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Advent International-Backed ATI Physical Therapy Set to Go Public Through Business Combination with Fortress Value Acquisition Corp. II

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BOLINGBROOK, Ill. and NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Fortress Value Acquisition Corp. II (“FVAC II”) (NYSE: FAII), a special purpose acquisition company, and ATI Physical Therapy (“ATI” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Advent International (“Advent”) and the largest single-branded outpatient physical therapy provider in the United States, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate as “ATI Physical Therapy, Inc.” and remain NYSE-listed under a new ticker symbol. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to approval by FVAC II’s stockholders and other customary closing conditions.

ATI owns and operates nearly 900 physical therapy clinics across 25 states. The Company operates its business based on data and analytics, augmented by a relentless focus on delivering superior patient outcomes that exceed industry benchmarks and service excellence to its patient, provider and payor customers.

The existing management team, led by CEO Labeed Diab, CFO Joe Jordan and COO Ray Wahl, will continue to lead the business, and Advent will remain ATI’s largest stockholder.

A Record of Growth in an Evolving Industry

ATI operates in the growing outpatient physical therapy segment of the musculoskeletal (“MSK”) treatment industry, which represents an estimated $22 billion market, within a broader MSK treatment industry representing $300$400 billion in total spend.1 Multiple secular tailwinds are driving increased demand for outpatient physical therapy services, including: favorable demographic trends, specifically the rise in individuals over the age of 65; greater desire for active lifestyles throughout life; and continued shift towards outpatient care. In addition, there is an increasing shift away from invasive and cost inefficient treatment modalities such as surgeries and opioids to physical therapy as an effective first line of treatment for many MSK conditions.

The combination of a fast-growing market and transition to value-based healthcare has allowed ATI to execute a strategy of organic growth, accretive acquisitions and market-leading profitability in a highly fragmented industry. Since 2016, ATI has opened approximately 300 new clinics and acquired and integrated approximately 125 clinics. And with its EMR database of 2.5+ million patient cases, the Company believes it is uniquely equipped to not only deliver consistent, high-quality patient outcomes but also intelligently design and capitalize on value-based healthcare risk sharing arrangements.

“I am extremely proud of our team and the leadership role ATI plays across the nation in consistently delivering exceptional musculoskeletal outcomes, driving efficiencies and cost savings that benefit the healthcare ecosystem and delivering great results for our patients, providers and payors,” said Labeed Diab, CEO of ATI. “We expect to remain an active participant in the evolution of the industry and look forward to this next, exciting phase of our growth.”

Drew McKnight, CEO of FVAC II, commented, “We have followed ATI for a long time, having been an investor in the credit for over ten years. Since Advent bought the business in 2016, we’ve watched and admired the company’s growth, in particular their approximately 300 new clinics through their de novo growth effort. With this strong leadership team and strong balance sheet, we believe ATI is well positioned to continue this de novo growth as well as be a primary and preferred acquirer in what is still a fragmented industry.”

John Maldonado, a Managing Partner at Advent, said, “We are proud of what we have achieved in our partnership with ATI. Together, we strengthened ATI’s industry leadership through a focus on outcomes and value-based care initiatives that have further differentiated the Company’s physical therapy offering. Our tech and operational investments have enabled ATI to grow its clinic footprint by 50 percent while consistently putting patient care first and further enhancing its clinician-centric culture. We look forward to working more closely with Fortress in supporting ATI’s continued growth.”

Key Transaction Terms

The combined company represents an enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion at closing, or 14.0x 2022E Adjusted EBITDA.

In connection with this transaction:

  • Cash proceeds raised will consist of FVAC II’s cash in trust of $345 million and a fully committed common stock PIPE of $300 million at $10.00 per share from institutional investors including Fortress Investment Group LLC, Wells Capital Management, Weiss Asset Management and Monashee Investment Management.
  • FVAC II has amended the terms of its founder equity to align with long-term value creation and performance of the Company. FVAC II’s sponsor will defer 100 percent of its founder shares in accordance with the following vesting schedule: 33 percent at $12.00 per share, 33 percent at $14.00 per share and 33 percent at $16.00 per share. FVAC II’s sponsor will also cancel 50 percent of private warrants.
  • Advent and other existing common equity holders of ATI, including management, will remain 100 percent invested following the closing, rolling approximately $1.3 billion of investment holdings into equity of the combined company.
  • ATI’s preferred equity holders, including GCM Grosvenor, who has been a decade-long investor in ATI, will continue to be significant investors and are converting approximately $130 million of existing stake into equity of the combined company.
  • Cash proceeds will be used to pay down ATI’s existing debt and remaining preferred equity, significantly reducing leverage. Pro forma net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio is expected to be reduced from 5.2x to 2.1x based on 2022E Adjusted EBITDA.
  • ATI common equity holders, ATI preferred equity holders, FVAC II stockholders and PIPE investors (including investment funds affiliated with Fortress Investment Group LLC ) are expected to own approximately 63 percent, 6 percent, 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of the outstanding common shares of the combined company immediately following the merger.2

The Boards of Directors of both FVAC II and ATI have unanimously approved the proposed business combination, and, following such approval, ATI stockholders adopted the merger agreement. No further approval by ATI stockholders is required to consummate the proposed business combination. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, subject to, among other customary closing conditions, approval by FVAC II stockholders and FVAC II having minimum cash of $472.5 million.

Additional information about the proposed business combination, including a copy of the merger agreement and investor presentation, will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by FVAC II with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available at www.sec.gov. ‍

Advisors

Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Securities are serving as joint financial advisors to FVAC II. Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank Securities, and BofA Securities are serving as placement agents to FVAC II. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor to FVAC II.

Barclays and Citi are acting as joint financial advisors and capital markets advisors to ATI. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel to ATI.

Investor Management Presentation

FVAC II and ATI management will host a conference call on February 22, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., EST, to review an investor presentation. The conference call can be accessed in the “Investors” section of the ATI website at https://www.atipt.com/investors and the FVAC II website at https://www.fortressvalueac2.com/. A recording of the webcast will be available online following the conference call at the same links.

The presentation and a transcript of the call will also be filed by FVAC II with the SEC under the cover of a Current Report on Form 8-K, which can be viewed through the SEC’s EDGAR website at www.sec.gov. A link to Fortress Value Acquisition Corp.’s SEC filings can be found at https://www.fortressvalueac2.com/sec-filings.

About ATI Physical Therapy

At ATI Physical Therapy, we are passionate about potential. Every day, we restore it in our patients and activate it in our team members in close to 900 locations across the U.S. With proven results from more than 2.5 million unique patient cases tracked in its EMR database, ATI is leading the industry by setting best practice standards that deliver predictable outcomes for our patients with MSK issues. ATI’s offerings span the healthcare spectrum for MSK-related issues. From preventative services in the workplace and athletic training support to home health, outpatient clinical services and online physical therapy via its CONNECT™ platform, a complete list of our service offerings can be found at ATIpt.com.

About Fortress Value Acquisition Corp. II

FVAC II is a $345 million Special Purpose Acquisition Company sponsored by Fortress Credit and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker FAII. Fortress Credit is a business of Fortress Investment Group LLC (“Fortress”).

Fortress is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager. Founded in 1998, Fortress manages $49.9 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2020, on behalf of approximately 1,800 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 350 private equity transactions in 41 countries, and as of September 30, 2020, had $66.2 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 200 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

For more information, visit 
Website: www.adventinternational.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/advent-international

About GCM Grosvenor

GCM Grosvenor (Nasdaq: GCMG) is a global alternative asset management solutions provider across private equity, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and absolute return investment strategies. The firm is in its 50th year of operation and is dedicated to delivering value for clients in the growing alternative investment asset classes. GCM Grosvenor’s experienced team of approximately 500 professionals serves a global client base of institutional and high net worth investors. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

This press release is being made in respect of the proposed business combination involving FVAC II and ATI. In connection with the proposed business combination, FVAC II intends to file with the SEC a preliminary proxy statement relating to the proposed business combination, which will be mailed (if and when available) to its stockholders once definitive. This press release does not contain all the information that should be considered concerning the proposed business combination and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or any other decision in respect of the proposed business combination. FVAC II’s stockholders and other interested persons are advised to read, when available, the preliminary proxy statement, any amendments thereto, the definitive proxy statement and any other documents filed in connection with FVAC II’s solicitation of proxies for its special meeting of stockholders to be held to approve the proposed business combination and other matters, as these materials will contain important information about the Company, FVAC II and the proposed business combination. When available, the definitive proxy statement and other relevant materials for the proposed business combination will be mailed to stockholders of FVAC II as of a record date to be established for voting on the proposed business combination. Stockholders of FVAC II will also be able to obtain copies of the proxy statement and other documents filed with the SEC, without charge, once available, at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, the documents filed by FVAC II may be obtained free of charge from FVAC II at https://www.fortressvalueac2.com/sec-filings or upon written request to FVAC II at 1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10105, Attn: Investor Relations, or by calling (212) 798-6100.

