If you have been following our social media, you've seen a lot of this lately:
It's because I want ALL my clients, supporters, and colleagues to know exactly where I stand on this.
George Floyd did not deserve to be murdered. Neither did Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, or Freddie Gray. Black lives matter, and we should say their names. Their deaths are part of how our deeply racist society enforces its existing systems of oppression. And I benefit from white privilege every single day of my life.
Over on social media, I've been putting my sociology background to work and recommending readings and resources every day on critical race theory, colonialism, intersectionality, white privilege, Jim Crow, civil rights history, and more. I will make a separate post that has those readings available as a resource, as well as other anti-racism readings and resource lists.
If y'all know my life story, you know that it's always been intertwined with Black folks. Many are family to me. I've chosen to live in African countries four times in my life, and in Atlanta for almost a decade. I can't empathize, but I see y'all and I stand with y'all. I love y'all. I know y'all are exhausted, frustrated, angry, and scared. I can't imagine a world without y'all. So instead of "muting my feed" in woke performativity, I've been putting out the resources that changed the ways I see and interact with the world.
Today, I am taking that a step further, with six commitments that I will take in my business to support Black people. Here they are:
- Support & amplify Black-owned small businesses in Seattle
- Support & amplify Black voices in floristy and farming
- Mentor BIPOC folks starting out in floristry and/or farming
- Hire & mentor BIPOC as freelancers
- Cultivate an inclusive portfolio
- Continue donating to BIPOC causes
This week, I'd like to focus on the first, which is supporting Black-owned businesses in Seattle. From what I can gather, fewer than 3% of business owners in Seattle are Black. They are also twice as likely to have suffered impacts from COVID-19 compared to white businesses. On social media this week, I'll be featuring Black-owned businesses that work with wedding clients, including photographers, caterers, salons, and more. I'll also put this info right here on the blog as a resource for those who want to support Black-owned businesses for their wedding. And I am always looking for folks to collaborate with, so I'll be prioritizing working with Black-owned businesses.
Protests, demands, and progress continue. As a tiny owner-operator business, I'm not able to make huge systemic changes. I can't provide access to capital or land. But I am committed to making my business, and our industry at large, more inclusive and welcoming.