Author: Dave Neundorfer, CEO

Last weekend, I recounted to my friend, a doctor who’s family immigrated from Nigeria, the story of the Black Lives Matter protest that my family and I attended.

At the protest, I watched a young bicycle cop gently guide protestors out of the street to allow traffic to pass during the 8’46” moment of silence. The mostly young protestors obliged. However, one protestor, an older, white man, refused to move. The policeman respectfully retreated. 

I shared this story with my friend because the older protestor was my father-in-law. 

My friend started crying. He knew all too well that it likely would have ended differently were it a black protestor refusing to give ground. 

He recounted stories of his own unfair and unjust experiences with cops, the measurable increase in his heart rate any time he’s pulled over, the hopelessness of the deeply entrenched societal dynamics that perpetuate racism in our society, and the tension that exists between his optimism for this national reckoning and the painful reflection: where the f@$% has this support been in the past?  

This conversation–example #1,000,024 of my white privilege–was a catalyst for deeper introspection, connections, and engagement. 

We founded OBX to be the true north of the cannabis industry, to think and operate holistically to use this legalization reset as a force for good. 

When we founded OBX in 2019, we leaned into the social justice sphere by partnering with the Last Prisoner Project (LPP), an organization founded with a mission to free Corvain Cooper and the 46,000 other prisoners incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis crimes, many in states that have since legalized recreational marijuana. 

We’ve supported the LPP mission monetarily, through our social media platforms, and through each client engagement and transaction that we make (you can’t buy OBX products without learning about LPP on our website or on our packages, every one of which carries the LPP seal). 

LPP product logo

While we’re proud of our relationship with LPP and the great work that they’re doing, it’s easier to project our values outward, be it attending a protest or reposting LPP’s social media feed. It’s much harder to look inward and identify the ways that we, personally or professionally, perpetuate structural racism. 

Our corporate introspection starts with a simple question with an easy-to-measure metric: how many black employees are in leadership positions?

For OBX, the answer is zero. 

So, this is where we’re going to start, and, in true “Open Book” fashion, we invite scrutiny, promise transparency, and will be honest in our self-assessments and progress made. We look forward to sharing the ways in which we will continue to use OBX as a force for good, a force for sustained change, and welcome ideas from our community. 

In the meantime, as members of the OBX community, we’d like you to learn more about and help amplify LPP’s voice. Here are three meaningful ways to learn and engage this week. 

  1. Sign this Petition urging the Government to take the necessary steps to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our incarcerated communities.
  2. Hear direct and personal stories from the incarcerated, and check out John Oliver’s segment on COVID’s impact on prisons and what we can and should be doing about it.
  3. Learn more about how you can help LPP’s efforts
Author: Dave Neundorfer, CEO

Last weekend, I recounted to my friend, a doctor who’s family immigrated from Nigeria, the story of the Black Lives Matter protest that my family and I attended.

At the protest, I watched a young bicycle cop gently guide protestors out of the street to allow traffic to pass during the 8’46” moment of silence. The mostly young protestors obliged. However, one protestor, an older, white man, refused to move. The policeman respectfully retreated. I shared this story with my friend because the older protestor was my father-in-law. 

My friend started crying. He knew all too well that it likely would have ended differently were it a black protestor refusing to give ground. 

He recounted stories of his own unfair and unjust experiences with cops, the measurable increase in his heart rate any time he’s pulled over, the hopelessness of the deeply entrenched societal dynamics that perpetuate racism in our society, and the tension that exists between his optimism for this national reckoning and the painful reflection: where the f@$% has this support been in the past?  

This conversation–example #1,000,024 of my white privilege–was a catalyst for deeper introspection, connections, and engagement. 

We founded OBX to be the true north of the cannabis industry, to think and operate holistically to use this legalization reset as a force for good. 

When we founded OBX in 2019, we leaned into the social justice sphere by partnering with the Last Prisoner Project (LPP), an organization founded with a mission to free Corvain Cooper and the 46,000 other prisoners incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis crimes, many in states that have since legalized recreational marijuana. 

We’ve supported the LPP mission monetarily, through our social media platforms, and through each client engagement and transaction that we make (you can’t buy OBX products without learning about LPP on our website or on our packages, every one of which carries the LPP seal). 

LPP product logo

While we’re proud of our relationship with LPP and the great work that they’re doing, it’s easier to project our values outward, be it attending a protest or reposting LPP’s social media feed. It’s much harder to look inward and identify the ways that we, personally or professionally, perpetuate structural racism. 

Our corporate introspection starts with a simple question with an easy-to-measure metric: how many black employees are in leadership positions?

For OBX, the answer is zero. 

So, this is where we’re going to start, and, in true “Open Book” fashion, we invite scrutiny, promise transparency, and will be honest in our self-assessments and progress made. We look forward to sharing the ways in which we will continue to use OBX as a force for good, a force for sustained change, and welcome ideas from our community. 

In the meantime, as members of the OBX community, we’d like you to learn more about and help amplify LPP’s voice. Here are three meaningful ways to learn and engage this week. 

  1. Sign this Petition urging the Government to take the necessary steps to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our incarcerated communities.
  2. Hear direct and personal stories from the incarcerated, and check out John Oliver’s segment on COVID’s impact on prisons and what we can and should be doing about it.
  3. Learn more about how you can help LPP’s efforts

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