I apologize for not writing this sooner. It's taken me some time to find my own words with which to speak up. I wholeheartedly believe that Black lives and Black voices matter so much, and it's something I've thought about, read about, and talked about a lot in my personal life over the last few years. It's something that I've made an effort to speak to my daughter about since she was a toddler, although she didn't always get it nor did I always say it right. We've both been learning at the same time. My hesitancy to speak publicly on this matter has much to do with the fact that I have a lot to learn, and I don't think my voice is really the one that needs to be heard.
However, I do think it's important for customers to know what a business stands for and to know exactly where their money is going. For the past two weeks I've seen many brands I shop with making statements to that end, and it's been inspiring to see the actions that companies are taking to do anti-racist work. While I have been privy to the truth of the racism that exists in the world and to my own white privilege, at times I've been lost in fragility and haven't known what action to take. I see that this movement for racial justice that is going strong right now, amid tremendous loss, fear, anger, and heartache, is forging us a new and better path. It's becoming clearer where to go from here and what action to take, because of the bravery and hard work of the Black people that are fighting for justice.
One thing I learned several years ago is how damaging the lack of diverse representation in media and fashion can be, and I had to take a good look at myself and how I'd been brainwashed by Eurocentric beauty standards. There are so many talented BIPOC makers out there, and the more I found the more I was enriched. It became important to me to show this wide range of beauty in my work by hiring models and showcasing a range of talented creators in my patterns. Although I'm no longer participating in social media, I'll continue to hold to these values on my website and in my newsletter.
I know that this is not enough. Another way that I can do my part is through financial support to Black-led organizations. Money is power, and power needs to be redistributed. I am donating 20% of my sales this month. Last week the donation was made to the National Urban League, and this week the donation will be made to Black Lives Matter. Next week it will be to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the week after it will be to Color of Change. After this month, there will be ongoing monthly donations. I'm still figuring out where the money will go and what the amount will be.
I'm the only person who currently works at Wiksten, but I'm dedicated to prioritizing diversity when the time comes to hire.
I will lend my support and my vote to leaders that practice anti-racism, and I will use my voice to protest and/or petition leaders when I see racial injustice.
The book Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad has been extremely helpful, and a group of my close friends and I have been discussing this book together and keeping each other accountable. There are so many great books on this topic now, and I'll continue to research and learn and reflect on my own role in racism.
I still have more things to figure out for sure, but I just wanted to share where I'm at in this moment.