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Mergelane Blog

Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Diversity in Venture Capital: Taking Action to Actually Change the Ratio

Kim Smith, executive director of the League of Innovative Schools, has worked for many years to address education equity and has a unique perspective on the barriers to entrepreneurship. In this interview, Kim shares her thought-provoking insights to help drive racial equality in our venture capital industry, and makes a powerful call for white co-conspirators who are ready, willing, and able to fight.

For more, read Kim’s op-ed: A Call to Action — Black Educators Need White Co-Conspirators to Combat Racism in Schools and Empower Our Students to Succeed

If you want to become a white co-conspirator and change the venture capital diversity ratio, Kim emphasizes that anti-racist work must be done in parallel. She suggests taking time to:

  • Reach out to a white colleague or industry peer who you can work with in affinity and invite them to be an accountability partner in anti-racist work.
  • Reflect on the characteristics of a white supremacy culture and your role and perspective. Review the list and mark the characteristics that are evident in your organization and yourself. Engage in a candid exchange with a peer.
  • Kim referenced Dr. Bettina Love in her op-ed. She is leading an abolitionist teaching movement. Watch her 30-minute presentation where she talks about co-conspirators. While Dr. Love’s presentation is focused on education, there are many applicable lessons for VCs.

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