Black Lives Matter: On the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor

Dear One Degree Community,

Today we are hurting as a team — and as human beings.

One Degree members are people creating a path out of poverty for themselves and their community. Black members, who make up a significant portion of our community, continue to face murder at the hands of law enforcement, and we cannot stay silent.

We’re usually sending you emails about product changes or text message reminders, or maybe we’re helping you find the resources you need over live chat. Behind those interactions with us — the One Degree team — are individuals who are angry and grieving, including some of us who have directly experienced the kind of ongoing trauma that, yet again, was brought to light this past week.

Black people &mdash men, women, boys, girls, trans, and nonbinary individuals &mdash across the country continue to face state-sanctioned murder, while the president has done little more than stoke anger and encourage violence, pushing for the vigilante shooting of people on our city streets. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are just two of the most recent names on a long list, which includes Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Sandra Bland — and which stretches back hundreds of years, long before the founding of our nation.

While the stories are painfully familiar, today’s moment is different. Only in the last few years has the systemic injustice perpetrated on Black Americans been able to be so quickly captured on video and beamed around the world, making it real and undeniable for so many who could before claim ignorance. And now it is happening amidst a global pandemic and an economic depression, both of which disproportionately affect Black individuals and others who are marginalized. Tragically, none of this is surprising, because law enforcement violence, economic mobility, and health outcomes have long been intertwined.

We know none of this is new. And yet there are times when the pain, the anger, the grief, and the injustice is too much to bear, and we must pause to mourn. This is one of those times.

The One Degree community is built to serve the most marginalized among us. Beyond the day-to-day work we do — which we will keep doing — we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that we are more than our website and our mobile apps, more than the interactions you have with us over chat, and more than a team of people across the Internet.

This is a moment to remember each other’s humanity and to work toward a better future together. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and, while we call for an end to institutional racism, we will continue to do our part, including supporting you however we can.