A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
These past few weeks have been soul-crushing, as we all felt the sting of racial injustice. We are angry and we are heart-broken. But through unwavering resolve, solidarity and extreme focus, the collective human spirit has been able to bring about, what history will call, a revolution of global dimensions. This brings us so much hope.
We were built on a set of values and principles which, when synthesized, boil down to one fundamental belief: we are all equal and deserve equal dignity. This drives everything we do at our deepest core. And so we have used these past weeks to pause and reflect, but most importantly, to act. We've been donating to causes that directly advance racial justice in the case of George Floyd. We have been joining protests so that we can also physically unite with the other bravehearts in our city that are making a very visual and audible statement to the world that time is up for racism. We have been reaching out to state officials to demand justice in the legal proceedings of George Floyd and other cases. And we continue to find ways to use our platform to spread awareness in this crucial time. Lastly, we have been interrogating ourselves and our business to find opportunities to be better citizens of the world.
There are so many ways to join this freedom movement, and it's natural to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we feel like we haven't done enough. We've created this space to share some useful resources in navigating this time and hope our community will share with us as well as we all grow from this. Please stay safe.
"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it,”. " -- IBRAM KENDI
A thought-provoking exploration of the West Indian immigrant experience in the United States compared to that of their African American counterparts, through a racial and socio-economic lens.
Ibram Kendi has played an instrumental role in ventilating issues around systemic racism. This award-winning book explores what an anti-racist society could look like and how to achieve it.
This book offers a great breakdown of the racial landscape in America that tackles a host of issues from privilege and police brutality, to intersectionality and micro-aggressions.
The concept of intersectionality is a relatively new concept to penetrate our understanding of discrimination and issues of bias. This book sheds a lot of light on it.
A powerful overview of the women's liberation movement in the United States from the perspective of a renowned activist and central figure in the fight against racism.
A great breakdown of the racial landscape in America that tackles a host of issues from privilege and police brutality, to intersectionality and micro-aggressions.
WON'T YOU HELP TO SING THESE SONGS OF FREEDOM? CAUSE ALL I EVER HAVE REDEMPTION SONGS
There are a host of organizations that become particularly active during moments of injustice such as the one we find ourselves in now, and they play a key role in rallying support through advocacy, petitions and other means. CHANGE.ORG is one such organization. These organizations are instrumental in guiding the public along with key actions that can be taken. A simple action that can be taken with CHANGE.ORG is to sign one of their petitions for George Floyd.
This moment has shown us the power of unity and the power of standing together for what we know to be right. Protests in all 50 states of America and around the world, including in the Caribbean on islands like Jamaica and Trinidad, are creating a visible, audible statement that cannot be ignored. Finding a way to join a protest in our city is a great way to let our voice be heard. And remember to take all precautions -- we are still in the midst of a pandemic.
Local and state officials have a direct impact on the way situations of injustice are handled. Putting pressure on officials to take the right action is another way we can make our voices heard and hold those in power accountable. There are usually several lists going around that lay out the right numbers to call. Some organizations will even guide you through calling several officials via one central number.
It's so important to have the difficult conversations about racism with family and friends. Chances are, we all interact in some way with people from other races. A key step in dismantling racism, is talking about it.
Donating to bail funds are important at times like this because they help disadvantaged protesters to be released quickly and seamlessly before their trial. As we have seen, not all protesters deserved to be arrested.
There are a plethora of books by award-winning authors who have done a great job to improve our understanding of the complex issue of racism. Educating ourselves is very important.
Aurora James is the founder of Brother Vellies, which is a brand that honors and supports artisan traditions in Africa. More recently, Aurora started a Nonprofit called 15% Pledge, which is devoted to getting more representation for black-owned businesses with major retailers.