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June 18, 2020

Time for change

It’s been a bloody tough year for people all over the world.

When this moment in history is written about in the future, it may well read as a compelling if not logical set of events with uncanny timing. However, comprehending or explaining the full picture of what’s going on around you while living through it can be extremely overwhelming.

First thing’s first, music is colorblind. Black Lives Matter.

If ever there was a time to come together and stand up against systemic racism, bigotry and violence against minorities, it’s now. From day one, our community has stood for equality across all races, sexes and belief systems, pursuing respectful treatment of one another, with zero tolerance for trouble makers or bullshit. Creating this culture has required leading by example – no downvote button, banning bullies and letting them know why. We operate this way, believing that the starting position should always be one of respect. And let’s not forget, the creative community is prone to a higher incidence of mental health problems than the general community – as artists we expose ourselves to the world and are vulnerable in doing so.

Vulnerability, however, is a quality to be encouraged in all people, from all walks of life. Vulnerability breeds compassion and empathy – traits the world could do with more of right now.

The millions who have marched for Black Lives Matter and those who have supported them in the media and on every social channel show us that, thankfully, the whole world is not inherently racist. Many of us, it would seem, share a common humanity that deplores discrimination against people of color.

Nevertheless, despite our shared values, we have a societal and monetary system that elevates one at the expense of another. Tragically, a system built on endemic racism, prejudice, intolerance and ethnocentrism. It’s no surprise then that we see a direct correlation between communities of color and lower economic status. Again, no surprise when we see that the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the poor, who have insufficient access to healthcare, education, opportunities and even food.

But acknowledging these issues is simply not enough. As a company we need to continue to lead by example – by showing up to the party with practical solutions and actionable ideas, in the hope we can play a small part in enacting meaningful change. We believe this starts with identifying some of the underlying systemic problems which give oxygen to the many fires and more specific issues we see splashed across the news screen every night. Systemic problems such as the lack of upward mobility, the lack of access to mental and general healthcare, and an affordable education system, with a fair wage for all workers.

This requires generational change. It’s not going to happen overnight, but like those marching in the streets we can do something about it now. In fact, it’s essential that change starts now so that the next generation has a fighting chance at a happier, more peaceful existence on earth.

We believe this starts at the ballot box and with our elected leaders. This is why today we are proud to lend our support to Rock The Vote. This November in America the country has a chance to elect officials all around the country who can begin to address these issues of classism – who can help enact policy to rejuvenate the middle class. Who can make education free again and move towards a healthcare system that acknowledges that access to healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. As a company, and community with users in every country in the world, we hope that this message will resonate beyond the borders of America too. It’s more essential than ever that you do your research as a voter, and then go vote. Progress starts here.

The other movement we are choosing to bring awareness to is R U OK? – a mental health organization based in Australia, which encourages people to check in on their peers to make sure that they’re coping, and if not, help direct them towards resources in support of their mental health. The world is a nuanced mess right now. We know far too many creatives who have been completely blindsided by the lockdowns – who have lost their income and livelihoods due to the shutdown of the live music scene and hospitality industry. Now more than ever these folks need your support, your compassion and your empathy.

Voting in the interests of humanity while supporting one another emotionally are no-brainer ideologies and beliefs we’ve held since long before COVID-19 came along and rocked the world. We hope that by supporting these two movements and creating awareness inside the Vampr community we are playing a small part in moving the world to a place we’d much rather live in.

Josh Simons and Baz Palmer
Co-founders of Vampr