“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.” - James Baldwin
As a brand it has taken us a while to articulate our thoughts and commitment to inclusivity and anti-discrimination. Our hearts are heavy with trauma and grief following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade and so many others. We are struggling with emotions ranging from sadness to anger to distress. But we also have hope because it seems like America is engaged in the very early stages of what will inevitably be a painful reconciliation of the effects of structural and institutional racism.
People around the world seem to be finally saying, enough-is-enough and are open to hearing from people who are suffering the daily and generational effects of racism, denied opportunities, and oppression. This fight is a personal fight.
America was built on the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. From the Civil Rights Era to Stonewall to Black Lives Matter, the story of America has been about the fight to expand the categories of people who get to be a part of that promise. We like to think the current protests are growing pains that will birth a more just society.
Charity begins at home. So does change. We all can and must do something. If we're serious about racial justice, our work is to engage in authentic, vulnerable conversations with the people closest to us. Let's continue to support one another, be a soft safe space to land for each other, and challenge our deeply-held biases and bigotry.
We embrace the words of James Baldwin, who said "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." We can start to face racism at home. As a brand we are committed to doing everything we possibly can to educate ourselves and work on long-term initiatives within our community and company to shine a light on racial discrimination and inequality, as well as be an agent of change for all marginalized groups.
Here is a list of some books, videos, and resources that have helped give us the language to have difficult conversations around racism. For anyone interested in unlearning racism or confronting racial injustice, the links below are valuable resources.
Authors & Books
The Danger of A Single Story - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Jazz - Toni Morrison Interview (full video)
Soul! - James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni (full video)
13th - Netflix
Who Killed Malcolm X? - Netflix
If Beale St Could Talk - Hulu
When They See Us - Netflix
Just Mercy - All digital platforms (free for month of June)
King in the Wilderness - HBO Max (watch for free)
Vote - vote.org
Black Lives Matter - https://blacklivesmatter.com/
American Civil Liberties Union - https://www.aclu.org/
NAACP Legal Defense Fund - https://www.naacpldf.org/
The Bail Project - https://bailproject.org
Secure ActBlue - https://secure.actblue.com/signin
Equal Justice Initiative - https://eji.org/