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Resources for Black Founders

The University of Maryland's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem stands in solidarity with the Black community. We stand united against racism, violence, and hate. We believe in racial equity, social justice, and creating an inclusive community. We are committed to removing barriers and to providing Black innovators, entrepreneurs, business owners, inventors, mentors, investors, changemakers, and ecosystem builders with access to resources, mentors, talent, capital and ongoing support.

This page includes a collection of resources available for supporting Black founders, as well as information and content for anyone interested in learning about and understanding systemic racism. This page also consists of upcoming #UMDSolidarity events being hosted by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and campus partners, as well as dozens of tangible actions that can be taken to enact lasting change.

Unity
  • Please take a few moments to read these statements shared by student leaders and administration officials, as well as President-Designate Darryll J. Pines' statement to the UMD community.

Dear University of Maryland community,

We are grieving the killing of George Floyd, McKinsley Lincoln, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop and Ahmaud Arbery, and all who came before.

We are deeply concerned about insufficient police accountability across the country, systemic racism, and the social, economic and health inequities that have led to protests born of despair, anger and hope. We support the many peaceful demonstrations for justice across the United States.

We acknowledge that we have our own painful history at UMD, which includes the tragic murder of Lt. Richard Collins III.

The University System of Maryland (USM) chancellor and all the presidents of USM institutions recently stated publicly: "We acknowledge with one voice the structural racism that’s taking the lives of our fellow citizens, and we stand in solidarity as we speak out against racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, discrimination against our LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, religious intolerance, and bigotry of any kind."

Our university must be even more committed to creating a more inclusive, respectful and supportive environment, and follow up with actions that will help shape a more just and equitable campus community and society.

We would like to inform students, staff and faculty of the following campus opportunities, and invite your participation as a step toward taking action:

  • If you are interested in being in community with others, to process the pain, exhaustion and fear, email the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at DiverseTerps@umd.edu.
  • If you seek individual support, email Dr. Chetan Joshi, director of the Counseling Center, at cajoshi@umd.edu.
  • If you seek spiritual support, email campus Chaplain Holly Ulmer at ulmer@umd.edu, and she will connect you to other campus chaplains as needed.
  • If you are interested in reading “White Fragility” or “Me & White Supremacy” and discussing it with members of the community and leaders from embraceRace@umd, email Student Affairs at vpsa@umd.edu.
  • If you are interested in working with your leadership team, unit, department or division to strengthen cultural competency, and engage in doing the work, email Dr. Carlton Green, director of Diversity Training and Education, at cegreen@umd.edu.
  • If you want to connect with and/or receive support from leaders within our Nyumburu Center, email director Dr. Ron Ziegler at nyumbz@umd.edu.
  • If you are a member of a cultural student organization, and want to be in community with others, email Brandon Dula, assistant director of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) at bdula@umd.edu.
  • If you have concerns or questions about current policies that could negatively impact you and members of your community, email Dr. Andrea Goodwin, director of Student Conduct, at agoodwin@umd.edu.
  • If you would like to know more about our University of Maryland Police Department and its policies and protocols, email Chief David Mitchell at UMPDchief@umpd.umd.edu.
  • If you are interested in organizing other efforts that help our university become more of what it professes and aspires to be, email any of us your ideas and we will help you organize and connect with others.

In community and solidarity,

  • Dan Alpert, Student Government Association, President
  • Annie Rappeport, Graduate Student Government, President
  • Laura Dugan, University Senate, Chair
  • Wallace D. Loh, President
  • Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President and Provost
  • Carlo Colella, Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • Georgina Dodge, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Damon Evans, Director of Athletics
  • Jeffrey K. Hollingsworth, Vice President for Information Technology
  • Jackie Lewis, Vice President for University Relations
  • Laurie E. Locascio, Vice President for Research
  • Patty Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mike Poterala, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel

June 1, 2020

Dear University of Maryland Community,

On Wednesday morning, May 26, 2020, I woke up to go through my normal daily routine of getting prepared for the work day. But even before I could start my morning walk with my dog, my cellphone was already vibrating with texts and emails about something that had happened the evening before. Many colleagues, family members, and friends had sent me links to the now-infamous video of yet another black man losing his life at the hands of law enforcement. This time, for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local shop in Minneapolis, MN.

