Authenticity has always been important to me. And in upbranding our (our, not my) company, the word ‘Authenticity’ and being your authentic self got tossed around frequently. But what does authenticity mean to us? It’s really having a simple goal to create a work environment that lets our employees not only truly be themselves but also keep improving, and discovering themselves. You want to be able to do good work, feel like you, and be inspired to keep developing the best parts of you. The next level up from authenticity (for me) is individuality.
Individuality is because we’ve always looked for people who were unabashedly themselves (new characters definitely welcomed). Individuality is also something that always evolves. And I really like that part. I also am proud that we’ve always built products that speak to individuals on a personal level and always treated “website traffic” as the actual humans they are. I don’t think anyone at our company would deny we are a group of ridiculous humans and status quo violators (myself definitely included), and that’s precisely what makes us who we are—and why we’re upbranding officially today to Wunderkind. A Wunderkind is an individual doing something extraordinary. Whether that’s inspiring others, solving problems, or bringing people closer together, a Wunderkind is a person being very special.
But, we can’t become Wunderkind and not acknowledge that some people do not have the same opportunity to be their full self. The most important conversation right now isn’t our official moniker, it’s supporting organizations on the frontlines of striving to ensure that everyone has the right to be their full, authentic, unique self regardless of race, gender identity, or sexuality. Protecting and empowering the equal opportunity for individuals to be extraordinary.
And so, if you’re reading this letter, I’d ask that you help direct your attention to the organizations listed below who are doing some extremely important and impactful work, we’re also launching a $1 million initiative to support Black-owned businesses that you can learn more about here.
And, eventually, I hope you get the chance to stop by Wunderland (our office/best in the Western Hemisphere) in the not so distant future and have a bev with me.
House of GG – Founded and led by Trans and gender nonconforming people and our allies, we create safe and transformative spaces where members of our community can heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—from the trauma arising from generations of transphobia, racism, sexism, poverty, ableism and violence, and nurture them into tomorrow’s leaders.
Martha P. Johnson Institute – The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. They do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting the collective power of Black trans people.
The Equal Justice Initiatives – Founded in 1989, the Equal Justice Institute is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. They challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
Movement for Black Lives – The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural, and political wins. They convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy.
The Okra Project – The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever they can be reached.