However, I stand.

Holly Firestone
2 min readJun 2, 2020


As a community professional, being empathetic is one of the characteristics we can’t live without. It’s what makes us good at our jobs. It’s how we build thriving communities. It’s also the reason we are cut so deep when someone in our community is hurt or in pain.

Being in this profession has given me the opportunity to cross paths with so many individuals I probably would have never met in my lifetime. People from different walks of life, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, and religion. I will be forever grateful for these relationships that have opened my eyes to a world I never knew. For opening my eyes to different perspectives and life experiences.

My heart is with Black America right now. They have carried an unbelievable weight on their shoulders for far too long, and we are long, long overdue for change.

We’ve got to do a lot more listening than talking right now. And that needs to turn into a lot more action than it has in the past. I haven’t done enough. I’m currently not doing enough. I’m not sure I ever will be, but I can damn sure try.

I saw a quote today that really hit home for me. (Apologies for not attributing it. It wasn’t attributed where I found it)

“I understand that I will never understand. However, I stand.”


A few black female voices that inspire me from my feed. This list barely scratches the surface, but it’s a start if you’re looking for some new brilliant women to follow.

@Yamiche- Yamiche Alcindor

One of the most brilliant, fearless White House Correspondents

@IjeomaOluo — Ijeoma Oluo

Author of “So You Want to Talk about Race,” also sharing really valuable, insightful content at this time.

@toya_L_Tate and @saasy_sistah — Toya Tate and Shonnah Hughes

Two community group leaders at Salesforce who pioneered the Diversity in Tech User Group. They are constantly giving to others. My friends.

@Issarae — Issa Rae

Creator of one of the best shows on TV right now, Insecure. From Issa Rae on Insecure:

The series examines “the ‘complexities of ‘blackness’ and the reality that you can’t escape being black… We’re just trying to convey that people of color are relatable. This is not a hood story. This is about regular people living life.”

@EricaJoy — Erica Baker

Engineering Manager at Microsoft and advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in tech.


Some of the organizations I’ve donated to if you’re looking for ways to financially contribute:

Black Visions Collective

National Bail Out

Reclaim the Block

Campaign Zero



Holly Firestone

Community Strategist. Currently: CEO, Holly Firestone Consulting. Previously Venafi, Salesforce & Atlassian.