The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black Americans are an undeniable tragedy. That these horrific murders happened in the middle of a global pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people and other people of color only shows how insidious racism can be. Vant4ge supports the Black community during this time of grief, mourning, outrage, and the ongoing fight for justice and equality.
Racism is not a new problem—it is older than the United States itself. The trauma and abuse of Black Americans began in 1619 with the first Black people who were kidnapped from their African homes and enslaved in the English colonies that would later become the US. The end of slavery brought segregation and horrific Jim Crow laws that subjugated Black families for generations. And now mass incarceration, which professor Michelle Alexander calls “the new Jim Crow,” disproportionately impacts Black men. The trauma and tragedy of this long line of suffering are almost incomprehensible. That’s why we stand with our fellow citizens who are peacefully protesting across the nation.
At Vant4ge, we are not new to the fight against racism. From inception, Vant4ge has been focused on improving the criminal justice system for all involved, and especially reducing disproportionate minority contact and disproportionate minority confinement. We have a serious responsibility to minority populations that are especially vulnerable in the criminal justice system. We have always unequivocally supported equality. That’s why we will continue to work with the agencies we serve to make fundamental changes that impact social justice, the safety of incarcerated individuals, the rehabilitation of those serving time, and the fair treatment of those from all marginalized communities.
Additionally, we are proud of Vant4ge’s strong partnership with Persevere, a nonprofit created by our CEO and founder, Sean Hosman. Persevere focuses on providing hope, skills, and opportunity to the marginalized and oppressed, and teaches incarcerated people strong coding skills while offering mentorship, transitional housing, and a competitive advantage in the workforce after release. Vant4ge and Persevere both work with yet another company, Banyan Labs, which employs Persevere graduates to start them off on the right path with gainful employment and meaningful opportunity. Every formerly incarcerated person deserves a chance to thrive after they serve their time, and Persevere is working to make that happen.
Our dedication to equality doesn’t stop with our products and services—we are also working to make a difference internally as well. In 2019 we started working on our corporate social responsibility program, which will designate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service for all Vant4ge employees. We are also currently developing antiracist curriculum and projects to continue our employee’s education about dismantling white supremacy. We are working toward the goal of increasing the diversity of our staff and creating a more inclusive workplace where everyone will feel comfortable voicing their ideas.
This is not something that can be solved overnight. The problems are numerous and complicated, but we are undeterred. We recognize the lives lost to violence, the years lost to incarceration without rehabilitation, and the freedom lost to fear. We are fighting for a better world, using the influence that we have. We hope you’ll join us.