Dearest friends, Cliff and I are so grateful you’re here with us as we open our hearts and share our thoughts about the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. As we navigate our next moves and discover better ways to communicate and show our respect, we’ve compiled our own GUIDE TO RESOURCES FOR UNDERSTANDING WHY BLACK LIVES MATTER, which we pray will give you some insight, hope, and strength. We hope you find comfort within the discomfort in knowing that you are taking steps so that change can begin.
It is a long road ahead, and there is so much more to understand. We may not have the perfect words, and we are certainly vulnerable (and at times paralyzed in the fear that we are “doing or saying it wrong”), but we are open, brave, and speaking up. We continue to seek the truth, and we know there needs to be change, and change starts within us first. We are writing this to be a vessel of that change.
OH, C’MON 2020, REALLY?!?
It probably goes without saying, but it certainly has been a life changing year so far. The past few weeks have been especially challenging, emotional, consuming, enraging, and so important. There is so much work to be done. We are hopeful that this momentum, as a result of the massive support and outcry behind the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, will continue and ultimately create positive and meaningful change. We recognize our responsibility to actively use our voices and platforms to inform, inspire, and be a part of this change.
If you follow us on Social Media, you already know that we MUTED OUR VOICE over two weeks ago in solidarity and in support of the black community, and more importantly, to make room for learning, listening and growing. From shock, discomfort, sadness, anger, confusion, paralysis, pause, conversation, listening, and lengthy self-reflection, to course correction, learning, focus, resolve, hope, determination, humility, vulnerability, and love; we have felt it all, deeply.
We support the protests; although so many business were impacted by the violence that ensued. We want you to know that we are actively working with our communities to help them restore and rebuild.
It has been difficult to post images of our design work on social media again with a “business as usual” mindset, because it just simply isn’t business as usual at all. We attempted to post, but our hearts were heavy and confused; and there was more learning to be done. Instead, we spent the long days discovering, reading, watching, listening, learning, and reaching out to the black community. We amplified THEIR voices and shared THEIR powerful stories. We learned (and are still learning) so much.
Friends, make no mistake, pretty pictures are beautifully inspiring, and it is our passion to design, build, and share beauty every day, but this is a time for reflection, reform, and realignment. We love to share our hearts and project images with you, as it is a huge celebration of countless days of teamwork and sacrifice, but first things first.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED
How could we ever un-learn or un-see what has happened; not only this year, but for so many long painful years. Our eyes and minds have been re-opened and the world we call home prior to these massive global events is simply not good enough. To be honest, it was pretty horrific; hostile, ignorant, selfish, divisive, abusive, entitled, racist, ungrateful, greedy, and blinded by hate.
Friends, we can’t sit back. There has been too much pain and injustice for far too long. We can’t turn a blind’s eye again and walk away from this fight as if it were merely a distraction from all the other crazy chaos in the world. We no longer can let “someone else” take up the sword with the justification, “What can I do, I’m only one small person with one small voice…Who will listen to me?” We need to do better. We have the capacity to make change. Small voices together can make very big changes!
Moving forward, what are WE going to DO?
- We confirm our commitment to revising the way we SHARE and resource our materials and products to intentionally include more black owned businesses and artisans;
- We will ask the UNCOMFORTABLE questions when we partner with brands and participate in industry events;
- We will continue to build more DIVERSE partnerships, ask more questions, learn more about HOW we can make change;
- We will work hard to use our voices to INFLUENCE others to demand justice, equality, and reform;
- We will seek to be even MORE mindful and inclusive in the way we build our OWN brand, not only internally, but publicly;
- We will SPEAK UP and stand up in ways that serve our brothers and sisters of color better and continue to AMPLIFY their voices;
- We will REST mindfully so we can be consistent and relentless in this mission;
- We will continue to PRAISE the Lord openly and courageously, and declare that nothing is possible without Him;
- We will stay informed, and VOTE.
Now, here’s what YOU can do…
RESOURCE GUIDE / LINKS / ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
LEARNING RESOURCES / DONATE
NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND
PETITIONS AND INITIATIVES
BOOKS FOR KIDS
THE CONSCIOUS KID BOOK LIST CELEBRATING BLACK BOYS
15 BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS FOR EXPLORING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT by Rebekah Gienapp
FREE DOWNLOAD “WHAT’S WRONG WITH SAYING WE’RE ALL EQUAL”? by Rebekah Gienapp
BOOKS FOR YOU
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Igeoma Oluo
RAISING ANTIRACIST KIDS by Rebekah Gienapp
BLACK OWNED BOOKSTORES TO BUY FROM
ACCOUNTS WE LOVE TO FOLLOW
So now that we are beginning to see our social media feeds flood with all kinds of pretty images and beautiful design inspiration, [and in most cases with honest heartfelt awkward brokenness and pleas for forgiveness, new determined resolve, and bold commitments], and before we post another pretty picture, let’s ask ourselves, “What will be the fruit of this disruption?” When we look back will we say, “2020 was the best year ever”?
Many blessings have been revealed in this best and most painful year, and we remain grateful for the opportunity to choose to forgive, grow, love, learn, and be better each day. We will be updating our resources as things develop and hope you’ll take the lead in your community. In the meantime, you can find more resources on our INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHTS [BLM].
Friends, we are certainly not experts on these topics, and we know there is a LOT of work to do. Our team is committed to learning more each day. We will continue to seek a deeper understanding of this movement, so we can be strong leaders in our community, and manifest change.
Don’t be afraid of confrontation, it is the birth of learning. Do the work and listen to those enraged voices; pain is fierce fuel. And remember, we must listen to understand.
We send you encouragement, gratitude, strength and love. We urge you to be part of the change no matter how small or overwhelming it may seem.
As always, if you have any questions or if you want get in touch with us, please say “HELLO” by contacting us here.
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Thanks for stopping by today, and we’ll see you next time.
Until then friends, be well, be safe, and be kind.
Great post! Thank you!
Thank you so much, Christina! I am so grateful for your comment. It’s been a tough time, and I and we are learning. I am encouraged by your support and so happy you liked our post! Be well and stay safe. xox
Thank you for the thoughtful post and great list of resources:)
Hi Mary! My pleasure. I am grateful that you took a few moments to come by and I pray you feel encouraged. xox 🙂
Beautifully said, Laura! And thank you for the encouragement to persevere in finding ways large or small to help facilitate much needed and long overdue change for our brothers and sisters of color.
Thank you so much, Janet. I’m glad that this can be a source of encouragement. That is exactly how I meant it. We have a lot of work to do…so let’s get to work! XOX 🙂