An open letter from our founders in support of Black Lives Matter

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Friends of KNEAD,

We want to take a moment to voice our support for the black community, including our teammates, during these difficult times of upheaval throughout our country, and specifically in our hometown of Washington, DC. We deeply believe that Black Lives Matter and hope all of you will join us in solidarity with the black community.

What was reignited by horrendous events in Minneapolis and in Atlanta is symptomatic of deeply rooted systemic racism that has haunted our nation for centuries. The pandemic, which we are all suffering through, has laid bare the differences caused by race, income and ethnicity. These events have compounded the stress and helplessness that our citizens have been reeling from these last few months. It is no surprise to see our major cities boiling over with anger towards overt racism and police brutality. It is wrong on all levels for rights to be denied because of skin color, and we as a company vehemently condemn it. These senseless acts of violence against our citizens lay bare the open fissures that exist in our country.

We have seen brave people peacefully protesting the injustices that have plagued the black community for many years. We have also sadly witnessed bad actors bringing violence and destruction to our cities, but the peaceful aspect of these protests is clearly indicative of a need for greater respect, change and understanding for our citizens. We pray that those using their voices in a peaceful manner are not drowned out by those attempting to sabotage the right to protest and create anarchy and chaos in our cities.

KNEAD is an intentional melting pot that represents the best of our country and our community. It is through this diversity that we can show the world the best of what makes us special, unique and better together. We value equality, dignity and respect. While we cannot share the same experiences as some of our black colleagues, teammates, and friends, we must be sensitive to each other and take the time to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes ‐ remembering to always be honest, direct, and above all, kind. While we are all facing challenges and uncertainty that many of us have never seen before, we believe that these times are an opportunity for all of us to stand up for what is right, actively create change and ultimately become stronger from it. The past has shown that during times of civil unrest, pandemics and economic upheaval, the world has become better, stronger and more just. We know it is difficult to be optimistic, but we are hopeful for better times ahead.

What can we do? We pledge to listen, educate ourselves, and find ways to be a part of the solution. To start, we have made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative on behalf of KNEAD and its employees, with the hopes of helping their organization fight racial injustice and end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S. If you feel there is something that KNEAD can do better, please reach out to us. While we cannot do everything, especially in light of the economic impact that the pandemic has brought to our restaurants, we are committed to being part of the awakening and long‐overdue restructuring of our country.

Wishing you health, safety and peace during this time,

Jason and Michael
KNEAD Hospitality + Design Founders