This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements thereof.

Participants in the Solicitation

FVAC II, ATI and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may, under SEC rules, be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from FVAC II’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination. Information regarding the persons who may, under SEC rules, be deemed participants in the solicitation of FVAC II’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination will be set forth in FVAC II’s proxy statement when it is filed with the SEC. You can find more information about FVAC II’s directors and executive officers in FVAC II’s final prospectus dated August 11, 2020 and filed with the SEC on August 13, 2020. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be included in FVAC II’s preliminary and definitive proxy statement when it becomes available. Stockholders, potential investors and other interested persons should read the proxy statement carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. When available, these documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may generally be identified by the use of words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” “target” or other similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding estimates and forecasts of other financial and performance metrics (including pro forma net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio), projections of market opportunity and market share, the satisfaction of closing conditions to the potential transaction and the PIPE, the level of redemptions by FVAC II’s public stockholders and the timing of the completion of the potential transaction, including the anticipated closing date of the proposed business combination and the use of the cash proceeds therefrom. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of ATI’s and FVAC II’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by any investor as a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and may differ from assumptions, and such differences may be material. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of ATI and FVAC II. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including (i) changes in domestic and foreign business, market, financial, political and legal conditions; (ii) the inability of the parties to successfully or timely consummate the proposed business combination, including the risk that any required regulatory approvals are not obtained, are delayed or are subject to unanticipated conditions that could adversely affect the combined company or the expected benefits of the proposed business combination or that the approval of the stockholders of FVAC II is not obtained; (iii) the ability to maintain the listing of the combined company’s securities on NYSE; (iv) the inability to complete the PIPE; (v) the risk that the proposed business combination disrupts current plans and operations of FVAC II or ATI as a result of the announcement and consummation of the transaction described herein; (vi) the risk that any of the conditions to closing are not satisfied in the anticipated manner or on the anticipated timeline; (vii) the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination; (viii) risks relating to the uncertainty of the projected financial information with respect to ATI and costs related to the proposed business combination; (ix) risks related to the rollout of ATI’s business strategy and the timing of expected business milestones; (x) the effects of competition on ATI’s future business and the ability of the combined company to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees; (xi) risks related to political and macroeconomic uncertainty; (xii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against FVAC II, ATI or any of their respective directors or officers, following the announcement of the potential transaction; (xiii) the amount of redemption requests made by FVAC II’s public stockholders; (xiv) the ability of FVAC II or the combined company to issue equity or equity-linked securities or obtain debt financing in connection with the proposed business combination or in the future; (xv) the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on any of the foregoing risks; and (xvi) those factors discussed in FVAC II’s final prospectus dated August 11, 2020 and any Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, in each case, under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents of FVAC II filed, or to be filed, with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or FVAC II’s or ATI’s assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that neither FVAC II nor ATI presently know or that FVAC II and ATI currently believe are immaterial that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect FVAC II’s and ATI’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. FVAC II and ATI anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause FVAC II’s and ATI’s assessments to change. However, while FVAC II and ATI may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, FVAC II and ATI specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, unless required by applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing FVAC II’s and ATI’s assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Certain financial information and data contained in this press release is unaudited and does not conform to Regulation S-X promulgated under the Securities Act. Accordingly, such information and data may not be included in, may be adjusted in or may be presented differently in, any proxy statement/prospectus or registration statement to be filed by FVAC II with the SEC. Some of the financial information and data contained in this press release, such as Adjusted EBITDA, have not been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). FVAC II and ATI believe these non-GAAP measures of financial results provide useful information to management and investors regarding certain financial and business trends relating to ATI’s financial condition and results of operations. ATI’s management uses these non-GAAP measures for trend analyses, for purposes of determining management incentive compensation and for budgeting and planning purposes. FVAC II and ATI believe that the use of these non-GAAP financial measures provides an additional tool for investors to use in evaluating projected operating results and trends in and in comparing ATI’s financial measures with other similar companies, many of which present similar non-GAAP financial measures to investors. However, ATI’s method of determining these measures may be different from other companies’ methods and, therefore, may not be directly comparable to those used by other similar companies. Management does not consider these non-GAAP measures in isolation or as an alternative to financial measures determined in accordance with GAAP. The principal limitation of these non-GAAP financial measures is that they exclude significant expenses and income that are required by GAAP to be recorded in ATI’s financial statements. In addition, they are subject to inherent limitations as they reflect the exercise of judgments by management about which expense and income are excluded or included in determining these non-GAAP financial measures. In order to compensate for these limitations, management presents non-GAAP financial measures in connection with GAAP results and reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measure are included at the end of this press release.

1 According to a third-party market study as of December 11, 2020.
2 Assumes no redemption by public stockholders in connection with the transaction and excludes the impact of Fortress warrants (9.9 million warrants with a strike price of $11.50 per warrant). Assumes new shares are issued at a price of $10.00 per share.

SOURCE ATI Physical Therapy

Related Links

http://www.atipt.com

Business

Nuvation Bio Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Provides Business Update

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Nuvation Bio Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Provides Business Update

NEW YORK, May 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Nuvation Bio Inc. (NYSE: NUVB), a biopharmaceutical company tackling some of the greatest unmet needs in oncology by developing differentiated and novel therapeutic candidates, today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, and provided a business update.

“Nuvation Bio continues to make meaningful progress on advancing our deep pipeline of therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers and remains on track to submit five additional Investigational New Drug (IND) applications by 2026,” said David Hung, M.D., founder and chief executive officer of Nuvation Bio. “We also continue to enroll and dose patients in our Phase 1/2 study of NUV-422, our lead cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 2/4/6 inhibitor, in high-grade gliomas and expect top-line data from the Phase 1 portion of this study in 2022. Our strong cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $824.7 million at the end of the first quarter provides us sufficient resources to continue to execute on our robust clinical development plan and grow our pipeline of novel and mechanistically distinct cancer treatments.”

Recent Business Highlights

  • Enrollment ongoing in Phase 1/2 study of NUV-422. Nuvation Bio continues to enroll and dose patients in the Phase 1/2 study of its lead investigational compound, NUV-422, a CDK 2/4/6 inhibitor, in adult patients with recurrent or refractory high-grade gliomas, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The Phase 1 dose escalation portion of the study is designed to evaluate safety and tolerability, as well as to determine a recommended Phase 2 dose based on the tolerability profile and pharmacokinetic properties of NUV-422. The Phase 2 dose expansion portion of the study is expected to initially focus on patients with high-grade gliomas and is designed to evaluate overall response rate, duration of response and survival. Data from the Phase 1 portion of this study is expected in 2022.

First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

As of March 31, 2021, Nuvation Bio had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $824.7 million.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, research and development expenses were $15.9 million, compared to $7.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The increase of $8.6 million was due to an increase in third-party costs related to research services and manufacturing to advance our current preclinical programs and Phase 1/2 clinical trial. Also, the current period includes approximately $3.7 million related to the issuance of common stock as consideration for the purchase of in-process research and development.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, general and administrative expenses were $4.6 million, compared to $1.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The increase of $2.7 million was due to increased personnel-related costs driven by an increase in headcount, as well as increases in professional fees, insurance costs and tax expense.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, Nuvation Bio reported a net loss of $20.4 million, or $(0.12) per share. This compares to a net loss of $8.7 million, or $(0.10) per share, for the comparable period in 2020.

Restatement of Panacea Financial Statements

Nuvation Bio also announced that, as reported in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 14, 2021, as a result of guidance provided by the SEC on April 12, 2021 regarding the accounting for warrants issued by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), it is restating the previously issued 2020 consolidated financial statements of Panacea Acquisition Corp. (Panacea). Panacea combined with Nuvation Bio Inc. (Legacy Nuvation Bio) and changed its name to Nuvation Bio Inc. on February 10, 2021 (the Merger).

The restatement pertains to the accounting treatment for Panacea’s public and private placement warrants that were outstanding on December 31, 2020, as well as the forward purchase agreement (the “FPA”) with certain anchor investors, which provided for the potential future issuance of securities, including additional warrants. Consistent with market practice among SPACs, Panacea had been accounting for the warrants and the FPA as equity under a fixed accounting model. However, in light of the recent SEC guidance, we are restating Panacea’s historical financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 such that the warrants and the FPA are accounted for as liabilities and marked-to-market each reporting period. In general, under the mark-to-market accounting model, we measure the fair value of the liability-classified warrants and the FPA at the end of each reporting period and recognize any changes in their fair value in our operating results. As of December 31, 2020, Panacea had 4,954,167 warrants outstanding and subject to reclassification. Upon completion of the Merger, an additional 833,333 warrants were issued pursuant to the FPA.