I took a moment to click on the links and watch the more than 9-minute video of the last breath being sucked out of the body of Mr. George Floyd. As a black man, I screamed words that I cannot repeat here. As a father, I started to reflect on the safety of my son and daughter and on all the diverse communities who are negatively impacted by acts of injustice. I asked myself, what is wrong with our country when these incidents continue to happen time and time again?

In recent weeks we have again witnessed senseless acts of violence perpetrated against the black community. The tragic loss of lives -- those of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and before that, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Sean Reed -- due to racial violence is deeply saddening and a stain against the values that we personally hold, and that the University of Maryland, as an institution, cherishes.

The fact that these horrific acts have occurred in the midst of a pandemic is a double blow to black and brown communities. They cause additional pain and grief at a time when we are dealing with so many other challenges. But the shameful reality is that the virus has disproportionately affected communities of color. It has exposed the base inequities of our healthcare system and made painfully clear how those who have suffered so many other injustices for so long must also unequally bear the burden of this disease. These additional acts of racism and hatred bring into greater focus the injustices occurring in our nation.

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy."

As a university community, we must not accept these latest incidents as inconsequential. We all must rise up and stand together to show our humanity to one another. We must remind ourselves of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Finally, we must heed the words of the late President John F. Kennedy, "what unites us is greater than what divides us."

Even though we are physically separated, now is the time to stand in solidarity and unite against any injustice.

Sincerely,

Darryll J. Pines
Glenn L. Martin Professor of Aerospace Engineering
President-Designate
University of Maryland

To Our Do Good Community, 

The last few weeks have been a devastating reminder of the hard work we still have to do to ensure justice prevails, for all. While our country continues to struggle with a pandemic, we are also grappling with the ramifications of our centuries-long history of racial injustice, white supremacy, and systemic racism. This time, the movement was sparked by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and intensified by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks. We, as the Do Good Institute team, see Black lives. We hear Black lives. We stand with Black lives. And, we unequivocally believe that Black Lives Matter. 

As educators and advocates, we have always encouraged understanding, action, and doing good for our communities, but we’re embracing and encouraging this now more than ever. As we often suggest to our students, our team has taken a step back over these last few weeks to listen and learn. We are committed to learning as much as we can about how to be anti-racist and how to best support Black communities and other communities of color. You can find some of the resources we have been using to learn on our social channels.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” This quote from former President Obama is emboldened on the wall in our Do Good Accelerator, which serves as daily inspiration for our team and students that we can create meaningful change no matter your background, interests, or race. Now, more than ever, it’s an important reminder that change cannot wait. And, we have the power to create that change. 

Below are a few concrete learnings, actions, and commitments that we’re starting with to support Black communities right now: 

  • Educating Ourselves: We’re reading more, actively listening, watching films, and are committed to having difficult and open discussions about race and injustices in this country. Our full team is joining the Black Students in Public Policy and the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Taskforce for a School of Public Policy Antiracist Discussion Series using Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist as a tool to guide the discussion. 

  • Supporting Black Communities: As part of Young, Black & Giving Back Institute’s Give 8/28 campaign, which closes out Black Philanthropy Month, we’ll be giving a grant to support black-led and black-benefiting grassroots organizations. The event takes place on August 28 - the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech - but giving is live now to help participating organizations stay funded during this crucial moment. 

  • Revising What We Teach: We're dissecting and reevaluating our program offerings like the Do Good Challenge, Accelerator Fellows, and workshops. We're working to ensure we include diverse voices and perspectives, that we consider the historical, political, and social contexts of the social issues students are working on, and that we're "decolonizing" any curriculum we offer.

This is just the start. We know there’s so much work and progress to be made, we know we cannot remain silent. We take our responsibility as educators seriously, and we’re committed to using our voices, expertise, and funds to develop emerging leaders who are prepared to create meaningful change for a truly equitable world. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll regularly share updates on our actions and commitments to becoming actively anti-racist and more supportive of Black communities. 

