The past couple of months, the Black Lives Matter movement and Anti-Racist Education has come to the forefront of social media due to the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US and Regis Korchinski-Paquet here in Canada. For the past couple of years, I’ve been quietly engaging with Anti-Racist Education and learning more about my privilege as a white cis woman. These recent events made me more aware of how I need to use that privilege, not just in my own personal life, but in my business to speak and act in ways that advance equity and inclusion in our society for all. And by all, I mean people of all ethnicities, cultures, faiths, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. I am committed to actively including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and LGBTQ+ communities in this space.
Do I know exactly what I’m doing? Not really. Am I committed to learning and owning my faults along the way? Hell yes. What I do know is that ALL PEOPLE, regardless of the colour of their skin, their faith, their gender or sexual orientation, deserve to be seen, to be heard, and to be treated as equal.
With that being said, as I move forward, I want to make it clear where I stand personally and as a business.
I have taken the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge lead by Hello Seven. This includes:
- Naming white supremacy and the impact of racism on both our personal and professional lives.
- Engaging in anti-racist education for myself and my team.
- Committing to open-conflict and allowing discomfort.
- Investing a portion of my monthly company budget to the Black community.
- Expressing my sincere, long-term commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization.
Here are some things I am currently working towards:
- Continuing to diversify my Instagram feed and marketing to reflect people from marginalized groups.
- Researching where I can invest a portion of my monthly sales to the Black + Indigenous communities - specifically within the mental health/birthing community.
- Investing at least 30% of our operations budget to the Black Community by hiring Black contractors, using Black-owned software and services and hiring Black speakers, purchasing Black-authored books and more. Investing in the Black community is an ongoing effort and I am looking for more ways to vote with my wallet.
- Engaging with Anti-Racist and Equity + Inclusion Education for myself and my team. I recently took Robin Lacambra’s Sharing Privilege Training, and I am currently looking into ways I can conduct quarterly training with anyone on my team.
These conversations around Race + Equity are happening regardless. I want to encourage these difficult conservations around race, white privilege, equity, and inclusion within this space and to encourage us to be a part of the conversation.
If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, I encourage you to examine why. Where is that discomfort coming from? Is there any unlearning you need to do? Will you commit to the hard work of educating yourself? How can you explore and share your privilege?
If you are interested in digging into this work yourselves, here are some places I suggest starting...
- White Fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism - Robin DiAngelo
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat racism, change the world, and become a good ancestor - Layla F. Saad
- The Skin We're In: A year of black resistance and power - Desmond Cole
- Robin Lacambra: Sharing Privilege Course
- Rachel Ricketts: Anti-Racism Resources + Online Courses
Striving towards equity is, in fact, an effort that benefits everyone. I believe we have so much to share and learn from each other and I hope you will join me in committing to this work. If you feel like this is something you cannot stand by or you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. I would love to chat with you more.