The change in accounting treatment does not impact the historical financial statements of Legacy Nuvation Bio, which became the historical financial statements of the combined company upon completion of the Merger. In addition, Nuvation Bio currently expects that the reclassification of the warrants will have no impact on the liquidity or cash or cash equivalents in the historical financial statements of Panacea.

About Nuvation Bio

Nuvation Bio is a biopharmaceutical company tackling some of the greatest unmet needs in oncology by developing differentiated and novel therapeutic candidates. Nuvation Bio’s proprietary portfolio includes six novel and mechanistically distinct oncology therapeutic product candidates, each targeting some of the most difficult-to-treat types of cancer. Nuvation Bio was founded in 2018 by biopharma industry veteran David Hung, M.D., who previously founded Medivation, Inc., which brought to patients one of the world’s leading prostate cancer medicines. Nuvation Bio has offices in New York and San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.nuvationbio.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are sometimes accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the potential therapeutic benefit of Nuvation Bio’s product candidates, expected future IND filings, the expected timing of clinical trial data and the expected impact of the restatement of Panacea’s 2020 financial statements. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of the management team of Nuvation Bio and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of Nuvation Bio. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those factors discussed in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on or about May 17, 2021, in the section titled “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and other documents that Nuvation Bio has filed or will file with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or Nuvation Bio’s assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that Nuvation Bio does not presently know, or that Nuvation Bio currently believes are immaterial, that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect Nuvation Bio’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. Nuvation Bio anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause Nuvation Bio’s assessments to change. However, while Nuvation Bio may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Nuvation Bio specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Nuvation Bio’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.

Nuvation Bio Investor Contact:
[email protected]

Nuvation Bio Media Contact:
Argot Partners
Leo Vartorella
[email protected]

NUVATION BIO INC. and Subsidiaries








Condensed Balance Sheets




‘(In thousands, except share and per share data)

March 31,


December 31,


2021


2020





Assets








Current assets:




Cash and cash equivalents

$    638,904


$             29,755

Prepaid expenses

5,138


914

Marketable securities available-for-sale, at fair value

185,809


185,997

Interest receivable on marketable securities

1,015


1,092

Deferred financing costs


2,925

Total current assets

830,866


220,683





Property and equipment, net

772


688





Other assets:




Lease security deposit

421


421





Total assets

$    832,059


$           221,792





Liabilities and stockholders’ equity







Current liabilities:




Accounts payable

$        6,003


$               2,171

Accrued expenses

3,984


4,380

Total current liabilities

9,987


6,551

Warrant liability

15,561


Deferred rent – non current

167


157

Total liabilities

25,715


6,708





Commitments and contingencies (Note 11)








Stockholders’ equity




Class A and Class B common stock and additional paid in capital, $0.0001 par value per share;




1,060,000,000 shares authorized as of March 31, 2021 (Class A 1,000,000,000, Class B 60,000,000)




and 1,174,094,678 shares authorized as of December 31, 2020 (Class A 880,000,000, Class B 294,094,678);




217,650,055 (Class A 216,650,055, Class B 1,000,000) and 149,042,155 (Class A 91,397,142,




Class B 57,645,013) issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively

901,720


289,482

Accumulated deficit

(96,357)


(75,955)

Accumulated other comprehensive income

981


1,557

Total stockholders’ equity

806,344


215,084





Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$    832,059


$           221,792

NUVATION BIO INC. and Subsidiaries








Condensed Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss




(In thousands, except share and per share data)








For The Three Months Ended March 31,

2021


2020









Operating expenses:




Research and development

$       15,879


$       7,295

General and administrative

4,605


1,925

Total operating expenses

20,484


9,220





Loss from operations

(20,484)


(9,220)





Other income (expense):




Interest income

438


519

Investment advisory fees

(108)


(60)

Change in fair value of warrant liability

(293)


Realized gain on marketable securities

45


15

Total other income (expense)

82


474





Loss before income taxes

(20,402)


(8,746)





Provision for income taxes






Net loss

$     (20,402)


$     (8,746)

Net loss attributable to common stockholders




Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted

$        (0.12)


$       (0.10)

Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic and diluted

169,659,037


85,714,375





Comprehensive loss:




Net loss

$     (20,402)


$     (8,746)

Other comprehensive income, net of taxes:




Change in unrealized (loss) gain on available-for-sale securities

(576)


819





Comprehensive loss

$     (20,978)


$     (7,927)

SOURCE Nuvation Bio, Inc.

Related Links

www.nuvationbio.com

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Synlogic Reports First Quarter Financial Results and Provides Business Update

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Synlogic Reports First Quarter Financial Results and Provides Business Update

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Synlogic, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYBX), a clinical stage company bringing the transformative potential of synthetic biology to medicine, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, and provided an update on its clinical and preclinical programs.

“We are building momentum and executing on our plans to demonstrate the clinical potential of our Synthetic Biotic platform in 2021,” said Aoife Brennan, M.B. Ch.B., Synlogic’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With proof of mechanism established in our two lead metabolic programs and a strengthened balance sheet, we are well positioned to deliver proof of concept readouts for both SYNB1618 in Phenylketonuria (PKU) and SYNB8802 in Enteric Hyperoxaluria later this year.”

Quarter Highlights

The Metabolic Portfolio:

Continued development of Synthetic Biotic™ medicines for the treatment of PKU.

  • Enrollment of the SynPheny-1 Phase 2 trial is on track with data expected in the second half of 2021. SynPheny-1 is designed to evaluate plasma phenylalanine (Phe) lowering of a solid oral formulation of SYNB1618 in adult PKU patients who do not benefit from, or do not tolerate, existing therapies such as KUVAN® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) or PALYNZIQ® (pegvaliase-pqpz).
  • Data on the solid oral formulation of SYNB1618 was presented at the American College of Medical Genetics meeting in April 2021.
  • Continued development of SYNB1934, an evolved Synthetic Biotic medicine in the PKU portfolio, which may provide increased Phe lowering efficacy, lower dosing, or both, relative to SYNB1618. SYNB1934 is progressing through IND enabling studies.

SYNB1618 and SYNB1934 are orally administered Synthetic Biotic medicines being developed as potential treatments for PKU. They are intended to address the needs of patients of all age groups through the consumption of Phe in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which has the potential to lower blood Phe levels and enable the consumption of more natural protein in the diet.

Demonstration of proof of mechanism of SYNB8802, a Synthetic Biotic medicine being developed for the treatment of Enteric Hhyperoxaluria.

  • In an ongoing Phase 1 study, SYNB8802 demonstrated safety and urinary oxalate lowering in healthy volunteers consuming a high oxalate diet.
  • Urinary oxalate lowering by SYNB8802 was dose-dependent. The 3e11 dose was chosen for further evaluation in the second part of the Phase 1 study in patients with Enteric Hyperoxaluria. This dose was well-tolerated and resulted in a 28.6% (90% CI: -42.4 to -11.6) reduction in urinary oxalate as measured by a change from baseline compared to placebo.
  • The second part of the Phase 1 study is continuing with the evaluation of SYNB8802 in patients with Enteric Hyperoxaluria secondary to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Data from the second part of the study is anticipated in the second half of 2021.

SYNB8802 is an orally administered Synthetic Biotic medicine being developed as a potential treatment for Enteric Hyperoxaluria. Enteric Hyperoxaluria results in dangerously high urinary oxalate levels causing progressive kidney damage, kidney stone formation, and nephrocalcinosis. Enteric Hyperoxaluria has no approved treatment options. SYNB8802 is designed to consume oxalate in the GI tract to prevent the increased absorption of oxalate in patients with Enteric Hyperoxaluria.

The Immunomodulation Portfolio:

Progression of SYNB1891 in combination arm dosing with PDL1 checkpoint inhibitor in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.

  • SYNB1891 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study that has two parts:
    • Part A is a monotherapy arm that has enrolled six dose cohorts to date. The maximum tolerated dose has not been reached and dose escalation continues.
    • Part B is a combination arm and dosing has been completed in two cohorts to date with SYNB1891 and the PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab to establish a recommended Phase 2 dose for the combination regimen.
  • Data from this study was presented at the American Association of Cancer Research meeting in April 2021.

SYNB1891 is an intratumorally administered Synthetic Biotic medicine engineered to act as a dual innate and adaptive immune activator. Data from both arms of the Phase 1 study will continue to be reported over the course of 2021, with mature combination therapy data expected by the end of the year.

