Hello, and thank you for joining our third discussion of a multi-part series where we learn from leaders in the black business community. We are honoured to use our platform as a means to understand business triumphs, personal experiences, and ideas on how we can achieve equality and justice for the under-represented.
As we learn from each leader we then hope to compile a published article on our understanding of how we as a business, and how our viewers can support the eradication of systemic racism from our community. Without any further or do I’m honoured to share with you our third discussion of the Initiative for Black Business Mobility, thank you.
Introduction – Hi, and welcome to this discussion. What’s your name? Where are you from? Let’s hear about the real you.
My name is Michael Crouse and I was Born and raised in Vancouver BC. I have many passions but my main is sport. I’ve been fuelled on by the multitude of courts, track and fields. From an early age the athletic mechanics of baseball, football, volleyball, basketball and track inspired me. Through high school I played competitive volleyball, basketball and baseball. Baseball in particular, resonated for my skill set and drive. This is the sport I felt most passionate about and the sport I chose to pursue professionally.
Your Company – Which company do you operate? Which problem does your company solve? Who are your customers?
I am the Co-founder of Travail Development which is a business that is specialized in mentoring and training for youth around the Vancouver area. We help bridge the gap of the unknown for the young athlete, giving them guidance on which trainers to associate with, colleges to consider, and giving them more overall knowledge of the game of baseball. We have a wide range of kids starting from 7 all the way to 17 which, at the moment, all reside in British Columbia, Canada.
Systemic Racism – What are your thoughts on systemic racism?
Systemic Racism has put certain cultures behind over the centuries which has affected a lot of people today. Whether we like it or not this is the system that has been created. It is now our job more than ever as an entire community to come together over the matter to figure out steps in which we can eradicate certain ideologies and family philosophies so we can all be seen as one. Travel the world and open your mind as it takes one small trip to change your perspective for the rest of your life.
Your Experience – What is your experience with racism? Do you have any negative stories, or experiences with racism? Do you have experiences with racism in business?
I’ve never had to experience racism on a personal level although I have heard comments and statements throughout the clubhouse with my years playing. Is it their fault? I don’t believe so. We are a big product of how we were raised and taught. Through sport and chasing that common goal of a championship it allows individuals to get along with people that they never thought they would have in the real world. My answer would be very different if I wasn’t born in Vancouver, BC.
BLM – What are your thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement?
I don’t know too much about the organization to speak upon or even what the end goal is. But I do believe before you stand beside and protest with any organization you need to understand what it’s about. Of course Black Lives Matter but at the same time a lot of people that protest with the organization don’t even know why they are out there or even what they are fighting for. I challenge everyone that wants to protest to research the matter so when facing the “opposition” we can have an intelligent conversation at the front lines.
Eradicate Racism – What steps can we take to eradicate racism, and create opportunity for all?
We need to teach our youth Black History in schools, so they can create their own narrative at an early age. Through my 17 years of schooling I think we only dedicated 2 weeks of the curriculum to that sort of history. In time I do believe racism will slowly be erased, but for now it’s still a huge problem that is holding a lot of people back in living the life they want.
Inclusive Economy – At Bsbcon, a core focus is to help develop an inclusive economy. If you were to give us one piece of advice on how to help achieve that what would it be?
If you look at every meaningful metric from infant mortality, literacy rates, quality of life it tends to get better with the more financial services and the more access to documentation. We have over 3 billion people that don’t have access to these two things. Imagine being able to send money home to your family in Venezuela and not having to pay the middle man 12%, imagine fleeing your town but being able to come back and prove that the land is yours, imagine having a credit history to be able to borrow money to build a business or fix your home.
DECENTRALIZED NETWORKS will allow all people the fighting chance. All members of the team need to be equipped to take the field, not just 60%. It’s a shame to say but we have created a team(world) that doesn’t properly use 40% of their team. Championships are not created with this metric.
Close Your Eyes – Paint us a picture of the world you want to see in regards to equality, social justice and diversity.
One where a kid no matter what their circumstances, race, or gender has the confidence to take on the world. We all don’t have to start even in this journey we call life, but we should all be given the opportunity to at least compete and show our skills to the world without any prejudgment.