Our Manifesto to Support the Black Lives Matter Movement
The recent tragic murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed and Breonna Taylor are four more black lives lost due to systemic racism here in the United States. The issue of police brutality and state sanctioned violence has once again been thrust into the spotlight, however Black and Indigenous communities have carried this burden for far too long. As a white owned and white operated business, our privilege has allowed us to be silent without consequence while communities of color suffer. For this and all the ways we have contributed to the oppression of BIPOC, we are profoundly sorry. We won’t be silent any longer.
In solidarity with the Black community we commit to taking the following actions:
From June 4–6th, we shut down our website and encouraged our customers to instead spend their money donating to social justice organizations and shopping from Black-owned businesses in their community. And while we can't continue to keep our website shut down (we have to pay the bills somehow) we would like to use our platform to share information on Black-owned businesses that deserve your attention and dollars, in addition to creating and sustaining meaningful partnerships with Black creatives and artists.
We have evenly distributed a donation of $3000 to the following organzations:
Black Visions Collective : Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence. They do this through building strategic campaigns, investing in Black leadership, and engaging in cultural and narrative organizing.
Reclaim the Block : A community coalition representing activists, organizers, faith and community leaders united by the demand that Minneapolis divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives that would decrease the scope of MPD and promote healthier, safer, more diverse communities.
Campaign Zero : A police reform campaign proposed by activists providing a comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
A note about this donation:
When we first made our donation to this campaign, the conversation around police reform changed at lightning speed in just a few short days. And while we still greatly admire the years of research and policy changes made by this campaign, it has become abundantly clear that police reform is simply not enough, and in fact, can lead to increased funding of police bureaus. When this campaign was first created in 2015, and the conversation around police brutality was largely ignored and the BLM movement was considered controversial, it seemed like moderate, incremental change was the only way forward. Today, it is more clear than ever that whatever world we choose to imagine we can make into a reality through mass mobilization and radical policies. Already, we have seen cities take a stand on ending school contracts with local police bureaus, mayors being pushed to take immediate action, and in Minneapolis' case, even garner enough votes to dismantle the city's police department.
We will continue to update this page as the conversation unfolds, but one thing remains; we hope that this debate will spark drastic changes that reallocate funds from the police to community services who better serve the public.
We are very fortunate to have the partnership of a local HR firm called Workplace Change since January of this year. One of the major areas of focus for our work with them is in creating a hiring process that opens up any opportunities with our company to a diverse pool of candidates. Workplace Change specializes in DEI tenets and helps us to make sure that part of the candidate pool for any open position will be from underrepresented communities. We fully acknowledge that our lack of diversity is an organizational weakness and that we could not address the problem without a partnership like the one we have with Workplace Change. We also recognize that our hiring practices are just one small step towards how was can address working towards more inclusivity in all aspects of our business.
We will be collaborating with Workplace Change to continue our ongoing internal Diversity and Inclusion training and education planning with a focus on justice and equity.
Sustainability has been a top priority for us, but we must acknowledge that sustainability is intrinsically tied to racial justice. We are working to develop a sustainability metric that reflects this, and we will provide bi-annual updates on our progress.
We believe that diversity is vital in all things and that the lack of diversity in our organization is a weakness. We commit to working toward more inclusivity in all aspects of our business and creating a company culture that is welcoming and safe for all.
Starting this year, on June 19, 2020, we will observe Juneteenth as a paid company holiday in which normal business operations will be shut down for the day in order to give our employees the ability to celebrate and self-educate.