Corporate Update:

Synlogic strengthens Balance Sheet.

  • On April 20th, subsequent to the end of the first quarter, Synlogic completed an underwritten public offering of 11.5 million shares. Net proceeds from the offering were $32.6 million, bringing Synlogic’s cash balance to approximately $127 million.

Synlogic advances strategic partnerships and expands manufacturing capabilities.

  • Synlogic plans to expand its manufacturing footprint by more than 50% to support continued advancement of its pipeline and late-phase development of its lead metabolic programs.
    • Synlogic will invest to expand fermentation and lyophilization capacity to support scale up efforts, enabling potential late stage development of SYNB1618 and SYNB8802.
    • Construction and build out anticipated to take place in the second half of 2021.
  • Synlogic and the MIT Voigt Lab are collaborating with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to engineer novel investigational medicines to address battle fatigue.
  • Synlogic and Ginkgo Bioworks continue to advance their long-term strategic platform collaboration that provides expanded synthetic biology capabilities to Synlogic with multiple undisclosed metabolic programs now in preclinical stages of development.

First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

As of March 31, 2021, Synlogic had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $94.4 million.

For the three months ended March 31, 2021, Synlogic reported a consolidated net loss of $15.0 million, or $0.36 per share, compared to a consolidated net loss of $15.8 million, or $0.46 per share, for the corresponding period in 2020.

Research and development expenses were $11.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $12.7 million for the corresponding period in 2020.

General and administrative expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2021 were $3.9 million compared to $3.8 million for the corresponding period in 2020.

There was no revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $0.1 million for the corresponding period in 2020. Revenue for the prior period was associated with Synlogic’s collaboration with AbbVie to develop Synthetic Biotic medicines for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which was terminated in May 2020.

Financial Outlook

Based upon its current operating plan, balance sheet as of March 31st, 2021 and proceeds from the recent public offering in April 2021, Synlogic expects to have sufficient cash to be able to fund the base operating plan into the second half of 2023.

Conference Call & Webcast Information

Synlogic will host a conference call and live webcast at 8:30 am ET today, Thursday, May 13, 2021. To access the live webcast, please visit the “Event Calendar” page within the Investors and Media section of the Synlogic website. Investors may listen to the call by dialing +1 (844) 815-2882 from locations in the United States or +1 (213) 660-0926 from outside the United States. The conference ID number is 2526209. A replay will be available for 30 days on the Investors and Media section of the Synlogic website.

About Synlogic
Synlogic™ is bringing the transformative potential of synthetic biology to medicine. With a premiere synthetic biology platform that leverages a reproducible, modular approach to microbial engineering, Synlogic designs Synthetic Biotic medicines that target validated underlying biology to treat disease in new ways. Synlogic’s proprietary pipeline includes Synthetic Biotics for the treatment of metabolic disorders including Phenylketonuria (PKU) and Enteric Hyperoxaluria. The company is also building a portfolio of partner-able assets in immunology and oncology.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that involve substantial risks and uncertainties for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations, clinical development plans, future financial position, future revenue, projected expenses, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. In addition, when or if used in this press release, the words “may,” “could,” “should,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict” and similar expressions and their variants, as they relate to Synlogic may identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the potential of Synlogic’s platform to develop therapeutics to address a wide range of diseases including: cancer, inborn errors of metabolism, metabolic diseases, and inflammatory and immune disorders; our expectations about sufficiency of our existing cash balance; the future clinical development of Synthetic Biotic medicines; the approach Synlogic is taking to discover and develop novel therapeutics using synthetic biology; and the expected timing of Synlogic’s clinical trials and availability of clinical trial data. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement as a result of various factors, including: the uncertainties inherent in the clinical and preclinical development process; the ability of Synlogic to protect its intellectual property rights; and legislative, regulatory, political and economic developments, as well as those risks identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in Synlogic’s filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect Synlogic’s current views with respect to future events. Synlogic anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Synlogic may elect to update these forward-looking statements in the future, Synlogic specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Synlogic’s view as of any date subsequent to the date hereof.


Synlogic, Inc.


Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations


(unaudited)








(in thousands except share and per share data)

For the three months ended





March 31, 2021


March 31, 2020










Revenue

$                 —


$                     100










Operating expenses







Research and development

11,180


12,677




General and administrative

3,851


3,821



Total operating expenses

15,031


16,498



Loss from operations

(15,031)


(16,398)



Other income, net

60


570



Net loss

$         (14,971)


$                (15,828)










Net loss per share – basic and diluted

$             (0.36)


$                   (0.46)



Weighted-average common shares used in computing net loss per share – basic and diluted

41,545,050


34,233,688




Synlogic, Inc.


Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets


(unaudited)

(in thousands, except share data)








March 31, 2021


December 31, 2020



Assets







Cash, cash equivalents, short and long-term investments

$          94,352


$               100,444




Fixed assets

10,174


10,776




Other assets

31,219


32,620



Total assets

$        135,745


$               143,840










Liabilities and stockholders’ equity







Current liabilities

$            6,986


$                   8,301




Long-term liabilities

$          19,709


20,404




Total liabilities

26,695


28,705




Total stockholders’ equity

$        109,050


115,135



Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$        135,745


$               143,840










Common stock and common stock equivalents







Common stock

40,873,526


38,183,273




Common stock warrants (pre-funded)

2,548,117


2,548,117



Total common stock

43,421,643


40,731,390



SOURCE Synlogic, Inc.

Related Links

http://www.synlogictx.com

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18 Business Leaders on Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Society

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18 Business Leaders on Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Society

The United States is currently facing an important self-reckoning about race, diversity, equality and inclusion. Many of us see the news and ask how we can help. What are the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way?

Authority Magazine recently ran an interview series asking close to fifty influential business leaders if they can share their “5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society”.

Here are some highlights of these interviews.

Cedric Ellis of CUNA Mutual Group

Cedric Ellis of CUNA Mutual Group

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Authority Magazine

The challenge with DE&I initiatives is that most organizations want the quick fix or what I call the “just add water” approach. To be effective and authentic, one must do the work to better understand the challenges that we face with race in our country. To answer the question more directly, context is key. We all have bias we bring everywhere, but these steps can be important for eliminating roadblocks for DE&I:

1. Ensure leaders aren’t perpetuating the sense of inequity, discrimination, or systemic challenges. Often, employees of color have white leaders. If we can come to terms with the fact that we all have bias and challenge these notions about who is being burdened versus helped, we can go far.

2. Examine your organizational purpose and align DE&I strategy to that. You need to build the why. Be clear about what you want to accomplish, and why. For example, at CUNA Mutual Group, we believe a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone. Inclusion is built into our purpose.

3. Build a baseline level of training and education for front-line leaders. This dictates how DE&I is embraced and will most directly address how systemic racism is dismantled in the community. If you’re trying to build an anti-racist organization, it starts with front-line leaders to influence overall culture.

4. Be deliberate about your recruiting efforts. Move beyond the usual suspects and think about where diverse talent that without your usual pedigree might be, because those pedigrees probably don’t have enough diversity.

5. The most important step of all is to have a CEO who is on board. Having a CEO who is a champion for DE&I and believes it is linked to success and isn’t afraid to talk about it, sets the tone for DE&I to be successful.

Leslie Crutchfield of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Leslie Crutchfield of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

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Authority Magazine

1. Change hearts as well as policies. Racism is a social norm, a cultural attitude, a personal GFN. It cannot be legislated or regulated. But it can be changed.

The fight for same-sex marriage equality offers a powerful example. In that movement, reformers deliberately set out to first understand where most people in America stood on LGBTQ marriage. National polls in the 2000s showed that while a handful of respondents were adamantly opposed to gay marriage, whether for ideological, religious or other reasons, the vast majority did not have a strong GFN. They weren’t for it or against it. Many said they didn’t understand why gay people wanted to marry. So, the Freedom to Marry campaign and its allies set out to convince this silent, if confused, majority of “persuadable” people to support their cause through widespread social media campaigns and targeted efforts to change the attitudes of influential individuals. Dismantling deeply-rooted social and cultural norms is more challenging than changing laws or regulations. But it is possible.

2. Have a national strategy and a federal strategy. The most successful movements of the 21st Century focused on state and local policy reform, and only later attempted more sweeping federal changes. This worked for anti-smoking crusaders, gun rights proponents, and gay marriage advocates alike over the past two decades, even though these different causes appealed to opposing political parties. Advocates and allies for Black lives should focus their firepower on state and local policy reform now, while they have the nation’s attention  —  and empathy — they can generate the momentum needed to achieve nationwide changes in the future. But if, instead, the movement pushes for sweeping federal changes too soon, they could squander this historic opportunity.

