Alexis Ohanian is taking a stand, joining in the nationwide fight against police brutality and racial injustice following the May 25 killing of George Floyd. In a powerful announcement, Alexis Ohanian retired from Reddit, asking the board to replace him with a Black candidate to help elevate Black voices. Ohanian is a co-founder of Reddit and entrepreneur, the husband of Serena Williams, and father of their two-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
The nationwide conversation about racism and police brutality against Black people has sparked an outcry from many Americans, including Ohanian. On Friday, June 5, the co-founder of Reddit published a post to his blog titled, "What did you do?" In the post, Ohanian wrote, "I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country." Ohanian continuted, "I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What Did You Do?'"
The entrepreneur went on to announce his resignation: "I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate." In addition to opening up a seat on the board of Reddit for a person of color, Ohanian also pledged to use future funds he receives from Reddit to support of the Black community. "I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp."
"I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop," Ohanian wrote.
His post concluded with a video of a 2016 court case in Charlotte, North Carolina, writing, "This is from 2016. White America, we need to #DoBetter."
The video was also posted on William's Instagram account a few days earlier, alongside a statement from the pro Tennis player. "I can’t and still can’t find the words to say or express how sad I feel.... but she found them for me. She found them for so many of us. A lot of us are numb... lost for words... I know I am. This is a difficult time," she wrote. "A lot of us growing up were taught to pray 'Let thy kingdom come,' this is what I continue to pray for in addition to so many that have been hurt/killed, or simply traumatized by how people of a different color are treated." Williams finished her statement, writing, "The worst part is this is nothing new, 'it’s just filmed.' I’m with a heavy heart. I’m lost for words."
Ohanian's resignation is an example of celebrities calling for the destruction of systematic racism in the United States in a mass movement to incite change.