June 2, 2020

Message to Nkarta Employees on George Floyd and Ongoing Protests

Dear Colleagues,

The video of George Floyd being needlessly murdered by a white law enforcement officer evokes outrage and anger, and sadness and hurt. We cannot sit back and wish this kind of behavior goes away.

We at Nkarta recognize the difficult times we are living in. Our hearts are broken by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others. These events remind us that racism and its injustices are with us today. The protests sweeping our country are recent, but the continuous cycle of violence against Black Americans is not. Members of the Black American community have had to contend with the pain of discrimination throughout their lives and history. We all share in the responsibility to change this through reflection, activism and action.

Our principles are clear. We join the chorus of leading organizations and institutions across the country to condemn intolerance in all its forms – including racism, bigotry, and any other form of hatred - and stand in full support of Black American communities in the Bay area and beyond.

We are a small innovation company with the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of our employees, our community and the health of millions of people. We are constantly asking ourselves how can we make things better. With the intense spotlight on racial injustice, this is a time to acknowledge that we all have much to learn and understand, not sit in the shadow of silence. We will continue on this journey together to be able to advocate for justice and drive change. We pledge to commit time and resources to help make the change that is needed, and that go beyond platitudes and words

We have a diverse work force at Nkarta but not one Black American team member. Why is this? I have a personal goal that we will be a mirror of the society we live in with regard to diversity of all forms, and we are clearly falling short. We need to be mindful of our shortcomings. We can and will do better.

Please consider this email as an open invitation to share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and ideas for additional action that Nkarta can take. Feel free to speak your mind or not, and no one will judge one way or the other, other than to say, we are all in this together and we are all outraged by acts of violence against Black Americans which appear to occur with regular frequency in parts of our country.

Thanks for listening.