We’re calling on our Do Good community - full of passionate leaders, innovative thinkers, talented changemakers, and staunch advocates - to join us and countless others breaking the silence and fighting to rid our nation of white supremacy. Do you have ideas or feedback? Please reach out to us - our doors are always open. We urge you to find ways to help now and in the future, whether you take ideas from our commitment, or find new ideas from experts like Equal Justice Initiative, Black Visions Collective, or Black Lives Matter.

We stand in solidarity,
The Do Good Institute Team

No photo description available.

 

 

 

 

June 5, 2020

Black Lives Matter. Three words that have sparked a national debate over a relatively simple concept: The lives of black people in America matter. And before you click away, I want you to ask yourself why? Are you uncomfortable? Good. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, because the days of catering to societal comfort are over. The time for change is now.

The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade are not isolated incidents. They are merely the most recent results of a system that has vilified blackness and weaponized black skin since this country’s inception. The system I am referring to is racism. Institutionalized racism takes many shapes and in order to dismantle the system that continues to oppress and kill black people, it is important to understand that racism is more than blatant or explicit bigotry.

Racism is housing discrimination, food inequity, mass incarceration, underfunded schools, unequal access to sport, over-policing, voter disenfranchisement, the war on drugs, hiring discrimination, unequal access to health care and a flawed criminal justice system that far too often lets officers go unchecked for abusing their power. 

I am tired of seeing black people beaten and murdered by police. I am deeply disturbed by the lack of accountability for police officers who so blatantly cause harm, shielded by a blue wall of silence that seems impenetrable by the justice system. Over the last month, I have seen people who look like me, who look like my brother, who look like my father, brutalized and killed at the hands of the police. It is unfair, unjust and unconstitutional.

At first, I was angry. Then I was fearful, heartbroken, bitter and full of resentment until all of a sudden, I was numb. 

And with numbness came a familiar sense of anguish. A feeling of defeat. No matter how many names we add to the never-ending list of black people who've been wrongfully murdered in this country, nothing changes. It feels like screaming in your dreams when no one can hear you and suffering in silence as life goes on around you. It's waking up exhausted, not being able to explain why. It’s not wanting to check your phone or talk to anyone who asks, “How are you doing?” Simply put, it's draining.

I, a 20-year-old, am drained. 

I can only imagine how my parents feel or how their parents feel, having to relive the nightmare that is watching people from your community killed senselessly because to be black in America is to be inherently threatening. Because society tells us that in order to survive an interaction with the police everything has to be just perfect. Don’t move too fast, don’t move too slow, put your hands out the window, wait, no put them on the steering wheel, where is my license? A routine traffic stop can easily become a crime scene as was the case in 2016 for Philando Castile, who was shot and killed in front of his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter.

So here we are, years later, in the middle of a pandemic still demanding justice and systemic change. Trying to cash the same check Dr. King spoke of in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Almost 56 years after the Civil Rights Act was signed, and black people are still fighting for equal protection under the law and the genuine right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

America can do better. America needs to do better. 

It took a video of a black man being pinned down in the middle of the street, in broad daylight, literally having the life choked out of him for people to finally look up and realize we need change, and we need it now. Call it an amalgamation of being quarantined for three months, pent up rage, I don’t care. Non-black people are slowly starting to realize there is a problem in this country and they are pissed. 

Everyone is finally acknowledging the fact that black bodies are viewed as dispensable. Playthings, to be discarded when they aren’t wearing your favorite team’s jersey or performing in any other arena that directly benefits whiteness in America.

Enough is enough. “Thoughts and prayers” is no longer a sufficient response to the atrocities that continue to plague black communities across the country. Stop saying you are with us and be for us. Not because it affects you, but because for too long this country has profited from the achievements, culture and lives of black people without holding up its end of the bargain.

White people: The time has come for you to sacrifice your privilege. Educate yourself on the ways your whiteness has benefited you up to this point and work to utilize your privilege for social justice. Engage in meaningful dialogue, read about black history, support black businesses, advocate for the end of police brutality and racism and demand structural change. Pride yourself on being a lifelong learner and consumer of knowledge. Focus on facts and form your own opinions. 

Please understand. All Black Lives Matter. It’s not just a hashtag, it is a movement, created to affirm the humanity of black people. Callously stating all lives matter in response to Black Lives Matter invalidates the experiences of black people and perpetuates the same racism that continues to murder us. 

