Groopworks supports Blackout Tuesday but has chosen to participate in a June Blackout. Most CEO and Founders start the PR communications with “In times like these” but these incidents (not accidents) happen daily. As a black founder, Groopwork stands with the unity of black people around the United States who are constantly discriminated against. We stand with Americans who promote unity. We also support the businesses who have lost so much due to senseless looting and this pandemic. This story does not only hit home for me as a black man, it hits home as a person who has been harassed by law enforcement.

I was involved in an incident with a police where he didn’t like that I was sitting down in the mall so long. Some years ago, I went to Four Seasons Mall in Greensboro, North Carolina with some of my friends. I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything and we had a long day of events we had just attended. I decided to sit on a bench in front of the food court and text my girlfriend at the time. After about 10 minutes, an officer walks up to me and demanded that I get up. I’m confused because I hadn’t done anything but come in the mall and sit. When I asked why, he told me I was “sitting too long.” He harassed me and even threatened to arrest me. Being young and dumb, I stood my ground and told him I had every right to sit here. He combatted with “other people need to sit here and you’re taking up space.” Keep in mind I’m sitting directly in front of an almost empty food court with at least a hundred seats. After I mentioned that to him, he told me that if he came back in 10 minutes I better not be sitting there.

It wasn’t until the officer left a white man walked up to me to tell me how wrong and unjust the cop was. He stood their the entire time watching. That man who watched had the power to say enough for the officer to walk away but he didn’t. We often speak but we don’t take action. Are we worse if we only speak after-the-fact or don’t at all? Should we equate ourselves to those bad cops?

Being stubborn I stayed seated and the cop came back with his other cop friends. Luckily my friends finished shopping and we left the mall before anything happened. I would say God intervened because this wouldn’t have shown up on the news. It wouldn’t have made front page of a newspaper. Only because of modern day technology are we able to recognize the injustice that happens daily.

I’ve spoken with my partners to make sure they feel the same way. Today, Groopworks and its associates stands for black families, black men, black women, and our black children. We stand for our good officers (both black and white) who suffer from those who care less about people as humans. We stand for a nation of unity. We also stand for the small businesses who have been looted and the owners who have lost their livelihoods because of it. WE STAND. That’s why we’re participating in a June Blackout.

We will continue to support black business through being their customers and partners. We will continue our commitment of supporting those in under served communities by providing education and career development opportunities through technology and training. These were areas our business was founded on and it will not change! On June 19, 2020 (Juneteenth), we will be closed however there will be a series of articles posted on the on African American Education to teach yourselves and your children.

To my Groopwork clients and prospective clients, lets lead by example and create unity and stand as one nation against injustice everywhere.