Juneteenth – Tech Soft 3D Day of Equality
Tech Soft 3D leadership established a Day of Equality on June 19th across the company, where all employees globally would be given the day off to spend time working for a cause of their choice. Tech Soft 3D has always had a strong culture of inclusion and being cause-conscious, and this day proved to be no different. Below are some examples of how employees spent their time, and how some felt about this initiative and what is happening in our world right now. It turns out there is still much to learn and we should all take the time to research issues of importance to our families and our world, so that we can be the change that makes a difference.
“We know that systemic change starts with individual people, and the organizations they are a part of, taking action. It was heartening, but not surprising, to see so many of our team members take positive action in support of justice and equality. We were also thrilled to have so many other companies join our effort on Juneteenth to start bending the long arc of the universe toward justice. We hope to continue to take action to accelerate this positive momentum because there is still a long distance to travel on our way to true justice and equality,” said Ron Fritz, CEO of Tech Soft 3D.
As part of his own efforts on this day, Ron wrote letters to local, state and federal officials pushing them to support any and all efforts to increase equality, particularly when it comes to law enforcement and the judicial system…but also changing the way schools are funded and funding social services.
“I took the time to do some research and learning for myself. I found this invigorating and inspiring to take some time to educate myself on relevant equality topics that I never seem to have time to do these days,” said Maria O’Connell. Maria researched everything from the dark history behind Mount Rushmore, inequality in pay, inequality in voting, crime on the South Side of Chicago and even donated to the charity, My Brother’s Keeper, founded by President Obama in 2014.
Michael Merrifield attended the Juneteenth event in Drake Park in Bend, OR. “I felt it was a good way to learn more and also physically support the momentum of this movement with my presence. I'm glad I stayed to hear the very powerful closing speakers share some of their daily challenges just being themselves (in their own skin so to speak). It really is a paradigm shift to fully see things from a minority perspective when that cultural phenomena is not imposed on us. I also appreciated the inclusion of Native Americans which is not necessarily front and center at this time but nevertheless an equal concern for justice. It's wonderful to be part of a company that not only strives to provide a phenomenally great place to work but also wants to be a good corporate citizen. I'm grateful.”
Jennifer Gartz and Zach Violet participate in Take Back the Butte in Bend, OR
Kayla Schlensker read the children’s book “Juneteenth” by Vaunda Michaeaux Nelson with her children (6 & 4 years old), and also watched Remember The Titans which takes place during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. Both the book and movie drove conversation about why black individuals were treated differently, how people overcame racism and prejudice and worked together as a team, and about friends and neighbors who are black and discussed how to be an ally to them and more actively incorporate them into our lives.
“I’m having interesting conversations with my friends and family that we had never discussed. It was important for me to approach those conversations with empathy rather than judgement, understanding their perspectives but also providing learning resources that could make a difference in their lives as they have in mine,” added Kayla.
Luc Crepin usually participates at events that sensibilize people to be more inclusive of those with special needs. One is a forum where kids discover sports for disabled people, such as soccer for the blind, ping pong in a wheelchair, soccer with electric carts, cycling with adapted bicycles and snow kart, seat ski tandem ski, ski for the blind. The second is a club of trikes and sidecars that take disabled people on a day tour of the countryside in Lyon, France.
Robert Tadlock spent time working with The Cycle Effect in Eagle, CO, helping them secure their website that had previously been hacked, and giving some training to their Executive Director around some custom code and how he could extend it, and allowing their calendar to scale up and down from a desktop device to a mobile device. “I picked The Cycle Effect, because they focus their efforts on underprivileged girls in our community and I felt like that fit right in with our goal of equality.”
Krista Thompson and Gunnar Hansen from Tech Soft 3D along with friends and familyserved meals to the homeless at the Bend Family Kitchen.
In Berkeley, a small, but mighty group decided to distribute 100 bags of hygiene and wellness products to several homeless encampments near our office. On the morning of June 19, Simon, Isaac, Kelley, Chad, Alex, Ryan and Twanya Hood Hill, packed bags with various hygiene products including band aids, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, deodorant, etc. We then dropped bags off to the homeless populations of 3 different encampments.
“It was an incredibly meaningful and fulfilling day for the group. In particular, I believe we were all touched by the appreciation and grace that people showed for the donations. We’re already thinking about ways to make the event even better next year,” said Twanya Hood Hill.
Employees from the Berkeley office assembled hygiene kits for the homeless.
Amerigo Masini and his husband picked up trash around their neighborhood. “We wanted to do something without being in a group, to try and stay safe. It felt good to do something nice for our community, and we decided we are going to do it again, trying to involve some of our neighbors as well.”
Amerigo and his husband cleaning up their neighborhood!
Recommendations from Tech Soft 3D employees as a result of the Day of Equality:
Women are still not asking for pay raises. Here’s why., World Economic Forum
Why is ‘people of color’ OK but not ‘colored people’? A reading list for white folks, Chicago Tribune
“Juneteenth” by Vaunda Michaeaux Nelson
Remember The Titans which takes place during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s
“White Fragility” – Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
“How to Be an Antiracist”- Ibram X. Kendi