Holding the Space

Kevin McFarland
Jun 10 · 2 min read
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We (Formative) wholeheartedly stand by the movement of Black Lives Matter and will continue to listen, learn, and implement until we as a society overcome violence and systemic racism towards black people.

We spent the last week in deep discussion regarding the best way we could support the black community during this critical time. With that, our voice isn’t the most important in the room right now. We’re writing to you because one of our privileges is that we have a platform that can be used for others’ voices that need to be heard. Our duty, particularly at this moment, is to hold the space for those voices. These are the ways we plan to do this:

  1. Formative plans to host a series of workshops through the end of 2020 on a) where ed-tech can better enhance the black community, and b) how the ed-tech industry needs to change in order to meet its needs. We are inviting black educators and those working with students of color who have a passion for sustainable implementation to lead these discussions.
  2. We are continuing work with our black investors to learn how to further expand our culture of belonging and offer broader opportunities for black professionals.
  3. Finally, we will document, summarize, and make available the most impactful learning moments from these exercises. This isn’t just about learning internally, but spreading that knowledge for all who want to use it.

The gap in equity of access to education and information was already way too large. With COVID-19 forcing even less access to central public school systems (and with the leadership in the Department of Education misappropriating emergency funds meant for public schools to private), if we don’t make drastic change now, that gap will only increase.

We’re reaching out to the leadership at our partner schools across the country to see who would like to participate in these workshops and how we can set them up to have the most impact.

If you would like to submit a topic, or know someone that you think should, please reach out to us HERE.

We plan to kickstart this process with our preliminary discussion on June 19th, commemorating one of the most important days in the history of this country. We will be following up with more information once we’ve established a time, place, and structure for these extremely important discussions.

Formative is making an ongoing commitment to the ideas and actions stated here. The past weeks of protests are a significant piece in a much longer struggle. Thank you for your effort in this ongoing fight.

The Formative Team

Co-Authored by Torian Richardson (Investor/Advisor), Kevin McFarland (Co-Founder), and Craig Jones (Co-Founder)

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