In July, we kicked off a 6-month series called ‘Truth and Reconciliation,’ a multidimensional program at Dropbox that explores systematic racism and the historical context of the Black experience in the US. The series is one of the first steps Dropbox is taking to creating a path forward. It consists of talks, panels, and multimedia content focused around a different theme each month, including policing, economics and education, public health, legislation and policy, and more.
“Our goal is for Dropbox employees to gain an in-depth understanding that will allow each of us to create long-term meaningful change, whether that is individually or collectively,” says Danny Guillory, global head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Dropbox. “To have an impact, we must work at this for more than just a news cycle.”
The project is a partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) and Dr. Keith D. Leonard of American University. The DEI team at Dropbox thought it was important that the series was diverse in its content and accessible to as many Dropbox employees as possible. Moving beyond just academic text, the curriculum incorporates art and performance so that there are various ways to take in the material.
“Artists, curators, and creatives are usually on the front line of any social movement, and that is certainly the case when it comes to Black Lives Matter,” says Monetta White, executive director at MOAD. “Dropbox has shown a dedication to exploring topics regarding racial inequalities and anti-racism beyond a transactional, temporary nature. By digging deep into these topics, providing a platform for conversation, and giving participants potential action items, their staff can follow through with lessons learned in every aspect of their personal and professional lives.”
The breadth of information in the series is one of ways to meet people where they’re at—a guiding principal upon which the series was built. The DEI team thought taking small steps and encouraging people to choose their own path is one of the best ways to help people and facilitate change.
“For me, these talks have been extremely educational and they’ve deepened my understanding on how institutional racism is sewn into our society and history,” says Tam Crane, strategic account executive at Dropbox. “I’ve since had more open conversations with my mom and my kids about racism in hopes to become the best ally I can be.”
In order to keep the conversation going and facilitate learning, the DEI team also packaged the content into internal podcasts and hosted guided virtual discussions with Dropbox employees. The series will run through December, ending with a set of workshops where Dropboxers can reflect upon their experience and move to individual and collective action.
At Dropbox, we believe education is the first step to active allyship and creating this series is one of the ways we’re showing commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive Dropbox.