As Future plc CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne said in a company-wide email, “We have never made a political statement at Future and we’re not making one now. This is a fundamental truth: Black lives matter.” (Future plc is the parent company of Systems Contractor News and many other B2B and consumer publications and websites.)
Over the past several weeks, the country has been in a state of unrest. Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, there has been a very public demand to treat black people as equals in this country.
Voices are finally being heard and a wave of real, radical change is on the way. We all can and need to do better. SCN, as part of the Future family, is committed here and now to be a part of the change.
For the past two years, we have been working with the AVIXA Diversity Council to ensure our events feature diversity of race, gender, opinion, etc., with experts from around the country participating. But, again, we can—and will—do better; you will see even more diverse and knowledgeable faces at our upcoming AV/IT Summit.
We can no longer be complacent in accepting the normal. We are actively working toward a new normal to be more inclusive of diverse points of view from the pro AV industry. We will reach out to integrators, manufacturers, consultants, and the like to proactively ask them to help us in this initiative.
For years, the industry has discussed the issue of diversification in pro AV, but little action has been taken. We do not want to be part of the problem; we want to be part of the solution. We welcome input and feedback about how we can improve. My inbox is open. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @MeganADutta on Twitter.
Our thoughts are perhaps best summed up in this tweet from Future’s corporate account: “To stay silent is to be complicit. We believe that #BlackLivesMatter. We stand with communities across the United States who are angry and in pain.”