My Commitment to Social Justice, Diversity & Inclusion
Let’s cut right to the chase:
I support racial justice for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and I am committed to being an inclusive, anti-racist organization #
This website is a space to help you build a creative practice and work on personal projects with joy and intention. But ultimately, I am always writing about digging deeper within ourselves to unearth what really matters.
What really matters is our shared humanity.
And I cannot, in good faith, continue to write about creativity and making art without acknowledging that racism, injustice, and oppression are keeping so many people from living an equitable and dignified life.
As a white person in America, I recognize my participation in the systems that were designed to oppress BIPOC, destroy their families, and silence their voices. I have knowingly and unknowingly upheld racist ideas and perpetuated racist ideologies in the past, and been silently complicit in maintaining norms that, at best, make BIPOC feel marginalized and undervalued, and at worst, have proven to be downright fatal.
For a long time I chose to ignore these issues, to push them off as someone else’s problem to solve. But this is a problem created by white people and the time is long overdue to clean up our own mess.
In June 2020, I signed the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge, which means I will speak and act in ways that advance racial equity in society. I am working every day to educate myself and take actions in alignment with the anti-racist values I aim to uphold.
This document, which will be updated quarterly, will keep me accountable in accordance with that pledge. I aim to make progress in the four categories outlined below:
- Commit to reading one anti-racism book every quarter. I’m currently participating in an abolition book club. Free and open to anyone who is interested! The syllabus is linked in their Instagram bio. We meet virtually every few weeks.
Financial support #
- Monthly recurring donations to The Tannex—an Albuquerque-based, Black-woman owned DIY performance space and zine library.
- Audit my business expenses to ensure my money is going to BIPOC-owned businesses whenever possible. At the very least, I want to support businesses that have publicly acknowledged their support of Black Lives Matter and racial equity.
- Since I’m a one-woman-show around here, I haven’t ever hired a contractor or freelancer. However, when the time comes to do so, I will take the extra time to seek diverse candidates in those positions and commit to hiring Black contractors 30% of the time, and more broadly, BIPOC and women at least 50% of the time.
Diversifying my consumption #
- Decolonizing my Kindle bookshelf. This is where I need to do some work, because currently my bookshelf is mostly full of white authors! The goal here is to actively seek out BIPOC authors who write in genres that I already read, which for me includes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction books about history, science, and nature.
- Following more BIPOC on social media.
- Subscribing to newsletters and podcasts from BIPOC blogs and businesses, specifically in the creativity and art space.
- TBD - Movies & TV
Using my platform and voice #
- I am using this page to document my journey and hold myself accountable to the commitment I am making to social justice issues. I will link it in a prominent place on my website and update it on a quarterly basis.
- Be the anti-racist voice in my family/friend groups and be courageous in challenging racist ideas while pointing people to more qualified sources of education.
- Amplifying the voices of BIPOC in my writing, recommended resources, and on social media.
This space is meant to be inclusive #
If you’re a BIPOC and you don’t feel welcomed or supported based on my words or actions, please call me out.
If you’re a white person and you see me doing something that is not in accordance with this anti-racist statement, please call me out.
Send an email to email@example.com, mention me on Twitter, or reach out on Instagram.
I know I will make mistakes. I am making the commitment to acknowledge the conflict, allow space for community members to be heard and deal with the underlying issue rather than demonizing the person who raised the issue. Then, I will take action to implement the needs expressed by community members.
Actions taken #
July 2020 #
- Self education: Read Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis.
- Self education: Listened to the NYT 1619 podcast.
- Self education: Read A Letter from a Region in My Mind by James Baldwin. This might be one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read.
- Financial: Canceled Amazon Prime membership. I am making a commitment to do more research when it comes to making future purchases of goods and supplies. Whenever possible, I will opt to support BIPOC-owned businesses that treat their employees and the planet with dignity and respect.
- Financial: Upped my monthly donation to The Tannex.
- Diversifying my consumption: Started by following these tags on Instagram:
#drawingwhileblack. As a result, I’ve followed at least 20 incredible Black illustrators, software developers, designers, educators, environmentalists, and activists.
- Diversifying my consumption: On TikTok, I’ve started liking videos made by BIPOC creators and following those accounts. (Previously I had just been scrolling the For You page without ever liking or following accounts.) Experimenting with making the algorithm show me more diverse content. TBD on how it works out and whether or not my strategy will change.
- Diversifying my consumption: Subscribed to Toi Marie's newsletter and followed her on Instagram. Toi Marie is a growth and impact strategist for creative entrepreneurs. I am already loving her radical approach to self-care and building strong communities that value connection over capitalism.
- Using my platform and voice: Sent an email newsletter with my initial thoughts on the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
October 2020 #
- Self-education: Attended a virtual anti-racism workshop facilitated by Ebony Isis Booth and LadySpeech Sankofa. This workshop was specifically for white womxn and femmes to listen and learn more about how to dismantle our internalized patriarchy.
- Self-education: Read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Self-education: Listened to a couple episodes of The Red Nation Podcast and am happy to report that it has become part of my regular listening rotation. The Red Nation Podcast features discussions on Indigenous history, politics, and culture from a left perspective.
- Financial: For the past five years I’ve participated in Albuquerque Zine Fest. This year, my submission was virtual, and I donated 100% of my compensation to Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.
- Using my platform and my voice: I’ve been quiet on the blog and website recently, but I did have a civil and productive conversation with a stranger on Instagram recently. We discussed how to avoid using cultural appropriative and offensive language.
January 2021 #
- Self-education: Read We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Financial: Became an annual supporter of The Barnraiser's Project. The Barnraiser's Project coaches and trains white people to organize their friends, neighbors and colleagues for racial equity. This org is run by Garrett Bucks, who spent his career as a community organizer until he realized that his work was always focused on organizing in other people's communities. He created The Barnraiser's Project after listening to the call from civil rights leaders to organize against racism and white supremacy in our own (white) communities.