Statement from EarnUp’s Co-Founders

Black background

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered. Four members of the Minneapolis Police Department were responsible for his death. He begged for his life and called out to his mama: his words were haunting, “Please I can’t breathe.”

Since that day, the bravery of so many Black people to speak their truth has helped us come to understand that to be silent about this violence and the racism that drives it is to be complicit.

As the co-founders of EarnUp, we’re committed to fighting racism and white supremacy in all forms. We stand with the Black community and every person of color in our society.

Diversity has been core to EarnUp’s mission since day one. But when it comes to Black Lives Matter, we have not done enough. Today, we are committing to do more. We are committing to working toward concrete, impactful actions that will help create the world we want to live in — a world where justice, safety, and freedoms are truly shared by all regardless of race. Action and impact will be the arbiter of our efforts here, not social media posts.

EarnUp’s vision is to create a financial system that works for everyone. These systems are rife with racial bias to a horrific degree. This racism has and continues to operate at all levels — individual and systemic.

We focus much of our time at EarnUp on homeownership — an industry with a long history of blatant racism that has had a major role in keeping Black communities excluded from opportunities for financial stability and wealth creation. Currently, the average white household in this country has a net worth 10 times higher than the average Black household.

We have the opportunity at EarnUp to challenge these broken systems. Although we have made some progress towards combating inequities in the financial system that disproportionately affect Black communities and other racial minorities, our mandate has never specifically and intentionally focused on race.

As a result, we have not yet taken express actions to protect, promote, and support Black Lives. We have fallen short in the following areas:

  • We have limited racial diversity in our leadership. We have no Black team members on our executive team or our board. Both our board and our executive team are comprised of only 20% people of color.

  • We have not spent adequate time or resources on the race specific aspects of our mission. We consistently talk about how to help Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, but it is rare for our leadership to focus on how race factors into the problems around us and what our products can do to solve it.

  • Regarding our team, we have always been committed to diversity and we are proud of the steps we have taken to make EarnUp a diverse and inclusive place to work. But the emphasis on Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has not focused specifically on our Black team members, and the distinct efforts we need to make to promote Black voices above and beyond the scope of our existing DEI initiatives.

Here are the actions we are taking right now:

  • Establishing company-wide discussions about where EarnUp is now and how we can increase black representation within our leadership.

  • Creating clear goals and action items for how we are encouraging financial inclusion, fair lending practices, and equal opportunities to build wealth for black communities.

  • Partnering with banks, lenders, and other financial institutions that positively impact black communities.

  • Forming a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council to elevate diverse and specifically black voices within the team and hold us accountable to our goals.

  • Developing comprehensive curriculum and training programs for our team on the state of inclusion in the financial services industry, unconscious bias, racism and related topics.

  • Engaging with investors and other partners for more opportunities to support black communities in new and better ways.

We are taking a critical look at how we do business.

We look forward to sharing with you, over the coming weeks and months, what internal improvements we are making and how we are seeking to solve issues of equity and injustice in the financial industry.

Sharing our truth is an important step to healing and growth in any community. We will post updates on what we have done.

Matthew & Nadim

P.S. If you would like to partner with us in this endeavor, please contact us at blm@earnup.com.

Posted: June 18, 2020