Black Lives Matter: An Open Letter to Our HubSpot Community

3 min readJun 18, 2020

By Brian Halligan, Co-Founder & CEO at HubSpot

To our HubSpot community,

Progress against racism has been painfully slow over our country’s history. Witnessing the epidemic of police brutality and the anguish, sadness, and rage it’s created and sustained in the Black community has been heartbreaking. At HubSpot, we stand in solidarity with our Black employees, candidates, customers, and partners around the world. Systemic racism must be dismantled, and we must be a part of creating change.

When Dharmesh and I founded HubSpot fourteen years ago, we had a shared objective: to build a company our grandchildren would be proud of. Part of that legacy must include making HubSpot a great place to work for everyone. Over the past five years, we’ve been working in earnest on our diversity and inclusion programming. Our work has been necessary but not sufficient — we must do more to create real change in the HubSpot community.

I believe that to have an impact, we will need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Sharing our public support is important, but the true measure of our impact will be the progress we make on our promises over the next five years, not the next five days. To that end, we shared an internal commitment to create long-term change with our employees this week. This plan was built by listening to and learning from Black HubSpotters. The four pillars we’re focused on are introspection, investment, inclusion, and impact. Our initiatives include recruiting and retention elements, but also efforts to support Black-owned businesses and to celebrate Black voices in our content and across our business long-term.

I was also personally moved by Barack Obama’s post around creating “real change,” and I’m a huge proponent of ensuring that our HubSpot community is active in the movement to democratize access to voting for everyone, and that we are active participants in our democracy. We’ll be giving employees time off to vote in November, but also spending more time and energy as a business getting our community energized around local elections and advocacy. It’s more clear than ever that we have to act, both globally and locally.

As part of my own efforts to learn more about anti-racism, I’ve been reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, who we were fortunate enough to host at INBOUND last year. He writes “we are all implicated when we allow others to be mistreated.” He’s right — we can and must do more to create change, and I plan to be an active part of that change.

We’ve compiled anti-racism and allyship resources into a guide here, so that anyone can learn from and engage in the work alongside us. If you’re interested in being a part of this journey, we encourage you to learn, read, watch, listen, and reflect on the role you can play in actively supporting the Black community.

We’ll revisit our commitments as a company to fighting racial injustice each year in June for the next five years and share them out here annually. I suspect we’ll try some things that create real change, and try a few things that fall flat. We’ll be transparent about both, and share what we’re learning and where we’re falling short in order to hold ourselves accountable. I hope that we make our Black employees, candidates, customers, and partners proud in the process.

I want our organization to be a catalyst for real, sustained change because Black Lives Matter, now and always. I look forward to your feedback and partnership along the way.





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