Rec Room is a company founded on the friendship between a black woman and a white woman. The events of the past few weeks have brought exhaustion and sadness on a deeply personal level.
Today we are announcing a homegrown initiative, 1% for Racial Justice, our commitment to contribute 1% of gross sales on an ongoing basis to organizations working to eradicate systems of racial injustice in the United States.
In the past year, both of our founders welcomed babies. We both worry about how we'll raise children aware of their privilege so they commit to using it towards building a more fair society. But only one of us has to carry the additional worry of how she’ll explain the small acts of meanness and larger systems of injustice—including medical, educational and legal—that could follow her child through life.
As a women- and woman-of-color-founded company, we made inclusivity the core tenant upon which we built Rec Room, and over half of our team identify as people of color. It’s clear inclusivity isn’t enough. We are a small company of limited resources, and we don’t kid ourselves that giving 1% is enough. But it’s a first step, and one we take proudly today. We will also continue to encourage our team to make their voices heard by joining protests, volunteering, and giving, with the full support of the company.
We will donate our first year of 1% for Racial Justice proceeds to
Equal Justice Initiative → which is working to end mass incarceration, racial inequality and excessive punishment
The Loveland Foundation → which is bringing opportunity and healing to Black women and girls, through therapy and other programming
We urge other founders, particularly those at companies bigger and better-resourced than ours, to commit to making a sustaining monetary contribution to organizations working to end racial injustice and systemic white supremacy.
Rec Room is also committed to environmental causes—on Earth Day of this year, we announced our participation in One Percent for the Planet, a global movement inspiring businesses to support environmental solutions through funds and everyday actions. We know climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and recent events have highlighted again how equally urgent the issue of racial justice is to our nation. There cannot be environmental justice without social justice.
We believe that One Percent for Racial Justice could evolve into the global movement that One Percent for the Planet is today. Addressing racism demands urgent action.
Dre Taylor Lindsay & Val Young
Co-founders, Rec Room