Denounce racism when it's not convenient for you. In rooms where there are no black people. At parties when you hear people rapping along with the n-word. In every space, especially those in which you hold a position of power or influence, leverage your privilege. Do not stay silent. Be explicitly anti-racist and hold others accountable for their words and actions. 

We are at a pivotal point in this nation’s history. On the precipice of progress, the time has come for us to do the work. Black people cannot end racism. We can continue to lead, educate, and challenge, but we alone, cannot end racism. Racism will persist in this country until white people and non-black people of color who benefit from the many systems suppressing Black people do the work. Work that is challenging and uncomfortable, but nevertheless necessary. 

Racism will not just go away with time. Injustices being committed against Black people won’t magically stop if we pretend that we don’t see them. We have the chance right here, right now to start dismantling the very systems that continue to oppress and kill black people in this country. A chance to end the vicious cycle that has crushed generations, so America can finally begin to live up to its promise.

Let this be the last time our 50 states and countless countries have to protest the murder of a black person at the hands of the police. Assemble. Petition the government. Vote. Do something. Because to do nothing in the face of injustice is unacceptable.

If reading this made you uncomfortable, good. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because I promise you, this is just the beginning.

Taylor Wilson headshotTaylor Wilson '21 is majoring in Kinesiology and plays infield on the Maryland softball team.

July 10, 2020

The past couple of weeks you all have been exposed to the reality of police brutality that has targeted the Black community for far too long. And while it may be hard for some of you to comprehend, this is just an everyday look into our everyday lives. 

This is about a system of oppression and systemic racism which lies at the very foundation of this country’s origins. I went to a protest and a University of Maryland student who was speaking said that, “This country was built by me but not made for me.” 

Let that sink in!

From my experience this movement is not about looting or rioting. The media is misconstruing the situation and looting is a very small fraction of what has and is still occurring today. Those stores and material things can be replaced but the lives lost cannot.

This movement is also exposing the idea of privilege to people across this country -- many of whom don’t have to think about the everyday occurrences that affect people of color. 

  • If you have never had to worry about a cop pulling you over and asking yourself “will I die today?”, then you are privileged! 
  • If your parents have never had to have a conversation to explain to you why people may say hateful things towards you because of the color of your skin then you are privileged!
  • If you have never been questioned walking into your own home then you are privileged!
  • If you have never had to worry about your chances of dying in childbirth due to racial bias, then you are privileged!

We travel all the time to play tennis and being an African American female, I always have to check where we are going, and to see if I will feel safe there or wonder will my team protect me in certain situations? 

It is not just about blatant racism; it is also about the daily microaggressions we face as Black people. Being in a predominantly white sport, there is a double standard. I have to act better than everyone else. I have to be more polite. To even be looked at by college coaches I had to work three times harder to be seen as half as good as my counterparts. And these are not just my experiences, these are the same experiences as my friends and a lot of Black tennis players.

On more than one occasion, my doubles partner and I experienced multiple forms of discrimination such as: it was implied that the only reason we were winning was because the referee was Black, or telling us to calm down when we win a point but someone who isn’t a person of color can scream at the top of their lungs and not get a code violation. 

There was another instance when we were playing zonals, and we were only 14. At 14 we were getting called monkeys and that we were too dark and teams would come behind my friend’s court and shake rocks while she served. This is something that must change.

I should not have to be uncomfortable to play a sport I love. No one should. Being in a predominantly white major (civil engineering), these issues follow me into the classroom as well. I am regularly asked questions like, “Are sure you are in the right class?” or “Did you get in on affirmative action?”

Not only is it these questions geared toward my peers, it’s the actions as well. Speaking over us when we are trying to explain things or touching our hair without our permission. 

There are a lot of things that need to change, and that starts with us. If we are really One Maryland then we need to act like it creates change.

The main way everyone can help is acknowledging that they have the privilege and taking advantage of that in order to help minority individuals. First, it’s important to listen. This situation is not about you, it is about your teammate, your Maryland community, and in order to make a change, you need to listen. 

No one is faulting you for having privilege or white privilege, but my point is there are resources out there for you to understand your privilege and to understand how you can use your privilege to help others. Also, Black people are not your only resource and they do not have to answer your questions.

