Commitments & Values
Below are a number of commitments and values that I hold (and plan to work towards) as a white cis human and business owner. This is a living document that I plan to come back to, check in with, and continue to update.
I also included my personal goals and commitments in the belief that this work IS also personal. As the only person behind this business, the work I am doing in my personal life is in every way relevant to the work I do through the scope of my business.
I am aware that right now many of these words…are just words. This work is lifelong work, and does not happen overnight. And with that in mind, I am making long-term goals as well as commitments to contribute to the “[creation of] the world we say we want” (to quote Sonya Renee Taylor). As time goes on, I want to more thoughtfully and positively contribute to the Black and POC community…as well as society at large. This is about how we move forward and not just run our businesses, but LIVE OUR LIVES. In order for sweeping change to happen, it starts with each and every one of us making the conscious choice to stop benefiting from white privilege.
Through my business and within my personal life, I am committed to:
Continuing personal anti-racism work through continuing to seek out and attend workshops and learning/listening opportunities as well as self-reflective work (like Leesa Reene Hall's writing prompts). Internalizing anti-racism work is crucial. I want to be sure that I take personal responsibly to introduce new modes of learning and growing.
Accepting that I WILL MESS UP (and have in the past)…but not letting that stop me from long-term commitment to anti-racism and social justice work. I will put my ego aside in order to not be a perpetuator of violent systems of oppression, and be able to take criticism in a non-defensive way. And with that, hold speaking out above “being liked” and lean into any discomfort that will arise.
Continuing to acknowledge the areas where I or other white people are holding too much space, and a) see where I can step back or pass opportunities on (asking myself, “is there someone who knows more about this topic than me who would be better for this?” or “have I had this opportunity in the past to speak to “XYZ” and don’t need to take up space a second time when there are BIPOC artists, healers, and educators who should be amplified instead?” while putting forth a few names who I recommend for the “job”) and b) call out those spaces and demand they address their whiteness if they are not. I will advocate for Black and POC voices regardless of losing out on an opportunity or burning a bridge.
Only attending markets that are actively inclusive of BIPOC-owned and LGBTQA+ owned businesses. As well as that of wholesale clients or other modes of selling my work in person. As well as seeking out more opportunities to hire Black and POC freelancers/businesses for photography, modeling, and any other times I am in need of external hires within my business or collective projects. I will also seek out Black and POC owned businesses when looking to add products to the shop, collaborate on photoshoots, collaborative projects, etc.
Continuing to invest in the BIPOC community monthly- through donating a percentage of my income to organizations doing vital work, the businesses where I spend my money, books I read, inspiration sources, education, etc. It will not be in the form of flashy marketing campaigns like "this weekend only, 15% of sales will be donated to ___", where I am ultimately the one making the profit (encouraging people to buy from me). Rather, just as a given part of my life. At the same time as sharing and spreading the word about how and where others can spread their money in the form of mutual aid/donations.
Continuing to share, learn from, and support anti-racism resources and share the work of Black and POC artists, healers, creatives, businesses, educators, authors, environmentalists, etc. both online and in person.
Continuing to acknowledge and name my whiteness, and reflect/examine the ways I as a human and business owner with white privilege perpetuate, benefit from, and uphold white supremacist systems, oppressive ways of thinking, and hold biases in order to take informed action both externally and internally.
Thank you to the work of Layla F. Saad, Ericka Hines, Amélie Lamont,
Sonya Renee Taylor, Jessica Wilson, Alishia McCullough, Rachel Rodgers, Leesa Renee Hall, and many more for their words and labor to provide education around being actively anti-racist (…and so much more)!
Want to talk or have questions?
Get in touch.