Sendbird

A sad (and hopeful) week for America

John S. Kim
John S. Kim CEO & Co-Founder of SendBird
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These last few days were deeply sad for the US — but also hopeful at the same time.

I was excited to see SpaceX launch a manned-rocket to space. All US human missions to space have been canceled since 2010, so it’s been a full decade since a manned-space mission was conducted here. It was also the first time in human history that we used a reusable rocket to send a human being into space.

I saw the launch as it was happening, and I could feel my heart pounding with excitement and hope. It was the day our human race pushed the envelope a bit further towards extended survival and prosperity in the space age, and perhaps find greater meaning for who we are through our actions in space, a topic very personal and dear to me.

But what was deeply saddening was that the country was suffering so much on this very day. Covid-19 has been devastating to our societies, and countries, businesses and families around the world have been engulfed in pain and loss, especially in communities that have the least access to affordable healthcare and financial resources.

The communities of people of color, and especially the black community has been impacted so grievously from this pandemic, but the situation exacerbated when the utterly inhumane killing of George Floyd was revealed on Monday of this week. It followed the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, which exposed the disproportionate risks the black community faces every day.

What is even more disturbing and sad is that all of this is not new. To be honest, since I relocated in 2016, I’ve only begun to learn about the chronic injustice that the black community and minorities face, and my understanding will be too shallow and recent to truly understand the pain and the despair the black community has been living with for decades. From the stories I’ve seen and heard this week, it’s clear how deeply the community is hurt and that the country has been suffering from this injustice since its inception.

One of our core values at Sendbird is Global citizenship, which is founded upon the belief that everyone who joins Sendbird can engage and immerse themselves in our community free from bias that may reside in the society at large, to be able to bring their whole selves to work, to be authentic and win with the best ideas and execution, regardless of their background, gender, nor ethnicity.

But seeing what’s happening in the world right now, I realize that I’ve only just begun to learn what this really means at a deeper level. A few Sendbirdians have shared their thoughts with me of what’s happening in the country right now and I know that many of us are hurting to see our communities suffer, divided, and we cry together in sorrow.

I do believe it will be a better world for our future generations, when we learn from this pain and despair, to create more empathy and understanding in all of us, and to push our society forward to become more just, more equal, and more diverse.

I am grateful to be working with Sendbirdians who are working to make the world a more just and equal place. I will work with our employees to understand how we as a company can engage with and help social and racial injustice, and inequality better, as it impacts all of us and the communities that we are part of. I believe our society will be kinder place for future generations, because of our thoughts and actions today.

I look forward to learning and working with our team to be able to contribute toward a more just society.

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