An Open Letter From MediaOps

On behalf of all of us at MediaOps, we are so deeply troubled by what is going on in the world around us. As we continue to battle a deadly pandemic and the effects of racial injustice, the idea of devolving into factions and hurting one another cuts to the core of our being. This is a time in which humanity needs to come together. The following quote from former President George W. Bush sums up my feelings about the current situation—a situation that has been evident for far too long.

“America’s greatest challenge has long been to unite people of very different backgrounds into a single nation of justice and opportunity. The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union. The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals — to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. We have often underestimated how radical that quest really is, and how our cherished principles challenge systems of intended or assumed injustice. The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America’s need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised.” ~ President George W Bush

When we initially came up with the idea of today’s TechStrong Con virtual conference, we wanted to show that the tech industry is indeed strong. What made it strong was our desire to collaborate, communicate and share our collective knowledge—that tech would be the light that leads the path forward to surviving and overcoming the terrible virus in our midst. The event also designed as a charitable event, to raise relief money for global COVID-19 charities—our way of helping by alleviating suffering and supporting frontline workers.

Now, we find ourselves with yet another challenge. In addition to the devastating impact of the novel coronavirus, we are once again sadly reminded that injustice and prejudice are very much alive and well in our country. We, like most of you, are horrified by what we are seeing on our TV screens. Even here in the tech industry, we need to do better—not just with racial issues, but with all diversity issues. I firmly believe that we can and will do better. I believe that the tech industry can be a beacon, a light illuminating a path to a better, fairer and more peaceful world for all of Earth’s children.

I pray for peace and for a time when we can venture out again—together—and focus on improving the human condition for each and every individual across the globe.

Until then, we have decided to split our charitable donations from the proceeds of the TechStrong Conference. $10,000 will be going to the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose mission is to fight hate and seek justice for the most vulnerable members of our society through litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, working toward a day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity are a reality. Another $10,000 will be donated to the World Health Organization to fight COVID-19.

With today’s TechStrong Con virtual conference and everything beyond, we move forward with the hope that we can and will do better as a nation, as a people and as one world.

With Peace,
Alan Shimel
CEO, MediaOps

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Alan Shimel

As Editor-in-chief of DevOps.com and Container Journal, Alan Shimel is attuned to the world of technology. Alan has founded and helped several technology ventures, including StillSecure, where he guided the company in bringing innovative and effective networking and security solutions to the marketplace. Shimel is an often-cited personality in the security and technology community and is a sought-after speaker at industry and government conferences and events. In addition to his writing on DevOps.com and Network World, his commentary about the state of technology is followed closely by many industry insiders via his blog and podcast, "Ashimmy, After All These Years" (www.ashimmy.com). Alan has helped build several successful technology companies by combining a strong business background with a deep knowledge of technology. His legal background, long experience in the field, and New York street smarts combine to form a unique personality.

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