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#BLM Statement

Black Lives Matter

To the Storka Community,

For the past two weeks, the world has watched as the senseless killing of George Floyd awakened many of us to the true extent of the atrocities being perpetrated onto Black people in the United States. For many others, what happened to him is the sad day-to-day reality of what it is like to continuously live in terror simply because of the color of your skin. This tragic event has forced the nation to confront the institutionalized discrimination and racial violence that still exists in the underbelly of the United States.

As the world continues the fight to finally achieve racial equality, we here at Storka are committed to doing our part. We note that racial discrimination is particularly pervasive in the tech industry, so in an effort to address some of these issues and support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, Storka has made a long-term commitment to the following initiatives.

First, we are pleased to announce that in addition to a previous contribution the company has made to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, we will be matching donations to an organization of your choice (up to $500 in total matching). We understand that fixing these issues will take more than a one-time check and that corporations also have an obligation to reach into their pockets. Please send a screenshot of your contribution email to donations@storka.com so we know and can also match a donation to that organization.

The second initiative we are introducing is a mandatory annual Implicit Bias session for the entire staff. As human beings, we all have certain biases and assumptions we make about other people. Because of this, we must all become fully aware of our unconscious prejudices and how we can work on them in order to fully combat racism. This training will also provide us with the right tools to effectively communicate with one another despite our diverse backgrounds.

To follow up the second initiative, we will also be hosting a Town Hall to discuss some of the systemic issues in the industry and how we can use our platform to address it. In hosting this town hall, we hope to foster dialogue and create a safe space for employees to come forward with personal stories, ideas, and suggestions for how we as a community can do better. We are here to listen and do all that is in our means to make this a positive work environment for all staff.

Finally, Storka is making the commitment towards more diverse hiring as we continue to grow and expand. Across Silicon Valley, fewer than 6% of all engineers are Black or Hispanic, starkly demonstrating that we as an industry can do better. Despite being a small start-up, we are determined to do our part to remedy the racial disparity in the tech world by examining our hiring practices and ensuring we are providing fair and equal opportunities to Black candidates.

Aside from these company initiatives, Storka has compiled a list of Black-owned distilleries, breweries, and vineyards that you may consider purchasing from the next time you need a drink. In our research we have found 25 brands so far, however the numbers speak for themselves; less than 2% of alcohol brands are Black-owned due to systemic roadblocks and a general lack of investment opportunities. The discrepancy is clearly evident and as fellow alcohol enthusiasts, we should consider supporting these historically under-supported businesses.

With love and solidarity, Black Lives Matter. #BLM.

Greg Solak

Founder of Storka