On human rights and the responsibility of American industry

Access to healthcare is simply a human right. We have the opportunity to create tools for positive change.
3 minute read

Performative social impact capitalism

There is a rise of organizations choosing to use Pride and Black Lives Matter logo variations on their websites, while leaving their power to enact real positive change on the table. The internal messaging is often that it is important to the business to toe a moderate political line, but unironically highlight the increase in sales that their Juneteenth marketing campaign had year-over-year at their quarterly reviews.

I have worked at organizations like this. Seeing this performative social impact capitalism informed my decision to focus on projects that improve the welfare and lifestyles of the common good.

On Roe's overturn and the deafening silence of Tech

This month, under the guise of religious righteousness, five people in our highest court have determined that people with uteruses in the United States are no longer entitled to their own life story, that they do not deserve the kinds of protections and autonomy afforded to the other half of the population.

We will see stories about people sent to prison for attempting to terminate a pregnancy in the coming months. Less than 13% of Americans celebrate this cruelty, while half of Congress will block efforts to codify reproductive care into law.

In the United States, now more than ever, maintaining a job is now the requirement to spare us not just bankruptcy, but risk of death from the complications of pregnancy. We are at the mercy of the benefits and salaries of the jobs we manage to get. The companies that push against these oppressive rulings are becoming oases, mirroring political effects happening with many major cities in the US.

Big tech companies are expanding their footprint in the most oppressive states like Florida and Texas, where their political influence could create great change. Instead, they've chosen to invest in union-busting efforts while sending lobbyists to Congress to promote laws that block or slow industry regulation and protect their power to harvest personal data for profit.

Change is action

Design is political. Business is political. Our decisions now can have ramifications for generations. Human rights cannot be just another seasonal marketing refresh opportunity. Design also has the immense power to change the world for the better. We have the most powerful tools in human history in our pockets to connect people and point them to the resources they need.

Industries at large, and especially Tech, must choose to take a stance for human rights and the sanctity of the individual. If you are working to bring helping, privacy-conscious tools to the growing masses of disenfranchised people, it would be my honor to help in any way that I can.

Expanded and revised on July 1st, 2022, then revised again on March 31st, 2023.

Feedback supports my work

Did this make sense? Was it worth my time to write it and yours to read it? Could I have done something better or smarter? I want to hear it all. Shoot me an email or buy me a coffee. ☕️

Read next

Older posts