Alexis Ohanian stepped down from Reddit board to “make a better world” for his and Serena Williams’ daughter
On June 6th, Alexis Ohanian announced that he is stepping down from the board of Reddit, the company he co-founded 15 years ago. According to Ohanian, who is married to tennis star Serena Williams, he has asked the remaining board members to fill his seat with a Black candidate. In addition, he vowed to use his future earnings on Reddit stock toward helping the Black community achieve equality within the United States.
“15 years ago I co-founded @reddit to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing,” Ohanian stated in a June 6th Instagram video. “I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country. I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: What did you do?” he said, referring to his and Williams’ 2-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia.
Ohanian continued, “I have resigned as a member of the reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaeperninck’s Know Your Rights Camp.”
“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” he said. “To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.
Then, on a June 7th episode of Williams’ Instagram show, Serena Saturday, Ohanian further explained his decision to resign.
“I thought about what I could do beyond a social media post, beyond a donation,” he said, according to People, in conversation with Williams. He said that he felt that leading by example was the best thing he could do for the movement.
“We need diversity at the highest levels of business now more than ever,” Ohanian said. “Once I realized why I needed to do it, it became very easy.”
“A lot of people might think I told you to do something, or I forced you,” Williams responded. Ohanian laughed as Williams clarified and joked, “He doesn’t listen to me, ever.”
Ohanian said that his decision was made after thinking about what his daughter’s future is going to look like. He said, “I was looking at Olympia…and she is such a pure, just blank canvas. She only knows love. There is not an ounce of hate in her body. That’s the crushing thing.”
“At some point,” he continued, “Olympia is going to have to have a talk with you, a talk with us, but especially a talk with you, about how she’s going to have to work that much harder, how she’s going to have to deal with this much more, that pisses me off.”
Ohanian noted, “I thought about what those dollars could do for a community that has clearly suffered for far too long, and that I with my power and my influence and my privilege want to do something meaningful to start to show a change. To make a better world for Olympia.”
Leading by example is the best way to pass on such a valuable message.