I started this journal three weeks ago. It was a long time coming, I knew I wanted a platform to showcase other inspiring individuals, a place to celebrate their personal projects, reflections and ideas. However, I’d have to start with mine first, after all this is my business platform, and sharing my thoughts openly, outside of my inner circle, on the internet… is not my strong suit. So bare with me as I navigate this new space, I will fuck up along the way, inevitably, so hold me accountable to do better. Last week the phrase silence is not an option resonated with me as I shared anti-racism resources I’m actively looking into. This week the phrase perfection is not an option resonates as I begin a work-in-progress in stating my values and pledge an active role of solidarity.
As a small business and sole proprietor, here are some of the ways I will commit and contribute to diversity, equity, inclusion & anti-racism :
Hatred, racism, bigotry in any form, be it in person, on my platforms, social media or anywhere else will not be tolerated.
I started this platform because I want to showcase other inspiring individuals, a place to celebrate their personal projects, reflections and ideas. Let me explicitly state that this space will prioritize stories by Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, LGBTQIA+
I am actively seeking out new creatives, organizations and people who are passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion to collaborate with.
In like manner I will only participate in projects that include Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and plus size creators.
Commitment to working with Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and plus size models.
So far I’ve been the model in my RYHN collection photographs; it was a choice I made out of convenience and necessity (as a self-funded business), as I slowly taught myself photography on my own terms, and it worked aesthetically because RYHN is a reflection of me, it’s my artistic practice and my small business. Moving forward I will intentionally work with Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and plus size models to actively participate in a creative vision that dismantles racism and white supremacy.Budget
Investing a portion of my budget into the Black community, both professionally and personally. Since the beginning I’ve been diligent to research and choose local and small businesses in my suppliers. I can do better by making sure at least 30% are Black businesses. One of the most direct and sustainable ways to support the Black community is to shop at Black-owned businesses, many of which have also been disproportionally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Relaunching my Orogeny Pin, a brooch I created with the purpose of wearing your heart on your sleeve, lapel or hat: Orogeny is the event that leads to the creation of mountains, and the message behind the pin is I love you like a mountain, which I think is to the purpose in this case. I will make the piece available for sale on my website again shortly, and the proceeds will be donated to support a Black charity.
This is a work in progress. There’s been a lot of information going around and I’ve been reading, re-sharing information, listening to what others have to say. I’ve been deepening my literacy around certain terms and concepts. My partner and I donated to the National Bail Out as well as Sylvanaqua Farms; a small business and food & agriculture coop. I’ve attended and will continue to regularly attend seminars, workshops, town hall meetings, conferences about anti-racism, educating myself both personally and professionally on how to actively continue to be anti-racist, how to decolonize my bookshelf, my wallet, my business, my thoughts…white supremacy isn’t someone else who is evil - it’s a political, economic & cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power & material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority & entitlement are widespread, relations of white dominance & non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions & social settings. Our society and structures are built in white supremacy and we all play our part in dismantling it.
My ideas took shape after attending a town hall meeting hosted by Hello Seven called Re-imagining Small Business. I implore my non-Black friends, followers & business owners to look into it and take the pledge, links below!
Rachel Rodgers, Business Coach
Ericka Hines, DEI Consultant
Sonya Renee Taylor, Author & CEO
Hello Seven, Town Hall: Re-imagining Small Business
Rachel Richetts, Activist, Speaker, Writer
Victoria Alexander, MEd.
Female Founder Collective list of Black women businesses
Social Action Cards