I have been feeling just about every emotion this past week in the wake of the brutal and senseless killing of George Floyd and so many other black lives that have been taken away unjustly. It’s easy to be upset and disturbed by the violence committed by the police officers in Minneapolis and around the country, but what I have come to realize is that my shock is speaking out of my privilege.
I have a life that gives me resources and a feeling of safety all the while so many black lives live in fear. I have taken what I have for granted- driving without fear, running in a neighborhood that is not mine, feeling safe in my home at all times, and believing that people don't act on race. For that, I am sorry.
And while the conversation is so important right now, the action I take in my business and community is essential to my growth as a peer, business owner, adult and mother. Over the years we have committed as a company (and my family personally) to being registered voters and using our voice in our country as well as working with the outreach programs in our neighborhood.
Two that have been and will continue to be instrumental in our lives and company are
RED HOOK ART PROJECT
"We work to provide a space where young people feel safe and supported as they develop their voices through artistic projects and activities. We cultivate an environment of playfulness and experimentation, while challenging our older students to help each other strengthen their individual voices through supportive criticism. The experiences of creative problem solving and self-expression that underlie our program generate self-confidence and a sense of agency in our students. We believe that these qualities meaningfully contribute to the well-being of our students, their communities, and ultimately encourage engaged citizenship."
RED HOOK INITITIVE
"RHI confronts generations of institutional racism and inequity. We serve Brooklyn’s largest public housing community with a model that prioritizes youth and residents needs first.
Youth development, community building and community hiring are at the core of our approach to strengthening Red Hook’s future. RHI’s model gives young people and residents the tools, resources and opportunities they need to interrupt the systems and barriers that perpetuate historic inequities for the Red Hook community. Residents lead the way toward a more equitable, hopeful future."
We continue to place importance on starting the change daily in our own backyard and are creating even more relationships and initiatives than we already do. We know it is our responsibility to help bring about the change that is needed to ensure the violence that was committed last week doesn't have a place here on Earth.
In our conversations with our employees and family we have started placing even more importance on our children and their views and have found some really great companies and resources to teach our kids empathy and that BLACK LIVES MATTER.
K is For Kindness (Raising Allies To Be)
Wander and Wonder Studio
A Kids Book About Racism
Little Likes Kids
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Take the first steps by protesting (safely), educating yourself, and listening to the voices of the activists and oppressed around you. Move on by changing your daily behaviors, shopping consciously, and supporting art, design, and media made by and with BIPOC. Go the extra mile by getting involved in your local government, voting for socially progressive candidates and legislature, and using your own privilege to give a voice and support to those who need it.
WHERE TO DONATE
For a comprehensive list of links to donate, we recommend this list by the Strategist
And here are some quick links to get your started:
George Floyd Memorial Fund
Memorial Fund For James Scurlock
In Memory of Tony Mcdade
Justice for Breonna Taylor
National Bail Fund
Black And Brown Founders
Black Table Arts
Black Feminist Project
Black Girls Code
There are thousands of other charities that could use your help, so feel free to explore them all. It's important that we all do what we can to make a difference, and don't forget to register to vote.