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A Note from Our Founder: Black Lives Matter

Jun 1, 2020

Dear Hydrow, 

Recent events have put a spotlight on the daily struggle that people of color live with from the moment they wake up every morning. It is beyond infuriating to see the promise of the United States — liberty and equality for all — betrayed systematically in the ordinary course of business, and I’ve heard both from Hydrow employees and our community about how deeply they have been affected.  

Events that used to happen in darkness are being exposed with camera phones, and we have a moment now to stand up as a whole society and let the world know that Black Lives Matter, unequivocally. Hydrow is a community dedicated to revealing our best selves, and it is critical that we apply our energy and our resources to be allies in the fight for fairness and equal treatment, regardless of skin color.  

Before founding Hydrow, I worked at a non-profit called Community Rowing (CRI) in Boston. The mission was “Rowing for All” and the founders created CRI to open up the sport of rowing to everyone, regardless of race, identity or socioeconomic status. Before CRI opened its doors, rowing was reserved for the very few who had attended one of the privileged schools around Boston. The decade I spent at CRI showed me just how slow and hard real change is, even with something that is as fun and straightforward as rowing. Getting thousands of kids, regardless of circumstance, out on the water and watching many of them earn college entrance as a result gave me some small hope that we can change things, although it is much, much slower than it needs to be.  

There are foundational elements of daily life that we have to fight for as a community before we can even start to talk about the joys and benefits of moving together. Hydrow is committed — today and forever — to a future where bias has no place, where everyone is treated with compassion and respect, regardless of skin color or any other assumption about identity.  

There’s much work to be done, and we are eager to do our part to move forward with the progress we’re all looking for.

We’ll see you on the water.

Bruce Smith