3. Data doesn’t matter, emotions do. People respond to events with their reptile brains, it’s primal and subconscious. But even the most well-intentioned advocates rely too often on statistics and try to use data and numbers to argue for their cause. For instance, people in America knew as early as 1964 that smoking was dangerous to your health  —  that’s when the US Surgeon General first warned about cigarettes, but it took more than several decades of non-smoker’s rights and tobacco control advocacy and social norm change campaigns to prevent youth smoking and cut adult smoking rates to their current historic lows. It wasn’t because the data wasn’t available or known. It was the way advocates and people with lived experience of smoking-related diseases shared their stories that change happens.

In this moment of racial reckoning, the more leaders can create places for people to share their personal stories with race and racism, the more understanding and empathy will grow. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, churches, and more can promote the sharing of stories to build affinity for causes.

4. Break from Business as Usual. Business can be a vector for change, not just a donor to causes or a target of activist ire. And whether by choice or by default, companies today are becoming more involved with social movements, with seemingly every corporate CEO now speaking out against racism. Companies can play roles in social movements that are much more complex and far-reaching than self-promotional advertisements or corporate statements promising racial solidarity. Corporate leaders who want to demonstrate support with Black Lives Matter can start by reforming internal policies around hiring, retention, promotion, and pay equity, and also reviewing their supply chain through a lens of diversity and inclusion, among other ways to take meaningful action against racism.

5. Be “leaderful.” From the start, Black Lives Matter was committed to being a “leaderful” movement  —  leading from the grassroots up and allowing people with lived experience of racism and police brutality to speak out and stand at the front of protest marches. This was a smart decision. I know from my research that the most successful modern social movements embrace this leadership approach, understanding that it is both effective and protective. Without a sole charismatic leader, the movement is less vulnerable to attack, such as the tragic assassinations of civil rights leaders in the 1960s, most notably the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The challenge, now that the movement for Black lives has the attention and the empathy of a majority of Americans will be to turn widespread social support into political will.

Carolyn Collins of Gas South

Carolyn Collins of Gas South

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Authority Magazine

1. Expand our view. I believe the first step in this journey is recognizing we see the world very narrowly and all of our experiences are not universal. We can’t even begin to have a conversation about equity until we acknowledge where there are inequities.

2. Learn to unlearn. There are assumptions, behaviors, and patterns of thinking that we all have internalized and need to unlearn. Working toward inclusion will require us to interrogate the various ways we craft policy and distribute opportunity. Until we have the framework to implement a more inclusive way of thinking, we will continue to perpetuate the same outcomes.

3. Name the oppression. You can not solve a problem that you can not identify. We must get comfortable naming systems, policies, and people that have contributed to the marginalization of some communities. We must be honest about the issues to create the right solutions.

4. Make restitution. The past is always with us in the present. We need to reckon with our history if we want to make our nation whole. This request often is interpreted as asking people to atone for the sins of their ancestors, which is not the case. We do, however, need to critically examine the lingering impacts of our early history and work to neutralize them.

5. Commit for life. None of these changes will happen overnight or with the passage of a few laws. It will take intentionality and deliberateness from all of us to ensure we continue to support equity throughout all of our communities.

Marianne Harrison of John Hancock

Marianne Harrison of John Hancock

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Authority Magazine

1. Embrace vulnerability. Seven years into my career as a public accountant, I had just had my second child and was thriving personally and professionally. One of my managers took me aside and told me that having any more children would hurt me from progressing in my career. Two months later, I was pregnant with my third child and now I am the CEO of John Hancock. These types of experiences really stuck with me and reinforce the value of making sure my employees (and really anyone) feel they are in a judgment-free environment and can bring their whole selves to work, or anywhere else.

2. Recognize accomplishments. It is important that people are recognized for their accomplishments and rewarded as such, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, age, and ability. I would never want someone to credit my gender for my success. I want people to recognize that I got to this position for being me, for working hard and for doing the best that I can.

3. Create space for diversity of thought. People think differently. That’s a good thing. Being able to recognize the value in different perspectives is key to creating an inclusive environment. Diversity of thought gives us the opportunity to see new and innovative ideas and understand different ways of doing things, and it comes from having people of different races, genders, sexuality, geography, work experiences, etc. at the table.

4. Join forces with others. At John Hancock, we benefit from having many thoughtful community partners and we participate in industry groups like the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, American Council of Life Insurers, and CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. This allows for consensus-building beyond our own walls to help drive systemic level changes that are needed.

5. Listen and learn from experts. We have benefited greatly from a guest speaker series during our remote work that has brought in third-party voices and experiences to help keep our team engaged. From a NASA astronaut to a presidential historian  —  listening to and learning from those outside our team is so helpful to broaden our perspective.

Dr. Halima Leak Francis of Tulane University

Dr. Halima Leak Francis of Tulane University

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Authority Magazine

1. Ongoing investment of resources.   In order to open doors and support the shifts that we need to see in leadership, we have to make diversity and equity a fiscal priority. To this end, education is one of the most critical areas we must invest in.

2. Commit to the long game .  I mentioned earlier that the challenges and frustrations that we are seeing did not happen overnight. Many have committed their life’s work to advancing equity, inclusivity, and justice. If we are going to sustain progress here, we have to be just as committed to long-term monitoring, evaluation, and course correction when needed.

3. Change culture and practice .  We live in a society where things like inequity, bias, and various injustices are systemic and deeply embedded in our very identities. While very difficult, changing this from a cultural, policy, and practice stance is necessary if we are going to create an inclusive and equitable society. I think as the conversation has turned to being “anti-racist,” we are headed in the right direction here. Ibram Kendi, author of How to be Antiracist clarifies the concept: “To be antiracist is a radical choice in the face of history, requiring a radical reorientation of our consciousness.”

4. Open the door and share the stage .  This is about sharing power, opportunity, and influence. Too often diverse voices are muted, resulting in one-sided dialogues that are not representative of the most heavily impacted communities. Sometimes opening doors to advance diversity means actively seeking out expertise and skill in spaces where we might not typically look.

5. Face the difficulties with hope and optimism . Make no mistake, what we are facing today is difficult. It is heavy work and emotional labor is real. To get through the tough times, it is important to remain focused on the goal which is a thriving society where everyone is valued and equity is the rule, not the exception. We are not aiming for a utopian ideal, but instead an attainable reality. Tapping into the creative potential of building equitable systems reminds us of why the labor is well worth it.

Kathryn C. Thornton, Former Astronaut & Space Foundation Chairwoman

Kathryn C. Thornton, Former Astronaut & Space Foundation Chairwoman

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Authority Magazine

As a global convener of the world’s space community, we launched our Center for Innovation and Education at Space Foundation with the mission to provide greater access and opportunity for current and future generations of space contributors. Our approach is an all-inclusive strategy through collaborative partnerships that develop and deliver innovative and economic programming to build a sustainable workforce.

At the hub of the Center for Innovation and Education is our Workforce Development Roadmap, which lays the foundation for building the space workforce today and into the future. The roadmap consists of five core principles that address key issues in building a diverse and inclusive workforce. These principles can be readily extrapolated to build a representative and equitable culture in broader communities.

1. Awareness of space impact and the breadth of workforce opportunities. Raising space industry awareness and workforce opportunities has been a focus of Space Foundation since the beginning. There is a misconception that the space industry is for a select workforce of astronauts, scientists and government contractors. This could not be further from the truth. Today, there is an opportunity for everyone, in virtually every community in the world, to participate in the space economy. How? People with a STEM background can build rockets, yes, but there are also opportunities for entrepreneurs to commercialize space-based technologies, for artists to create new designs, and for skilled trade workers to perform fiber laser welding. The future of space is extending into commercial technologies that not only benefit the aerospace community but also improve life here on Earth.

2. Access to jobs, careers and business ventures for all people. I have seen that it isn’t just enough to be aware of opportunities in the space industry: We need to make those opportunities accessible. I remember a time during my 12 years at NASA, the Kennedy Space Center reached out to a local community college to train technicians to apply tiles on the space shuttle. This was not a skill that was taught at the college. It was a need, and through collaboration with the college, the skill was eventually taught and accessible to anyone interested in the space industry. Today, the space workforce is a collaboration of communities, public and private companies, government agencies, entrepreneurs and small business suppliers, educational institutions, and space enthusiasts. By partnering with like-minded organizations, Space Foundation is opening the door to expanding access to all people interested in the space economy.

