In response to Covid-19 back in March, I announced that I would be donating all profit from March & April to food banks across the US & Canada to support communities all across the Flight Crew View universe. You can read more about that below.
In light of recent events, this time I am taking a different route and donating a little more locally to my hometown, Chicago. Regardless of how we view the riots & looters, and regardless of where we sit on the political spectrum, it is our duty as human beings to support our friends & coworkers in their times of need. We failed to listen when they tried speaking out and we failed to act during decades of peaceful protests.
In the aviation industry, we have achieved an impeccable safety record through training and constant revisions to our procedures and safety standards. When new information comes to light, we make those changes. When new sources of airplane data became available for download and analysis, we took steps to integrate that data into our safety programs, while still protecting the pilots (FOQA in the US). We also have systems of self-reporting where we can integrate all of this data and experience into changing policies & procedures, both on our end as pilots & flight attendants, as well as within other areas, like maintenance, scheduling, and the airport/air traffic systems as a whole, all for the advancement of safety.
In the 70’s & 80’s, we realized that not questioning the Captain was killing people (Tenerife). That took a culture change to shift our way of thinking. Unfortunately, it is now 40+ years later, and we are still seeing crashes around the world that could have been prevented if pilots were empowered to speak out when the Captain is making a mistake, places where this culture shift hasn’t happened.
Over the last several weeks, we have watched the result of a police departments across the country that do not have access to and do not use similar programs. Police have a hard job, there is no question about it. But there is no reason that we can’t support them by giving them the right tools to make their jobs easier. There is no reason that we can’t give police the same tools and programs to root out other reasons that lead to unnecessary danger.
Just as it was in aviation, the problem is not just with the police. They will need to make changes, for sure, just as pilots & flight attendants do with each revision to our manuals. However, we also need to identify and change the institutional & systemic issues that have led to our current situation.
We need to support the impoverished areas in our cities to make sure that the next generation in those communities have the same access to education, after-school programs, leadership training, business development, and support in order to make sure that we don’t continue to leave behind so many people.
By identifying why so many rioters & looters have so little to lose, we can support the changes necessary to prevent that from continuing into future generations.
So, what can we do?
Give to charities that support the poor neighborhoods in your city. There are all kinds of good programs that do vastly different things, but whichever one you choose, we must give people growing up in those neighborhoods the best chance we can to help get these communities back on their feet. And continue to give. This will be a marathon, not a sprint.
Supporting and investing in these areas in our cities will take time. We won’t get the instant gratification that we are used to when we spend, but overall our cities will be better off in the long run. Look for mentorship programs or education programs, especially those that foster local business to bring life back to some of the impoverished areas of your community. If you can’t donate money, donate your time. Find another way to try to make a real and tangible difference. And support your community leaders that are trying to do just that.
The single most important thing we can do is vote in your local elections. Do your research. The issues that affect us the most are decided upon and negotiated by our local leaders. Voting in local elections goes so much further, too, since so few people show up. It really does matter here and your single vote can make a huge difference. Amplify your voice, too: make sure your friends and family also vote in those local elections.
In my response to the Covid-19 outbreak, I donated all of March & April’s profits from my Flight Crew View app to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. I have gone even further and have given $7,500, split between 3 groups: $2,500 each went to Build Chicago and Chicago Youth Programs, which provide mentorship, leadership training, and mental health programs for Chicago’s at-risk youth, and $2,500 to Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that empowers young women of color to build, innovate, and become community leaders through exposure to computer science and technology.
I will also continue to vote for community leaders that support growth and development in these areas of Chicago, as well as support the safety programs & tools that Chicago Police can use to make their jobs safer and more effective in order to make a better, and safer, tomorrow for Chicago.
Change is never easy. But with our support, both for the safety of our officers and the safety of our communities, and in building the foundation for a future where the same opportunities exist in all neighborhoods of our cities, we will all come out on top in this fight.
Robert Murray, Developer
Flight Crew Apps, LLC