Twist Bioscience
June 12, 2020
18 min read

Resources on Inclusion and Anti-racism

Review the resources we put together for our employees and take action with us in creating anti-racist companies, communities, and families.
anti racim

OUR COMMITMENT

At Twist, we condemn injustice and racism. We value diversity and embrace our differences. We all bring different backgrounds and experiences, and in that diversity, we work together to serve our customers fighting global challenges of health, food insecurity, sustainability and so much more. We have a tagline of “Writing the Future” that focuses on advancing science for each person, full stop no caveats.

 

On June 4, 2020 we shared our CEO Emily Leproust’s letter to Twist employees regarding our condemnation of injustice and racism.

As a follow-up to that letter, we provided managers steps and actions they can take to have conversations with their teams. We know that our employees want support from their direct managers and executives as they do their best to manage both their personal trials and professional work always, but especially now and especially Black members of our team.

We also shared a resource guide with the entire company to encourage them to take action toward creating anti-racist companies, communities, and families. We’re sharing that resource guide here so others can take action with us.

Social justice, including anti-racism work, is a journey. Start where you are and become curious. At times it may be uncomfortable, or you may find yourself becoming defensive. Stop, breathe, lean into the discomfort. Then, when you’re ready, continue to be curious and consider the next step.

We are human. Change takes time, risk, and often results in errors. If we seek to be perfect, we’ll get in our own way. If we seek perfection from others, they may not be brave enough to take a step forward.

This guide is imperfect; better to start than to be perfect.

There are numerous resources available; this is a small sampling for your consideration. The acknowledgements section includes references to the sites and people that inspired us when creating this and contain many additional resources for further work.

This work is voluntary though highly encouraged. We invite you to consider taking a step (or many) forward but we know it only works if you are ready and want to be part of creating inclusive working relationships.

As an organization, we will continue to expose intolerance and mistreatment. We will continue to value diversity and seek different perspectives, treating each person with respect. We must be an organization that, in the words of Minda Harts, ‘moves past our caution’ to engage with our colleagues and the community around us, to express support and acknowledge that our Black team members are carrying an additional burden. We will ally with others and understand that our common humanity has not bred a common reality. We will act to improve upon this. Educating ourselves through these resources is one way to do so.

--------------

An Opportunity to Reflect*

As a start, think about a time in your life when you felt excluded.

  • How did it feel?
  • What do you wish others would have done differently?
  • What can you do to help others feel included?

*Inspired by Damien Hooper-Campbell

Videos

Humanizing Diversity and Inclusion (Damien Hooper-Campbell)
Systemic Racism Explained
13th Documentary (Full Length)
How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion: Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools
Let’s Get to the Root of Racial Injustice
How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Towards Them
How We’re Priming Some Kids for College and others for prison
Brown Eye, Blue Eye, Jane Elliott
Trigger Warning with Killer Mike
To Serve & Protect | Coming to America (VICE on HBO: Season 3, Episode 2)
I Am Not Your Negro (available on Kanopy and Amazon Prime

Websites and Social Media

Websites

Talking About Race, from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture

Social Media

Antiracism Center: Twitter
Color of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Articles

U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism (Harvard Business Review)
Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do
The 1619 Project from the New York Times
The Intersectionality Wars, Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019) 
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Penny McIntosh 
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?  by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying
What Is White Privilege, Really?
How to Be an Ally During Times of Tragedy

Books

Reading Lists

The New York Times, An Antiracist Reading List
Forbes Books List, First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources For White People
The Cut, 13 Books You Should Read About Black Lives
New York Magazing Anti-Racist Books Recommended by Educators and Activists

Books (some are mentioned in the above lists)

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, by Dolly Chugh
Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience, by Laura Morgan Roberts, Anthony J. Mayo, David A. Thomas
How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D

Podcasts

Code Switch (NPR)
Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw 
About Race
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
Seeing White
Small Doses with Amanda Seales Podcast, some specific episodes to consider:

  • Side Effects of White Women 53 min
  • Side Effects of Communication 1 hr 1 min
  • Side Effects of Being Misunderstood 1 hr
  • Side Effects of Professionalism 53 min
  • Side Effects of Being a Black Intellectual 1 hr 31 min

For Managers

How Managers Can (and Should) Address Race and Violence in The News
How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma

For Parents

Resources for parents to raise anti-racist children:

 

Books

These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults
31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

Podcasts

Parenting Forward podcast episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt
Fare of the Free Child podcast
Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey”

Articles

PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month
Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
The Conscious Kid: follow them on Instagram and consider signing up for their Patreon

Websites

Welcoming Schools Wednesdays: Activities and Resources for Inclusive Learning at Home

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the creators of the content that is available to us today as we seek a more just world.

This guide includes recommendations from Twist employees as well as other resources recommended in our personal and professional networks. There are a lot of resources available, this is a sampling for your consideration. It is not a formal syllabus and if you have other ways you prefer to learn and engage on these topics, follow what is best for you.

We’d like to acknowledge the resource and tools shared by leaders with a special acknowledgment to communities of color, especially black leaders, authors, artists, and activists.

We referred to the following resources and work of other organizations as we created this resource guide.

What did you think?

Dislike

Love

Surprised

Interesting

Get the latest by subscribing to our newsletter