To help educate her Google colleagues on the importance of this year’s protests and fight for racial justice, Jenae Butler, Google’s systems adoption and enablement program manager, created the ever-changing resource deck, “Standing United: The Fight Against Inequality.”
When people started taking to the streets following the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department officers, Butler, who had been at the tech giant for less than a year, jumped into action and produced the 13-page resource guide to foster greater allyship.
“I created this deck because as a woman of color, I have an obligation to spread awareness through education and resource pooling,” Butler wrote. The desire to expand the conversation around race went beyond Google’s walls, as the deck was also shared on social sites like LinkedIn.
Moving through various social explanations, the deck first puts “the reasoning behind the protests” into context by reminding readers of some of the victims who came before Floyd, like Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Sandra Bland. It then offers “uncomfortable facts” and data to hone in on the unchecked culture of police violence against Black people, such as the fact that Black people are killed at three times the rate of white people at the hands of police. Butler also includes simple explanations for Black Lives Matter and how to be a good ally, as well as a page that debunks myths around race.
This slide deck appeared in my inbox — and once again, I am so grateful for those who are telling this story well. (Credit goes to Jenae Butler, a PGM for Google Cloud). #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/zExAsIXR5G— Ana Clara Blesso (@anaclarablesso) June 17, 2020
“Knowing that George Floyd’s death and related protests would spark uncomfortable conversations at work, I wanted to use my communication and design experience to complement existing resources and provide the basis for productive dialogue with my own team,” Butler told Colorlines. “I never expected the deck to resonate and be shared so widely, but I think it shows that seemingly small actions can have outsize impact, and that it’s always important to be brave and authentic to yourself.”
Keep up with Butler’s deck and its updates here. Read her interview on the Google Cloud Blog here, where she discusses the inspiration behind the project and how other women of color in tech can make their voices heard.