their wives & children over. Many immigrants suffered great indignities & had no rights. No right to vote..no right for citizenship…just treated as cheap labor & very disposable. I would dare to say a Chinaman’s life was not even valued, as much as the common street dog. True. :( It guts me. It’s better now in Canada. But, we have our own problems…very parallel. Our First Nations people who also suffer the same indignities as their Black counterparts in the US. We also have to “fix” these issues. Generations & generations of racism. We all have that dirty secret. Not talked about very much…but, it is there. Let’s hope the change can start to happen. One step at a time…one issue at a time. Thanks for listening.

  • I wept in horror when I watched how George Floyd died and I posted a message of support to the peaceful protesters who marched all over New Zealand even tho we are still in level 2 of lockdown – I received so many hateful comments about how “what happens to the stupid People of the US is not our concern” and that the marchers were selfish and ignorant to put everyone at risk of spreading the virus… It is so unbelievably sad and incredibly disappointing that so many people lack empathy and can’t see the bigger picture. To every black person, every person of colour or mixed race who has been subjected to the horror of racism I am so sorry and I hope that THIS time HERE AND NOW a great shift in humanity will finally happen. ❤️

  • Hi Mathew thanks for the knowledge the human life my personally every life is Matter I think everyone become a human being that’s blessed from God and everyone have different backgrounds but same good sense of humor nobody have the right to kill them with no reason if they don’t do anything wrong even those do bad things just let the Law make decisions and my personally I think the police officer supposed to protect the community they not supposed to take advantage of the power and kill everyone they want to kill . The day I see a video of Gorges Floyd my heart broken for his family and I’m so emotional every time I see the News I feel so sad I hope this time the Law enforcement learn a big time and change for the future with discrimination that is I pray for our country

  • Thank you for using your voice and your platform to stand with us. You have no idea how much your support means. We just want to be cared for and to know we are loved and to live in a world where we don’t have to daily fear for our lives or the lives of our babies, our families, or our friends. I couldn’t watch the video but my heart hurts the same for anyone that has lost their life because of senseless racism. I pray for a change to come soon and for justice for George Floyd. We all need this win so badly.

  • Matthew,

    I have a very hard time with this as well simply because we are all humans and what is happening is breaking my heart. It is so hard to see people treating, hurting amd oppressing other people this way.

    I come from a mixed race family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My family brings me so much love, joy, value and appreciation for life that I can’t imagine my life without them.

    Last year brother-in-law who is Jamaican almost lost his job because of a very racist white man that he worked with. I remember talking with him about how to out outsmart the guy who was harassing him at work so he didn’t get fired. I whole-heartedly agreed that what he was encountering was racist and wrong. I heard and understood his pain. He was upset over the harassment and was extremely stressed because he has a good job and a family to provide for. I felt awful giving him this advice because he was not free to speak his own mind and communicate how he felt. He had to play a part just to keep his job. How awful is that? Its like suffocating. I know what its like to not be seen or heard and this is what he was forced to do; he was forced to remain silent just to be able to keep collecting a paycheck. Why did it come down to shut up and keep your job vs say something and get fired. I saw this as ludicrous, unfair, racist and absolutely despicable. The area I live in is not overly diverse and racism flourishes which truly makes me ashamed and sad. I am happy to say the other man was fired and my brother-in-law still has his job. But it should not have come as a result of strategically outsmarting someone. It should have come from a place of fairness, hinesty, justice and equality.

    Thank you for giving all of your love, energy and time. You are always giving people value, understanding, and courage to face the world.


  • Thank you for your heartfelt comments here, Matthew. We can feel the solidarity and support. Two days ago, in my village, I saw my first “Police Lives Matter” bumper sticker – frightening!

  • Thanks so much Matt, it really feels so good to hear that from you. I was waking up and saw this and I feel like this the best message since 2020 began. Thanks so much and I love you too and I am so grateful I’m part of your community.

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