The senseless death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, at the hands of the police have left our country shaken, angered, and in turmoil. At Clean Energy Ventures, we stand with the Black community in condemning institutional racism and prejudice. We believe every human should be treated with dignity and respect, and we as a community must work together to address these systemic injustices occurring across our nation.
There is no neutral ground on the topic of racism. Just like we can’t accept climate change and resign ourselves to a future where people won’t be able to live out their lives free from storms or starvation, we can’t accept a present where people of color are denied basic human rights. Just like we can’t accept increasing pollution of the atmosphere, we can’t accept increasing violence and racism in our communities. We must stand together as one people with our voices raised together to denounce racism and inequality in all its forms. We give our heartfelt support to those protesting and all members of the Black community and all communities that carry unequal economic and societal burdens.
We also recognize and acknowledge the inequality and biases – across both racial and gender lines – that exist within our own communities of venture capital and clean energy. Venture capital firms, including our own, are dominated by white males. And the data shows this results in implicit bias that drives funding away from startups led by women and people of color.
While we don’t have all the answers, as climatetech leaders and investors, we are committed to taking action to build a more inclusive and equitable community. We are working actively to uplift underrepresented voices in clean energy through our participation in developing the “Browning the Greenspace” initiative in our local community. As importantly, we are working to educate ourselves, our team, and our partners on how to combat implicit bias and create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. And, we are working on driving the companies we invest in to improve their diversity and inclusion through the founders we support, the candidates they screen and hire, and the board members they select.
We will continue to seek opportunities to actively amplify voices of color and encourage anyone – regardless of race, religion, or education – to reach out to us if interested in entrepreneurial climate solutions.
There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done, and we hope you can join us in this fight.