When I come to work at Cloudflare, I understand and believe in this main purpose of why we exist: Helping to Build a Better Internet.
The reason why we feel like we can help build a better internet is simply because we believe in values that instill a nature of freedom, privacy, and empowerment in the tool that helps individuals broaden their intellectual and cultural perspective on the daily.
Knowing all of this, our own great company needs to be able to build itself daily into a better company. And that starts with having those conversations which are always uncomfortable. And let me be clear in saying this, being uncomfortable is a good thing because that makes one grow and not be stagnant. Saying all that, here we go…
The Afrocultural community at Cloudflare should take pride in being diverse and inclusive for all just as we all work together to help build a better internet for all.
And one of the many ways we can build upon this effort is to do more than just belong in a work place and eventually build off of that, feeling normal over time. When I mean belong, it’s more than the “Impostor Syndrome” that normally hits every new hire at any great company. The “Impostor Syndrome” phenomena can be explained by the fact that even though someone may have all the credentials that make them seem like they fit in that particular space, a human being can feel like they don’t belong there because of self-doubt or nervous, initial insecurity. This notion eventually goes away over time because this person proves to not only to his/her team that they belong in that space but also to themselves.
That’s the problem, however. That feeling doesn’t seem like it goes away for cultural groups, especially that of the Afrocultural community.
That’s the Black Elephant in the Room and it’s about time we talk about this.
Our community came together because we needed each other. We wanted to congratulate each other when one of us surpassed a goal at the end of a quarter. We wanted to have dialogue with not only our team but with other communities in Cloudflare, to empower, encourage, and remind each other every now and then that we are apart of what makes working at Cloudflare so great. From that moment on we knew that we had a sense of community and diversity. Cloudflare is a great place to work, but we knew that we need each other to make this an unforgettable experience. From that first meeting, we knew something special was born, and that is Afroflare.
And so we’re able to talk about the issues that matter to us: diversity in the workplace, Afrocultural pride, a new and fresh view of the Black culture at work, or even just saying, “Hey, you’re dope.” More importantly though, we’re done talking among each other. No. We now need to have the talk with our other brethren on this little blue ball in our Solar System called Earth. How can other Afro American employees get to feel welcomed into the tech world? What do young African American men and women need to strengthen their resumes and also empower themselves to be better and smarter individuals? In what ways can Cloudflare help lead this charge?
After all….we’re just discussing the Black Elephant in the room.