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How Australian businesses like Canva and Culture Amp are committing to support the black community amid worldwide protests for racial equality

·6-min read
  • Australia has shown its solidarity with US protestors fighting against racial inequality following the death of George Floyd.

  • Black Lives Matter rallies have been held in Sydney and Perth, with more to happen in other states over the coming weekend.

  • Australian businesses including Canva and Culture Amp have detailed what they're doing to support the black community.

  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Some Australian businesses are taking action to support the black community amid the Black Lives Matter protests springing up around the world.

Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been happening across the globe following the police killing of George Floyd – one of many instances of police brutality against black Americans in the United States.

The incident sparked protests in the US and caused worldwide outrage, with rallies held in solidarity in Australia, Canada, Germany and New Zealand.

The Australian response has centred around the death of Aboriginal man David Dungay, who died after being held down by six prison officers in 2015.

Businesses have been using social media to show their support for justice and racial equality. Youtube pledged $US1 million for "efforts to address social justice”, beauty brand Glossier announced a $US500,000 donation to support organisations including Black Lives Matter and The NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund, while Mark Zuckerberg pledged US$10 million to combat racial injustice.

Some Australian businesses have also shown their support, with fashion brand Cotton On saying on Instagram, "We will not be silent."

Other companies like Canva and Culture Amp also detailed what they are doing to support the black community.


Canva joined the #BlackoutTuesday movement by posting a black square on its Instagram page. The movement was started by music industry executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang and calls on people to take a day to reflect on what actions need to be taken to support the black community.

"Discrimination of any kind goes against the values we hold dear and we need to do everything in our power to end it," Canva said on Instagram.⁣⁣
"We believe our world is a far better place when everyone has the chance to meet their full potential.⁣⁣"

Canva also explained the actions it's taking to support the black community. This includes updating its media library so there are more diverse images and representation of the black community, asking designers to work with Canva to create more inclusive content and extending its non-profit program to support organisations that fight against racism and discrimination.

Culture Amp

On Twitter, Culture Amp highlighted that "to stay silent is to contribute to the problem of systemic, structural racism."

Culture Amp founder and CEO Didier Elzinga wrote in a blog post that black people and their rights matter.

"After witnessing the murder of yet another of our black fellow humans by someone meant to protect him, we can no longer be silent," he said. "Our collective failure to see, speak, and act as we should in the face of pervasive structural racism across a shamefully long history is all of our responsibility to fix."

Elzinga also highlighted the initiatives the company is taking to support black employees. In the near term, Culture Amp will be sharing resources on white fragility, anti-blackness and anti-racism as well as helping managers on how to support black employees.

Culture Amp is giving black people – and others who also feel affected – an extra day off this week without having to file for vacation (annual) leave and will be holding discussion sessions to connect and process "centering on our Black teammates’ experiences".

"Our global presence gives us the opportunity to add international context to the discussion with team members in Australia and Europe," Elzinga said.

In a more long term view, the company will be launching a program to support black workers, a White Allies Educational Initiative for those who want more education on the issue and a pilot Managing Across Racial Dynamics course for managers.

"We know that a core part of the work of eradicating racism is using the privilege we have to advocate for change," Didier added . "One of our greatest privileges is having the opportunity to support each of our customers on their journey to building just, engaged, high-performing workplaces."


Atlassian, which is listed on the US NASDAQ, showed its solidarity with the black community on Twitter.

In a blog post, Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes highlighted how the cases like George Floyd's death "represent the deeply institutionalised racial prejudice and injustice that still exists" in the world, including in Australia.

"I hold a privilege," he said. "One that comes with great responsibility to stand up and say “it’s not ok” when something isn’t right. To not walk past silently in acceptance. I have a responsibility to speak out."

When it comes to Atlassian, he said there is more work it can do.

"We know we have more work to do," he said. "As we look to our future, we must think about what stronger leadership for racial justice looks like. It’s not just about creating a diverse Atlassian team. But, this is a start.

"And we definitely need to do more to hire and retain underrepresented minorities. Which is why we’re committed to being open about where we can improve and where we’re making progress."

Cannon-Brookes also said he, along with fellow co-founder Scott Farquhar, will keep speaking up against racism.

"We cannot let racism perforate our society any longer," he added. "Change comes from our voices. Scott and I will continue to speak up – but also listen and learn."