3. Training for lifelong learning of sustainable skills. In today’s workforce, careers are not linear or set by unchanging parameters. Workplaces are more dynamic, and technology changes the way we work at an unprecedented pace. Traditional education is not keeping up with the needs or the workplace, and employers are not providing the continued job training workers need in light of evolving technology and automation. Department of Labor Statistics and Pearson surveys show that 64 percent of workers are in favor of job-hopping, often to pursue new challenges and higher salaries that are commensurate with their skill level. The average employee tenure is four point two years. This number drops to just two point eight years for employees ages 25–34. Employees around the globe report a need for further education every two years because their jobs have changed. Training for me has been a lifelong pursuit, and likewise, Space Foundation endeavors to enable lifelong learners, from students to professionals at any stage of their careers. Through grants, sponsorships and partnerships, we provide a wide range of multimodal training, including hands-on camps, field excursions, self-guided online webinars, and collaborative regional workshops and virtual events for training as well as plans for reskilling or upskilling to grow and retain a vibrant space economy workforce.

4. Connections to a vast space network of people, businesses, and resources. Gaining entry into most fields is bolstered by one’s network and connections. This is a major stumbling block for most underserved groups, and we at Space Foundation are working to open up our network and communities to new demographics. Here’s how: Space Foundation’s annual Space Symposium is the leading international event for the space industry, attracting 15,000-plus representatives from the military, civil and commercial space sectors to examine space issues from multiple perspectives, promote dialogue, conduct new business ventures and partnerships, and focus attention on critical space issues. Space Foundation extends scholarships to teachers, students, young professionals, and space commerce entrepreneurs in order to build their networks. The New Generation Leadership program connects promising young professionals (ages 35 and younger) to space professionals that can provide real-world career advice, guidance, and job roadmaps. The new Swigert Society Young Leaders program connects tomorrow’s leaders with philanthropists who want to make substantial innovations a reality by providing funds that will jump-start promising efforts.

5. Mentorship of young leaders to be next-generation role models. There are fewer space industry role models today than there were during the excitement of the 1960s. Yet, to build and retain a qualified workforce requires mentoring and role models for today’s youth, educators, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. In high school, I was the only girl in my physics class. The retired Air Force officer who taught the class treated me the same way he treated his male students. He didn’t belittle me. He was the reason I majored in physics in college, and I credit my career to him. That’s the power of just having someone believe in you. I invited him to all of my launches. Anyone aspiring to be a valuable contributor to the space economy wants to learn and be inspired. Not only can a mentor aid in skill development and career advancement, but having a role model gives the curious an inside look into their profession, helping to drive and motivate the workforce to pursue passions and continue developing talents throughout their careers. Integrating contributors with experienced leaders in the workplace will allow for active engagement, collaboration, and the development of a thriving space industry. Recognizing that people are one of the most powerful assets, our programs at Space Foundation are designed to ensure a healthy, balanced progression of mentorship and role models at all levels  —  from aspiring workforce candidates to space professionals. Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons inspire students, communities and peer educators, while our NewGen Ambassadors mentor middle and high school students, and its Senior Leader Mentors guide young leaders, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Rahkim Sabree of An Extended Hand

Rahkim Sabree of An Extended Hand

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Authority Magazine

1. Creating a safe space . The introduction of the topic and establishment of rules of engagement. It’s important for a structure to exist as many of these discussions can and will explore traumas and challenge beliefs considered cultural norms. A good starting point is banning the phrase “that’s how we’ve always done it” from conversation. How you’ve always done it previously by virtue of this discussion hasn’t exactly promoted an inclusive, representative, or equitable society has it?

2. A discussion on the definition of racism and how institutional racism works. Inclusion addresses more than just the race issue, however, racism as a whole and institutional racism specifically is an excellent case study in how to silence and limit the progression of oppressed peoples. Remember the boiling water and pot lid analogy? Institutional racism is that lid.

3. Acknowledging culture clash in which the dominant culture cannibalizes or forces out diverse cultures (in hiring, evaluating, promoting, showcasing, etc of employees). Many organizations, unfortunately, will embrace DE&I efforts as an exercise to check off the box; where they will potentially hire a diverse staff, maybe create some affinity groups and have a yearly event with food and music and consider themselves done. These actions however can be interpreted as a sort of “dog and pony” show leaving the underrepresented feeling slightly offended. A good example of this is when democratic lawmakers wore African kente cloths to announce police reform legislation earlier this year. It was a publicity stunt that left many offended. In corporate organizations, this is difficult to address but necessary. Standards around dress, appearance, who gets promoted or hired, who gets a leadership role, etc are often exclusive in that to be embraced or accepted you have to speak a certain way, dress a certain way, look a certain way, prepare your hair a certain way, and sometimes have a name that is easy to say lest you be forced to accept a nickname. It makes the statement that you either assimilate or get out. That you should be grateful for being given this opportunity and not that we value you because of what you bring to the table.

4. Listening . Letting the underrepresented share their experiences, anxieties, fears, etc without interruption or fear of retaliation. This is something that may take time and span many sessions simply because a considerable amount of time is going to be required to undo trauma associated with having to fit in, be “appropriate,”  feeling the need to code-switch, etc. It can also be uncomfortable as sharing these experiences can be triggering on both sides of the table; as the dominant culture will feel the need to explain, defend, or justify, and the underrepresented may feel like it’s a losing battle not even worth engaging in. These sessions will likely require a moderator who is detached from the organization and who is willing to be provocative enough to pull some of the answers out while maintaining order to be effective.

5. Response and accountability . Letting members of the dominant culture react, respond, ask questions, hold each other accountable, and look for ways to dismantle organizational norms that stem from racism. Some would argue that it’s not something that can be solved overnight, and in some instances, I might agree. However, the speed at which you move to address these issues is going to correlate to the energy behind making it a priority and getting it done. When you hear the titles CEO, CFO, COO, you likely will immediately think of a middle-aged white man. Inversely when you think of the title Chief Diversity Officer, or Diversity and Inclusion Officer you’ll likely imagine a black man or woman, relatively young and full of energy. This is the type of programming that needs to be dismantled. Why are we surprised to hear that major brands with household names have c-suite executives who are black men, or women of any race?

Mary Davis, CEO of The Special Olympics

Mary Davis, CEO of The Special Olympics

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1. Listen. It is important to listen to people’s views and hear what they have to say. For example, after George Floyd’s murder, we held an all-staff forum for employees to share how they were feeling and to share their experiences. We wanted to create a safe space where people felt they could express their fears and voice their frustrations. We also set up a D&I steering group and a task force to lead this work.

2. Engage. Involve people as part of the solution. In Special Olympics, our athletes are the leaders and teachers of inclusion. They are Global Ambassadors, Health Messengers, Board Members and play an active role in all aspects of the organization.

3. Respect. Respect, value, and appreciate the talents and contributions of everyone. We have a unified school program where students with and without intellectual disabilities play sports together. Through this experience and the power of play, students without disability learn about the skills and talents of students with intellectual disabilities, and through this experience, they are more respecting and understanding of difference.

4. Act. Actions speak louder than words. We must not just talk about how we are going to be more inclusive, each of us must be part of the change that we wish to see and not stand on the sidelines and wait for someone else. We need to be active participants. Through our Global Youth Engagement Program, Special Olympics has inclusion leadership projects that create an opportunity for young people around the world to convene through local summits in their own countries and regions to learn and grow from each other.

5. Commit. The journey towards inclusion requires long-term, focused attention and everyone must be committed to staying the course in building a more equitable and diverse society for all.

Makya Renée Little of the Virginia Commission on African American History Education

Makya Renée Little of the Virginia Commission on African American History Education

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1. Know your “why.” Be willing to do the self-work to establish your own North Star, and ensure you are genuinely driven by a desire to leave our society better than you found it  —  in whatever aspect or field that may be. Once you know your why and how to effectively leverage your natural gifts in your pursuit, be willing to sacrifice your comfort and push through barriers to drive change.

2. Respect others. See those who differ from you as equally talented and deserving of opportunities. There is so much intersectionality between our experiences that I feel there is always something I can learn from someone else  —  no matter their age or station in life. The basic recognition that someone knows something that you don’t is reason enough to respect them.

3. Practice empathy. Listen to one another. Don’t dismiss stories of inequity. Although you may not be able to relate to the specific challenges of someone whose life experience may have differed from yours does not invalidate that experience. Take a moment to “walk in their shoes.”

4. Never stop learning. Constantly work to educate yourself on past issues and the history of our nation. Don’t rest on your laurels and take everything that you learned in school or see online as fact. Crosscheck sources, research authors to understand their lens, and read books on various topics that challenge your thinking and perspective. Education is the antidote to racism and oppression. We are all products of our experiences and what we’ve been exposed to. Expose yourself to knowledge.

