This week, our former managing editor Andre Henry wrote about his experiences working at RELEVANT. In his piece, he described an experience that left him feeling marginalized and unvalued. Since some of our readers have reached out and asked for our perspective on the issues he raised, we wanted to pen this reply.
This week RELEVANT leadership reached out to Andre personally to apologize. In our conversations with him, he discussed ways we could improve our corporate culture, and based on his insights, we are looking into options to continue improving and create systems to ensure every member of our team has a positive experience.
We value Andre’s voice and passion for racial justice and are proud of the work he did while he was here. Since our launch, RELEVANT has strived to be a platform where important justice issues can be addressed. We’ve tried to make it a part of our scope of coverage that includes personal spiritual development, issues within the Church, pop culture, humor, global issues and many other areas.
At RELEVANT, we believe that institutional racism is a deeply rooted evil, both in our country and in the Church. Our heart breaks for the ways Christians have excused and even been complicit in anti-black racism, as it manifests in instances of police brutality, economic injustice, voter disenfranchisement, and the industrial prison complex. We also mourn the ways racism has manifested within the walls of the Church and companies like ours, as manifested by the marginalization of black voices and the unwillingness to confront an ugly and undeniable history. We care about these things, and the witness of God’s Word and his work in the world shows God cares about them too.
We are not only concerned with addressing the tragic realities of the past, but also building a better way forward for the Church. We want to help build bridges, provide a platform for historically marginalized racial groups and build unity by affirming the truth that none of us is free until all of us are free.
We’re aware that the first step towards this better future begins with us. To that end, RELEVANT will continue to look for ways to improve the ways we talk about racial justice. We will seek bold, uncompromising voices for our platform to talk about God’s vision for justice and equality. We will also seek out people who can speak to us internally, challenging us to become a better company that walks the talk.
We are deeply grateful to everyone who has been a voice on RELEVANT’s platforms and pray that God will help us continue to create content that makes an impact, builds the Church, challenges culture, enacts change and exposes injustice. We will continue to strive to improve and find new ways to address these issues.
In the coming weeks, we will be working internally to continue our own learning so that RELEVANT can be a welcoming, inclusive and thriving environment for all employees across racial lines.