To All Our Olivela Friends and Family,
All of us are reeling from the events of the past week. My heart is heavy when I think about George Floyd’s murder and the countless black people before him. I know your hearts are heavy too.
But I also know our hearts being heavy, even breaking with sadness, isn’t enough. I, and the rest of the Olivela team, have taken the past week to step back and talk about what we believe.
We believe all men and women are created equal and should have equal opportunity.
We believe in the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the law.
We believe that protection extends to all Americans regardless of creed, skin color or economic circumstance.
We believe in the general goodness of people and their desire to improve the world around them for others and not just themselves.
We believe no person is above the law, no matter what office they hold or uniform they wear.
We believe that every man, woman and child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and it is our responsibility to help if they cannot achieve it on their own.
We believe that with freedom and privilege comes responsibility.
Olivela came about because of these beliefs. In 2016, I joined Malala Yousafzai on a visit to refugee camps in Kenya and Rwanda. There we met amazing African girls with extraordinary stories of overcoming poverty and war to pursue their educations.
It struck me that the opportunities my two white daughters and I are lucky enough to have—access to education and the ability to live life on our own terms—these black African girls literally had to risk their lives for.
Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. That insight gave birth to Olivela -- one where righting inequities is built into every, single purchase.
Thinking back on our founding reminds me how insight can spring from blindness, positive action from regret.
The Olivela team has taken this past week to listen and reflect. Now we will act.
In many things I think of myself as a peaceful person, even-keeled, striving for balance and openness of perspective. But peaceful, balanced neutrality in something as entrenched as racism is a big part of the problem. This is a dark time that requires our light.
It needs our impatient voices, our fists pounding the table demanding change, our strength to make it right and our resolution to not let up until change actually happens.
We at Olivela are committed to action.