5. Help people solve problems. We as a nation are only as strong as our weakest link. We all must be willing to examine our systems to ensure opportunities are equally accessible for all. As Americans, we are ALL on the same team and need the best of the best to excel in all avenues. We have to see problems and barriers to success as our common enemy and not one another.

Larry Dunivan of Namely

Larry Dunivan of Namely

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1. Educate yourself. I may not be a racist, but I have most definitely done (or not done) things that perpetuate policies and frameworks that have helped racism thrive. I recently finished reading “White Fragility” and “How to be an Antiracist.” I was dumbfounded by how little I understood the issue.

2. Open your mind. As a 60-year-old white man of privilege, I can’t possibly understand or appreciate what it means to experience racism. I am a gay man, so I have some secondary appreciation of some of the issues, but I’d still have to characterize myself as naive, to be sure.

3. Listen and ask for help. I am deeply grateful to our employee resource groups for their advice and counsel on what to do and how to do it.

4. Empathy rules the day. Before you can possibly appreciate what’s happening, you have to have truly acknowledged the feelings of others, and only through those expressions of empathy can the kinds of open conversations happen that will ultimately drive change. This was especially true the day after Rayshard Brooks’ death in Atlanta. We have a large facility in the city, and many of the employees there are Black. They needed to hear that we cared, that what happened was utterly unacceptable.

5. Commit to change with accountability. We published equality.namely.com as our commitment and we intend to revise it over time in partnership with our employees to drive long-term, systemic change.

Author Chelley Roy

Author Chelley Roy

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1. Inclusion. There is something special about inclusion, being a part of something, building something together. Everyone wants to feel a part of something and have that sense of “belonging,” sort of like a brotherhood/sisterhood. For example, every couple of months, I host a “Women, Conversation, and Cocktails,” where I include several area business owners, as well as aspiring business owners. This is a forum where we discuss challenges, as well as the perks of being a business owner as well as how to effectively navigate through the challenging start-up years.

2. Strategy. In an effort to execute or to be successful in life, you must develop a strategy or blueprint that spells out how you are going to get there and the steps involved to get there. For example: As part of being a fitness coach, in order to help my clients gain maximum results and confidence, not only do I have to guide them one on one with every step of coaching, but I develop strategies that will help them continue to be successful, such as developing and customizing meal plans, work out routines, etc.

3. Diversity. We have to be mindful and take into consideration the many different cultures that breed talent. For example, when trying to be innovative, creative, and think outside the box, many challenges arise. I believe in motivating and encouraging my clients and partners to be open-minded by thinking outside the box in an effort to find solutions to the many challenging issues we face today.

4. Representative. You have to brand yourself and live by a code of ethics, which is all we typically have as humans first, then businesswomen/men second. As a representative of ethics, it’s important to be honest and transparent no matter what you do. It’s important that my client, team, and partners trust me. For example, to build trust, you must exude high standards, morals, and ethics. The trust comes into play, when I value my partners on the same level as myself, I’m open, I listen, and I value their opinions no matter what when it comes to building, branding, strategy, etc.

5. Equitable society. In any industry, you never stop learning and educating yourself, what I mean by this is that, I oftentimes, find myself going to one of my many mentors, or my many other toolkits of resources for the answers sometimes, because I don’t always have them. You have to trust your community, your circle, your vested colleagues, and partners to discover and learn the most valuable best practices.

We must be transparent, open, and willing to not only be a voice but hear the voices of those who have a strong desire to be included or belong in such brother/sisterhoods. We have to be the voice when our society isn’t strong enough to be a voice. We have to be the blueprint for our culture and generation by demonstrating how to effectively build an innovative and creative, sustainable business from the ground up. As a coach, I mentor women who want to become entrepreneurs. But many are afraid of stepping into their greatness because they worry about being judged or not having the support of friends and family.

Ben Lamm, Hypergiant Industries

Ben Lamm, Hypergiant Industries

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1. Have discussions with people who are different than you. This means talking to people who have different opinions than you and talking to people about what those opinions mean. These discussions are not about proving you are right: They are about educating and informing yourself and others. Do a lot of that. You will also find those conversations are way more interesting than the same old conversations with the same like-minded people.

2. Every fight is worth it. If you feel like something is an issue, have the fight and get through it. Do not hide those emotions, do not push them down, and do not walk away from the problem. I am known for being someone who will have arguments with people in my office and this isn’t because I dislike them or think they are wrong. It is because I believe we need to have a steam valve for our anger. Fights help us work through things. We need to learn how to have them and then move past them. Conflict and friction are not bad things. Complacency is though. I cannot tell you how many arguments I have had that I felt convicted about but ultimately was wrong and left the conversation changed for the better and learning. I also promote having disagreements in my team and working through them.

3. Hire lots of people unlike yourself. You are you. That’s awesome but hire other people who are not just like you. These people bring new ideas, new talents, and new perspectives to the table for you to ingest. That’s important. Without a diverse group of people, you miss things. I have a number of employees in NYC. During the global health crisis, they were going through way different emotional and social issues than we were in Texas. Having them on the team meant I was able to see how things were happening across the country and problem-solve for our business in very different ways than if I just had a Texas only view on the crisis.

4. Push the envelope. It’s not enough to do whatever people are saying you should do today. Do one better. Figure out what other people need to do. Yes, we need to hire more diverse people. But, we also need to ensure our education systems are training more diverse hires and we need to ensure kids aren’t hungry so they can go to school and get good grades. And, to do that, we need to make sure that kids are taken care of in their homes and their communities. So, yes, we can hire more diverse people but also we need to do the work of the future and make sure we are creating a safe, more just, and better educated America.

5. Step down. If you are a business leader who does not think it is your job to create a better world for your employees and your community, step down. Don’t hide. Don’t think you can ride it out. Step up or step aside because the best business leaders aren’t the richest, they are the ones who run businesses that change the world.

Chioma Onwutalobi Brown of SCO Group

Chioma Onwutalobi Brown of SCO Group

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1. Equality. Champion equality, even in its lowest forms, and speak up whenever you see something that is unjust.

2. Empowerment. Empower marginalized groups so they can acquire the resources to build themselves up and attain a greater standing within society. This may include supporting organizations aimed at uplifting members of these groups, as well as spending/buying from these groups as well as spending/buying from these communities.

3. Education. Educate yourself and the people around you so that your interactions, attitudes, and behavior towards people from marginalized backgrounds are intentional and enlightened.

4 Communication. Integrate with these communities so that you fully understand their stories, cultures, and experiences.

5. Promotion. If you’re in a position to uplift others, be sure to promote and recommend individuals from underrepresented groups. This will go a long way towards leveling the playing field and ensuring equality of opportunity.

Rick Bratman of the Super Girl Pro Series

Rick Bratman of the Super Girl Pro Series

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1. Listen . Try to actively identify an issue by hearing what is important to others. We were producing action sports events for several years where women were primarily on the periphery. We spoke to many female athletes about their frustrations around having little to no voice or respect.

2. Think . Understand the circumstances and determine how you can help make a difference. Our platforms were events and content creation, so we wrestled with how we could use those assets to make a difference.

3. Plan . Devise a plan of action to institute change. We developed the idea behind the Super Girl Pro Series as a platform for the women in action sports and decided to commit both time and resources to the project.

4. Motivate . Inspire others to support your vision as nobody can make a significant change on their own. We spoke with hundreds of top athletes, brands, media partners, and venues about the idea and created a network of key partners to help us bring the whole Super Girl Pro Series concept to life.

5. Act . Be bold and take action. It took several years and considerable financial resources to actually execute the plan, but we committed to the venture (despite the high risks) because we knew it was incredibly important to lead by example.

Aditi Shekar of Zeta

Aditi Shekar of Zeta

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1. Bring on investors who will give you a representative POV. As I said above, I believe diversity starts at the cap table, and recruiting investors of color/women can be a powerful way to ensure you do this. I started by ear-marking at least 30 percent of my round for this type of investor. And then I made it known, to whoever was willing to help, that that was a key metric for me.

2. Make it part of your core business thesis. From my work in social entrepreneurship, one of the key takeaways was that impact should be tied to your business at its core. For example, Tom’s Shoes gave a shoe for every shoe they sold. Impact and revenue went hand in hand. Similarly, find a way to make a strong case for how diversity impacts your bottom line (and vice versa).

3. Pick a diversity metric and constantly measure it. There’s a famous quote by Peter Drucker that says “what gets measured gets managed.” Select a metric that makes sense for your organization and then create a cadence to measure it (regularity) and share it publicly (accountability).