It can be exhausting to live your life scared and tiptoeing around people, and then on top of that having to explain your pain multiple times. 

Like I said earlier, there are other resources available to you. All I am asking for you to do at this time is to be an ally for me and other people of color. It is not a political issue, there should be no debate. This is not a trend, these are our lives. 

Below are some informational resources and educational items that could be useful for you!

 

Ayana AkliAyana Akli '23 is majoring in Civil Engineering and is the B1G TEN Freshman of the Year.

In Their Own Words: Maxwell Costes and Noah Seth

6/12/2020

Hi!

Congratulations on discovering the fact that there are people who don’t look like you, think like you, talk like you, walk like you, share the same worldview as you, nor have the same experiences as you!!

We know that it must have taken some hard effort to arrive at this point (and we’re so proud!), but we also recognize that you’re still new to this, and given the volatility of the current political and social climate, we thought it’d be best to not only commend you, but also offer some sort of guidance before you begin this journey of yours.

So consider this your official welcome to the TRAGIC inconsistency that is the American story, a story marred by betrayed promises, the destruction and mitigation of cultures for personal enjoyment, and a cacophony of violations against the human spirit.

A story, where consortiums of political leaders have shown such paucities of moral righteousness, have shown us their darkest depths of avarice and egoism, that to this very day they continue to make a mockery of the values and ethics that are supposedly the center and foundation of this country.

This is what you’re stepping into, but don’ t worry, you aren’t going to have to face this alone … admittedly if you’re reading this it probably means you’ll never have to face it, but that’s ok, we don’t blame you for that, and it also probably means you’re trying to help someone who deals with this on a daily basis.

Truthfully, we figure that the best allies are those that are well-read and well-spoken, not necessarily seen and not heard, but rather a meticulous combination of present, open-minded, and throw in some humility just for good measure.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to learn to step out of that bubble of comfortable innocence you have, you’re going to say something stupid, you’re going to do something stupid, and that’s OK.

See we’ve become so engrossed, so staunch in our pursuit to not be wrong, that we’ve lost any sense of our curiosity, a characteristic that has single-handedly brought about golden ages of advancements and discoveries.

The only way to grow, the only way we put some color on our sunset horizons, is to go and seek information, to challenge our beliefs, and in doing this at some point we come across something that demands we recognize a conviction we hold in our hearts as not true, and it’s perfectly fine, it’s time we normalize adjusting and reshaping our thoughts and acts around reliable information. 

Now with this expansion of knowledge and awareness comes the responsibility to share it with others who are ...”behind” for lack of a better term, engage with your confidants, bring them along to events, challenge their misguided words and ill-informed actions, hold elected officials responsible for not answering the calls of justice on the first ring, because it’s easy to say that one doesn’t “see” color, but that statement entails the inability to see color PATTERNS.

Finally, recognize that this is all bigger than just George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, that America was racist before Donald Trump was conceived, that with luck these senseless deaths are the inflection point on the vast crescendo that is racism in America. 

It’s recognizing that Black Lives “Mattering” is really just the baseline, it should be the standard, and it is on us to raise that standard to where Black lives are celebrated, where black lives are valued beyond our inherent talents, where black lives are afforded every right under that clause of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

It’s coming to terms with the fact that racism is more than consciously hating someone, that even if you’re a white person that loves black people, racism couldn’t care less, that it is a parasite, feeding off the destruction of societies from the inside out, finding any possible way to affect how you deal with other people

Maxwell Costes

Yes, hatred is the preferred brand of racism, but this is just one of the many outfits in its closet that it can choose to don, it wears availability as pajamas, Friday nights it likes to wear ignorance, Saturday’s it throws on entitlement and goes to the game with friends, perception is its favorite walking shoes, and unbeknownst to most, Apathy is its Sunday best. 

Because the way that they kill black men in the streets, is the same way they kill black minds in public schools, is the same way they kill black self-esteem and uniqueness with appropriation, is the same way they kill black wealth with specific market and policy discrimination, is the same way they kill black communities by defunding recreation centers, education, housing development, and libraries, is the same way they kill Black women in Doctor’s and ER offices.

