The sad reality is that we didn't need the past week's events to remind us that the system is broken. This is just a reminder of why now more than ever our work is incredibly important. As a company that exists to employ, educate, and empower women who have faced some of the ugliest injustices at the hands of systemic racism, we have a responsibility to stand in solidarity alongside our Black and Brown neighbors in the fight for equity – not just because we know them, but because it is the right thing to do. As a team, our hearts have filled and broken so many times over the course of this company's journey, especially in the past few weeks. We asked our team to finish the phrase "I stand in solidarity because..." and these were their responses.
I Stand in Solidarity Because...
"It is devastating and heartbreaking to continue to see these social injustices take place time and time again. We didn't need the past few weeks to remind us that the system is broken and these acts of injustice just reiterate the deep oppression rooted in the systems we as a country have built. I always have and will continue to stand in solidarity until we all live in a free and just world that does not judge based on skin color. I stand in solidarity for my friends and people I consider family who have a different skin color than me that have to live in fear every day conducting the same activities that I do. I stand in solidarity for the black parents who worry for their children because the color of their skin makes them a more likely target for brutality. I stand in solidarity because this needs to end. As a society we must do better." - Amy, CEO
"I stand in solidarity with the black lives matter movement. As a black woman and proud lover of our earth, I choose to speak up and support all who are against injustice anywhere. Support black art, music, businesses and your neighboring black communities daily. It is our duty
as a whole to uplift each other for better change, silence should not be an option. To those who are unsure of where you stand or don't see
how this matter may relate to you, educate yourselves and work towards amplifying the voices of those who face racial injustice. We're in this together!" - Afi, Digital Marketing + Ecommerce Associate
"I stand in solidarity because it’s my only option. My unborn children shouldn’t be subjected to hate due to inaction. We can no longer afford to traumatize another generation whose only crime is being black in America. The only way to create change is by ripping the roots of racism from every system that perpetuates it. This isn’t a duty that lies solely in the hands of the black community, it’s the duty of all who stand for humanity. Solidarity is the only option.
“We must strive to be moved by a generosity of spirit that will enable us to outgrow the hatred and conflicts of the past.” -Nelson Mandela" - Amanda, Retail Sales + Marketing Manager
"I stand in solidarity with my black brothers and sisters as we work to create and a more just society. In every aspect of our society our friends, our neighbors and our co-workers are treated differently because of the color of their skin; we’ve seen it time and time again, from police brutality to modern day red lining to severe underfunding of schools in black communities. What’s happening in our country today is nothing new. If anything, it’s a painful reminder that systemic racism is real. It’s a painful reminder that black communities live a different reality on a daily basis, from the day they’re born into our society. It’s unjust that our country boasts ‘all men are created equal’, yet we still allow our friends to live in a country that does not value their worth as equal to our own. As a woman who benefits from white privilege, it is my responsibility to use my privilege to create a more just society so that my friends don’t need to live in fear for their lives simply because of the color of their skin. It is my responsibility to use my privilege to implore my white brothers and sisters to look in the mirror, to find empathy and compassion and to do better. We must do better." - Diana, COO
"I stand in solidarity because to ignore the oppression faced by my black neighbors is to continue it. It's important to stand alongside our black and brown communities to show our support, and it is even more important to look inwards to the ways that we, as white people, have been ingrained with racist ideas towards people of color. The work is internal as much as it is external. For real change to happen, we all need to constantly question and check ourselves for the traces of racism that our society teaches us. We have to be vulnerable, unlearn the old ways, be okay with being uncomfortable, and move forward together towards total equity." - Taylor, Digital Sales + Marketing Manager
Of course, we recognize that these acknowledgements are just the start. The real work is long, arduous, and entirely worth it. For more information on how you can show your support and stand in solidarity with your black and brown neighbors, please visit BlackLivesMatter.com and consider making a donation, signing a petition, or exploring other ways you can support the fight towards a more equitable world.