4. Once you have a diverse team, obsess about how to help them thrive. Some advice I got early on was to find the areas where diversity typically breaks down (for example: pay gaps) and actively create systems to fight those biases. For example, in early-stage startups, there’s often not a formal process for compensation (and sometimes not even a clear pay scale). As such, forcing yourself to create one (even if you’re just creating it for yourself) is a good way to gut check the offers you’re making. Then create a cadence for everyone around promotions and bonuses so you give equal opportunity to everyone on your team rather than just the loudest voices.

5. Find people to hold you accountable. Sharing weak metrics might feel daunting or unproductive. Find a group of people who can hold you accountable, even if it’s behind closed doors. Just make sure they’re willing to ask you hard questions if you’re not performing against the goals you set.

Christie Lawler of CJL Consulting

Christie Lawler of CJL Consulting

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1. Ask questions . Don’t assume someone else in the room doesn’t have the answer you need. Ask questions that promote brainstorming and involvement from all stakeholders. Some of the best ideas are simply questions that have never been asked of the right person.

2. Honor ideas .  If a person is willing to share an idea, honor them by listening. For some, speaking up is the most terrifying of obstacles that they must overcome. So, if someone offers suggestions, thank them and see if it can work. The most brilliant mind in the room may be hidden by shyness.

3. Dig deeper . If you don’t immediately understand the thoughts or ideas, ask more questions. Work with the idea generator to flesh out the value within the proposition. Not every idea is brilliant, but working with others to brainstorm new solutions never has a downside.

4. Add value .  Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are about to say will add to or detract from the conversation. If you can’t answer that question, wait to speak. If you think your words could potentially hinder progress, then definitely don’t speak.

5. Respect others. Know that you don’t know everything and that others have different opinions and ideas because their experiences are different. Life molds our minds in a variety of ways. Understanding that your experience may not be the same as the person sitting next to you is half the battle to creating an inclusive environment where others feel safe to join.

Rita Kakati-Shah of Uma

Rita Kakati-Shah of Uma

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1. Pledge a solution. Whilst advocating for diversity and inclusion publicly is a start, just posting a black post on Instagram one day and going back to business-as-usual the next day won’t change anything. Demonstrate your actual commitment to ethnic minorities by changing your practices. Go out and support the minority groups you pledge to support. Start by actively seeking out businesses to partner with. Simply attending unconscious bias training is not enough. We all have unconscious biases. It’s a part of life. But how are we actually acting upon this knowledge, whether it’s unconscious bias, microaggressions or systemic bias? Each individual needs to digest, think about, then speak out about changing any structural inequalities they see at work.

2. Recognize privilege. Depending on where, how, and with whom we were raised, we all have different versions of privilege. Take time to listen to colleagues, ask questions, compare how your lives outside work differ. Only with active communication can privilege be understood and addressed.

3. See something. Say something. Allow your employees to speak up. Do your employees have the freedom to speak up and out about discrimination? About letting it be known how a certain comment or action came across? Simply put, your employees should be able to say something if they see something, in order to change something.

4. Overhaul your hiring practices. Ask who is making your hiring decisions? Are you marketing to attract diverse talent? How are you removing selection bias? You can start by removing names, education dates, and personal circumstance statements from resumes. Then do a diversity audit. Benchmark your progress. Report internally on pay differences between different ethnic groups, as is starting to happen with gender. Similarly, don’t ignore intersectionality. The same efforts made to promote equality based on one “difference” or “uniqueness” should be applied to others. So don’t allow race issues to be compounded by class, gender, and age.

5. Have cultural resources openly available to employees. This can encourage a consciously supportive culture for everyone. Be an advocate for mental health. Research shows that sexism, racism, social class, and income affect mental health. So create a supportive work environment to have open and honest conversations. You’d be surprised how sharing experiences can really open up your work community. Ask yourselves and your colleagues, what are you going to do to enact real change? Be part of the solution. Say something if you see something, in order to change something!

Andrea Sommer of UvvaLabs

Andrea Sommer of UvvaLabs

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Representation in leadership is extremely important since these are the ultimate positions of privilege. White men are in the most privileged position and therefore struggle to consider the needs of anyone but themselves. This results in exclusionary practices and products that leave out whole groups of people. Facial recognition technology is one example. This software has a notoriously difficult time recognizing Black faces. The problem here isn’t the technology  —  it’s the teams. All white male teams produce products that cater to their needs alone. But societies are changing. The United States, for example, will be majority-minority by 2044. This means customer groups are shifting. Smart organizations will get ahead of these shifts to create products and experiences that attract the most diverse amount of customers as possible. Only by having a diverse leadership team will a company build products that reflect that diversity.

1. Understand privilege and use it as a tool. The first step in creating a more just society is understanding privilege. Privilege creates and perpetuates the structures and norms that govern a society. At best, it makes barriers for underrepresented groups invisible to those in the most privileged positions. One example of this is when white people say ‘I don’t see race’. Not ‘seeing race’ is a luxury only privileged people have. People of color cannot ignore race because it dictates every aspect of their lives  —  from their interactions with colleagues at work, sales people in shops, or the police when out in the world (and sometimes in private spaces too), to everything in between. At its worst, privilege can be used as a weapon, as in the case of Amy Cooper threatening to call the police on Christian Cooper in Central Park because he asked her to leash her dog. Amy knew perfectly well her words could have had the power of life or death when she chose to say them. Her position as a white woman allowed her to weaponize her words. That is a privilege.

The good news is that the same power that allows privilege to be a weapon can be focused on turning it into a tool to halt white supremacy in its tracks. White people can use their voices and even their bodies as shields to protect people of color. I mean this quite literally. White people can physically stand in between Black people and the police during protests. They can speak up and take action when they see unfair comments and practices at work. And if they are in positions of power in addition to having privilege, they can use this power to change the structures that allow racism to persist.

2. Take every opportunity to raise people of color’s visibility. Have you ever been in a situation where you went somewhere new, maybe you’re starting a new job, or visiting a new town or maybe you took a wrong turn and ended up in an unfamiliar neighborhood full of people that are unlike you? That feeling of complete aloneness, of not fitting in, of fearing for your safety, is the feeling every person of color has when there is no adequate representation. Except that this feeling is constant; it never fades.

Building representation ensures that every person sees people like them in positions of power, everywhere they go. More importantly, representation changes structures by ensuring decision-making takes into account more than one type of person’s perspective.

The way to achieve representation is to hire people of color. Not just one token person, but many. And not just for junior positions, for the positions that really have influence  —  to sit on boards, to run companies and countries.

Many companies talk a great talk about diversity and inclusion but when you look at their leaders they are all white men. Representation cannot be lip service; it must be followed by action.

3. Find opportunities to transfer your privilege. When you hire more people of color you are also transferring power and resources, not just building representation. People of color have been systematically denied access to the positions of power that allow families to build wealth and privilege intergenerationally.

This can mean making sure people from underrepresented groups are picked for stretch assignments, promotions, and other opportunities for professional growth. It also means promoting minority authors, academics, scientists, and celebrities to ensure their voices are heard. It can also mean buying from black and other minority businesses. This must be active and continuous.

4. Dismantle structures that perpetuate racism. Structures govern our world. They dictate who gets hired through recruitment practices. They shape how funds get allocated through budgetary policies. They control election results by limiting who has access to polling stations. Many structures in American society are racist, in some cases by accident but most often by design.

Take recruitment practices for example. Many organizations believe that to build the right kind of culture they need to hire for ‘fit’. Usually ‘fit’ means people who are similar to the people who are already there. The end result is a team that looks all the same  —  usually white men. When this team in turn makes decisions, their thinking is limited by their privileged experience while excluding everyone else.

‘Fit’ is a false premise. It’s not important for everyone to be the same in an organization if you know how to support individuality. Smart organizations and leaders understand this.

The good news is that it is possible to dismantle these oppressive structures and replace them with ones that promote fairness, justice, and equality. It can be painful work because it requires facing our own privilege and the role that privilege has had in shaping groups, companies, countries. But facing this discomfort is a price worth paying to build a more just and equitable society. People in positions of privilege and power can use both of these to achieve just that. And they should.

5. Be relentless in your pursuit of oppression. As MLK famously said ‘Go everywhere where injustice goes’. Oppression can hide anywhere. To fight it, we must be relentless. We must vigorously understand privilege, we must dismantle structures, we must build representation and we must raise the profile of underrepresented groups and we must do this tirelessly and with conviction.

We must create structures that support this work for the long term. Structures are more powerful than one-time interventions because they provide continuity and continuity is essential for any of this to work.

Most importantly, we must get comfortable with discomfort. This work will be painful. It might feel unfair or embarrassing. But this discomfort is nothing compared to the oppressively constant discomfort that people of color face in navigating a world with rules designed to exclude them at every turn. We must embrace the discomfort and jump right in.

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