Maxwell Costes

If you’re still reading this, I would imagine that you’re feeling overwhelmed by this task laid in front of you, feeling simultaneously infuriated yet defeated, it only took a few moments to do that. Imagine what 400 years must feel like! But don’t fret, because we still hold the greatest superpower in the known universe:

Hope.

The most consistent partner of strength and the unsung hero of every success story, I’d wager that all of us hold some conviction on searching for a better life and working towards a better world to exist in, and I’d argue that being hopeful is the most American act conceivable.

In two weeks, none of this will be trendy anymore. You won’t see anymore black squares on social media, celebrities will have stopped making statements, and the toll of activism will start to wear on on our spirits.

So if you are really about change, about being a part of the revolution, my challenge to you is to hold on to that dream of more to be had, that dream of absolute justice, carry it, protect it, fight for it like it’s the only thing that you can be sure is real in this world. 

So once again, congratulations, and welcome to social consciousness :)

Maxwell Costes '22, is a two-time All American for the Maryland Terps Baseball team


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  • Startup-Investor Matching Tool - Lolita Taub has developed this site for underestimated founders to gain access to investors and capital.
  • The Black upStart - This organization teaches aspiring Black entrepreneurs how to start a successful and profitable business through an intense, culturally-relevant popup school.
  • The Plug - Humanizes Black people’s engagement in technology related markets and industries one investigative narrative at a time. Through quality journalism and reporting, it brings underserved and under-covered entrepreneurs and their companies to the forefront of tech’s evolution.
  • Toigo - This foundation opens doors for some of the most talented under-represented minorities working in the investment and finance industry.
  • Valence - Valence connects, showcases, and empowers the global black professional community through the magic of technology and art. We establish meaningful connections with companies and capital that create career opportunities and spawn new ventures. We help demystify professional advancement pathways through inspirational storytelling and structured community driven mentorship.
  • Venture Forward - A 501(c)(3) non-profit and supporting organization to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). It was founded to drive human capital, culture, values, and narrative of venture capital to promote a strong and inclusive community that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. 
  • Walker's Legacy - This global platform for the professional and entrepreneurial multicultural woman exists to inspire, equip, and engage its community through thought-provoking content and educational programming.
  • WeWork Grants for Black-Owned Businesses - WeWork has committed $2 million in grants in support of Black-owned member businesses, in an effort to begin driving real impact for the Black community. Applications are open to eligible member companies through June 30, 2020.
  • Five Big Ideas to Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap - After centuries of systemic barriers, the median net worth of Black households is one tenth that of white ones. The first idea on the list is to "funnel capital to black-owned businesses.
  • Hire and Wire - The startup community must do more to demonstrate their solidarity for Black entrepreneurs. Two ways to do that is to hire black people and invest in startups founded by Black entrepreneurs.
  • It's Time We Dealt with White Supremacy in Tech - This article provides tangible ways to support black entrepreneurs and tech workers.
  • Learn how crowdfunding is supporting Black livelihoods and communities - If you are interested in supporting Black-owned businesses currently raising money online, check out this list of active Black-founded campaigns.
  • Karma - Read what Black entrepreneurs and investors have to say on how impact investors might address the centuries-long American problem of racial injustice.
  • So You Want to Fund Black Investors - This article elaborates on three specific and immediate actions VC firms should take now to show their commitment to racial equality.
  • Startup Champions Networks - Find a breakdown 13 organizations that support Black entrepreneurs
  • Support Black Owned (SBO) - This website hosts a free Black and African American owned business directory and blog filled with thousands of 100% Black, Moorish, and African American owned businesses, spread all over the world.
  • We Buy Black - The largest e-marketplace for Black owned businesses.

Learn about the contributions made by Black Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders.

  • Black STEM Innovators and Leaders - A list of 16 Black innovators who have defined our modern world.
  • For Harriett - 9 Black Women Game-Changers in the STEM Fields
  • The Black Inventor Online Museum - The number one resource on the web focusing on the ingenuity and accomplishments of the top Black inventors over the last 300 years.
  • The History Makers - The nation's largest African American video oral history collection.
  • The Undefeated 44 - A collection of Black dreamers and doers, noisy geniuses and quiet innovators, record-breakers and symbols of pride and aspiration.

