Just as COVID-19 kept us all secluded in our homes, the death of George Floyd unleashed social unrest across the nation. The convergence of these events gave rise to our awareness of the depth of racial injustice and how Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are the most affected by the health and economic ravages of the pandemic.

Sequoia denounces racism, gender bias and oppression of all kinds and stands in solidarity with our BIPOC community. We took a stand, and so did you. We wanted to share with you the outcome of our combined efforts and provide continued opportunities to champion racial equality.

Our DEI efforts continue and we invite you to learn more and join us in this important mission.

Let’s continue to support the NAACP

In June of this year, we launched a matching gifts fundraiser for the NAACP Empowerment Programs to help end racial discrimination.

We are deeply grateful to our clients and their employees, Sequoia team members, and our families and friends, who all contributed to this initiative. Community donations were matched by Sequoia, helping the NAACP Empowerment Programs in its mission of ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons.

There are over two thousand local NAACP units nationally making it very easy to get involved. You can find your local NAACP unit here. You can also learn more about the work of the NAACP here.

Open a conversation within your company by participating in an intersectionality exercise

As we build visibility and solidarity throughout Sequoia, it is important to allow our diverse backgrounds to be seen and heard. Sequoia’s Team Member Resource Group (TMRG) led an engaging discussion around the concept of Intersectionality, an interactive activity where team members learn how to share their authentic self at work, and we invite you to do the same. Our team members built and shared their own intersectionality map, which included their various identities shaped by their unique, lived experiences. Here are several sources you can use to start the conversation: What is Intersectionality? (Peter Hopkins, Newcastle University) and What is intersectionality, and what does it have to do with me? (YW Boston Blog).

Support Black-Led Organizations in the Bay Area

Unconscious bias and structural racism mean that Black-led organizations (BLOs) have less access to capital and capacity-strengthening support, a disparity that is only exacerbated by COVID-19. Our partner, Silicon Valley Community Foundation has provided this list of Bay Area BLOs that will help you learn more about these organizations and how to support them so that they can continue to make a great impact on the communities they serve.

Provide support to BIPOC teachers and children

Help provide educational support to teachers and to children by helping supply their classrooms and address student needs. You can also support training and professional development opportunities and help with student loans, education award programs, and teacher prep programs.

Check out this 2020 Bay Area Holiday Giving Guide, which includes BIPOC organizations

The holidays are fast approaching, and this year’s season of giving has the potential to make an immediate, tangible impact. On this page, Silicon Valley Community Foundation highlights core service agencies, BIPOC-led and grassroots organizations that provide critical health and human services to communities experiencing higher-than-average infection rates in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. With increased demand for services during the pandemic, the needs of these nonprofits are great.

In case you missed it, here’s Sequoia’s Impact Newsletter, highlighting our work serving our community. It’s been a busy year!

The Sequoia Impact Program is committed to providing health and empowerment to communities in need. Most recently, we’ve made financial grants to our non-profit partners to alleviate food insecurity, address mental health challenges, support racial equality, help people gain access to economic opportunity and uplift the most vulnerable people in our communities. Thank you for being part of our connected community for social good.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Diann Lawson – Diann is the Director of the Sequoia Impact Program, where she works to build a connected community for social good. She engages Sequoia team members, clients and extended network in giving back to the community through volunteerism, fundraising for causes, and learning about social challenges and how to take action. In her free time, Diann enjoys skiing, traveling and spending time with her family..