We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Egli & Parker McMullen Bushman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal Egli &, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As women of color who have regularly experienced discrimination and daily micro aggressions in the workplace, it has been so wonderful to be leaders in a company where diversity is valued first and foremost. Our business was created to answer the problems we ourselves face, as we travel, work, and recreate. We are here to demonstrate that a for-profit company can be synonymous with equity and inclusion, and you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. It’s even more empowering than we imagined, with leadership lessons from our work also having a positive impact on our personal lives as well.
What should our readers know about your business?
As a social justice organization run by two women of color, people often assume we are a non-profit. We are very proud to demonstrate that a for-profit corporation absolutely can embrace equitable work culture and hold ourselves accountable from within, AND pay our employees and contractors what they are worth. We are proud to be cultivating an environment where we can feel comfortable letting each other know if we are feeling uncomfortable and working through those issues together instead of ignoring the teachable moments as they arise. On the flip side, it’s interesting to see our fundraising efforts outside of donations going awry, ironically due to facing the same bias and discrimination in the venture capitalism world that our platform is designed to help dismantle. We want the world to know that while we do center ourselves by our identities as Black women in tech, there is far more to us than that– we have a clear vision driven by how our identities shaped our experiences in this world, and yet, it’s difficult for people to accept those at face value in order to hear our solutions. We really appreciate those who trust us, and are grateful for their tireless support and championship of our work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love the outdoors! Nature is all around us, so we’d start with showing off all of Denver’s open spaces that are hiding in plain sight. Some of the most beautiful places around town are tucked between two suburbs! Colorado is also home to an absolutely incredible State Park System. Rocky Mountain National Park is wonderful, but State Forest State Park boarders it on the western side and has far fewer crowds. Vega State Park is also amazing, especially if you want the excuse of not having cell service. Vega is mostly comprised of a beautiful lake, and is surrounded on all sides by National Forest. Sand Dunes National Park is often overlooked in the winter, but it’s a lot easier to hike around the ever-shifting landscape when the sand is frozen!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We want to give credit to strangers we don’t even know! There have been thousands of individuals donating to our gofundme, but it’s not just people giving us money. There have been hundreds of supportive emails and social media DM’s, people have sent us artwork, several people have given us plants– all of this positive support has given us the strength to continue our work in a field that can often times be emotionally draining. Our friends and families know how much this means to us, so we’d like to save this shout-out for the random strangers that we’ve never even met personally, but still believe in us so much. Thank you!
Youtube: Inclusive Journeys