Take Action Now


Resources for Understanding Systemic Racism

Photo taken by alumnus Kian Kelley-Chung '19

    This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one and it may be both moral and physical, but [it] must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.

    Frederick Douglass

    The University of Maryland community must be even more committed to our mission of building a supportive, respectful and inclusive environment. Words aren’t enough. We have to act! We must learn to be anti-racist in the face of racism whenever and wherever it occurs. Our system is broken as evidenced by disparities in education, criminal justice, income levels, housing, and health. We are all part of this broken system. It is our human responsibility to co-create a new system that is more responsive to inequities. It is difficult, yet pivotal, to consistently recognize, interrogate and disrupt ourselves in all of this. For many of us, our human tendency is to grieve every time a Black or Brown person is killed, to affirm enlightening media posts from friends, to engage in deep conversations, and then to return to our lives. And so that cycle continues. We have to do something different to disrupt the cycle.

    Visit our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on other events and opportunities for solidarity and reflection. If your department or organization is planning a program to promote solidarity and/or reflection, please let us know at DiverseTerps@umd.edu.

    BlackLivesMatter
    Do Good Institute

    Want to be an ally but not sure where to start? Members on the Do Good team have been using this working list of resources that meet you where you are.

    Anti-Racist Resources
    Racial Justice
    School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP)

    Take a look through this list of news articles, how-to guides, podcasts, videos, action steps and more on topics related to anti-racism and how race and racism intersect with the built environment. This is a living document and is updated regularly.

    Racial Justice Resources

    Virtual Events

    Take a look at the Office of Diversity & Inclusion social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and facebook for updates on events and opportunities for solidarity and reflection.

      July 15th, 1pm ET: Balancing Inclusion & Free Speech in Virtual Settings

      Join Bias Incident Support Services (the office that brought you the GRACE Model for responding to online hate) for Webinar Wednesdays. This session will define academic freedom, discuss the limits to free speech and academic freedom in virtual settings, and provide tools for balancing inclusion and free speech

      RSVP
      July 16th, 2:00-3:30pm ET: Anti-Racism at UMD: Student Voices

      The third in our anti-racism teach-in series will feature a panel of three current University of Maryland students on anti-racism, student activism, and accountability.

      • Christina Sessoms (ARHU)
      • Saba Tshibaka (ARHU, Smith, Mtech)
      • Yuné Indigo R. (Public Policy)
      • Moderator Dr. Kanisha Bond
      Register
      July 16th, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register
      July 20th, 7pm ET: "How to Be an Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi

      2019 Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his renowned book with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. The conversation will be streamed live online on Crowdcast, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter/Periscope, and will air on PGCC TV on a later date.

      Register
      July 21st, 3pm ET: Panel Discussion with Maryland Black Business Owners

      It’s clear that Maryland’s African American community, Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs have been affected disproportionately by the economic, health and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      As part of the Maryland Business: Rebooted program, Maryland Smith is hosting a virtual, open panel discussion with local Black entrepreneurs and small business owners. Panel members will shed light on the challenges that these particular companies currently face and share experiences of successes and failures in meeting those challenges.

      Register
      July 23rd, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register
      July 28th, 12-1pm ET: Graduate Student Life’s Food for Thought: Social Activism

      Graduate students and alums, join the Graduate Student Life (GSL) office for a series of lunchtime conversations focused on solidarity work, #BLM and current events. Food for Thought will take place from noon till 1PM on Tuesdays, June 30, July 14, and July 28 via Zoom.

      Register
      July 30th, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register
      August 13th, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register
      August 17th, 12-1pm ET: The Smith School of Business Summer 2020 Reading and Dialogue Series

      Join the Smith School in a reading and dialogue series for White people and non-Black People of Color. Homework prior to the August 17 dialogue: Read "White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo.

      RSVP
      August 20th, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register
      August 27th, 3-4pm ET: Black and Queer Centered Healing Circle

      The LGBT Equity Center is hosting black and queer centered healing circles for UMD students, faculty and staff. The concept of a Healing Circle is derived from Native American and Indigenous cultures and is used to create a space where people come together to share experiences and explore ways to heal. This Healing Circle will explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and provide a space for black queer people to be in community.

      Register