Dear Paceline Community,

As I have thought deeply about the events of the past weeks and months, it’s made me realize that well-known and well-studied global health pandemics from coronavirus to heart disease and diabetes (that Paceline exists to combat directly) are nothing compared to the pandemic of bias and violence against black people in this country. The structures of systemic racism that are present across society are causing a pandemic so great and so pervasive that to cause change seems a mammoth task too great for any individual alone.

As a 38-year-old white male, I go back and forth in my head and helplessly wonder–if I was present in Minneapolis at Chicago Avenue and E. 38th Street, how could I have found my voice and leveraged my privilege in some way to change the outcome. What about the dynamics of that environment and situation meant that the many individuals present couldn’t intervene? To me, it seems it all comes down to power. They didn’t desist out of indifference, but out of fear. Clearly the balance of perceived power was so utterly tipped in favor of the police that even a large gathering couldn’t intervene to save a man’s life who was being so egregiously and brutally subdued.

I say all of this, not to suggest any actions could have led to different outcomes in the moment. But only to try to UNDERSTAND what was going on in this situation, and across the country in hundreds of similar situations, and why this happened, and still happens, in the year 2020.

Enough is enough!

At Paceline, we talk about solving health pandemics of a preventable nature. I believe, just as we can change the nature of preventive health, we MUST stop this pandemic of bias and violence. With the hard work, introspection, and bottom-up change of each person this crisis touches (all of us), change can be affected.

How do we become a community where our voices are all equal and not suppressed by fear? We must all dig deep, put ourselves in others’ shoes, think, listen, empathize, and UNDERSTAND what others go through. And only in doing so can we close the distance between us and strive to build a better future.

As a community Paceline has the ability to do this. We are more powerful together. With that, our small contribution will be adding a Black Lives Matter donation option to the Paceline rewards next week in support of the organizations who are on the frontlines of making these much needed changes in society.

Please, open your ears and then make your own voices heard. My personal hope is that if we all just do one or two things different from calling a friend to ask how they are in this time, making a donation to a cause that can make a difference, engage in civil discourse to create true dialogue, or just hug someone who needs a hug, that we can create real, lasting change, and that the image and memory of lives unjustly taken, will inspire clarity, courage, and humanity in us all.

In addition, we have listed a few resources below to help move understanding and the dialogue forward, including some of our favorites local to us.

Let’s move forward together!

Best,
Joel Lieginger
Founder & CEO
Paceline

Resources

National Organizations
Black Lives Matter
Color of Change
NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Local Grassroots Organizations
(San Francisco Bay Area)
Black Earth Farms
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Community Ready Corps