In the past few days, I've written and re-written this newsletter more times than I can count. How does one even go about addressing such a complex situation – especially as a person of such privilege? So many conflicting things are true right now. Is my addressing it even the "right thing" to do? Are we witnessing a revolution? And if so, what is my role in it? I know many of you reading this are feeling similar things this week. Like many white women, I'm listening to and learning from Black leaders (mostly women) who I am lucky enough to call friends. I'm also trying my best to use my place of influence and my privilege to fight for change by being vocal to my community, my family, my children and by raising money for organizations that are leading the way towards righting the social injustices that have been plaguing our society for centuries.
Taken from @miimiisweet.
And...it doesn't feel like enough. And also? I have to remind myself that this cause is one that needs to be run like a marathon, not a sprint. Yes – rally, fight, post on social media, and protest in the streets now, but also? Please all of us take this energy and make sure to carry it on in the upcoming weeks, months and years that follow. When the news cycle moves on and our social media feeds turn from black boxes to colorful family photos again, will we still be showing up and speaking out? Will our feet still be on the gas? Below are some things that I've cobbled together that I hope you find interesting and helpful. I love you all – I really do. I am so grateful for you and for this community. Thank you for your social media love and for your continued support. Fight the good fight. xo Rachelle
The Fifteen Percent Pledge:
One of the things I've been working on with a group of passionate and crazy cool women is the "15 Percent Pledge" initiative started by the powerhouse Aurora James (the Brother Vellies' founder). Black people account for 15% of the population in the U.S. Please join us as we call on major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. By taking this pledge, we are asking businesses to start tracking and being transparent about the percentage of suppliers and contracts they are giving out to black-owned businesses. We are then asking them to define, share and execute a plan to increase this share of business. We encourage you to take this pledge in your own life and share with us how you are implementing a plan that translates for you personally or your company. Lingua Franca is in the process of doing just this. Sign the pledge here.
I came across this gem of a video from a 1993 interview of Toni Morrison on Charlie Rose. And, if you can get past the Charlie Rose ew factor, you really ought not miss this one. It left me breathless. Toni Morrison was a brilliant woman! She has me questioning today who I am without my race. "If you can only be tall when someone is on their knees, then you have a serious problem." You MUST see this.
#AmplifyMelanatedVoices is a great hashtag to follow right now.
This #blacklivesmatter Google Doc is one of the most comprehensive documents I've seen on ways to donate and stay involved with what's happening minute by minute. It's updated every five minutes and available to access on your phone. It's the definitive source for staying active in the moment.
This Anti-Racism Resources for White People document was compiled by, amongst others, my friend Sarah Sophie Flicker and includes organizations to follow, resources for talking to your kids, movies and tv shows to watch, books to buy and more.
Here is another comprehensive anti-racism guide.
Here's even more about talking to your kids about race (and why they aren't too young).
I am LIVID over Trump's forceful and violent removal of peaceful protesters in D.C. and you should be too. You can read this Washington Post article about how concerning his recent actions are to CIA veterans:
“I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”
Friends and friends of friends have reported to me that they have been peacefully protesting only to find themselves trapped by police with nowhere to go. It's a practice called "kettling" and it's something you need to know about and be aware of. Here is the reporting of police kettling peaceful protestors in DC and here is one from last night in NYC. This is NOT the way a democracy works. PERIOD.
Here is a great video explaining systemic racism.
I also found this Medium article helpful and informative.
Finally, I wanted to thank you all. Because of you, this past Sunday we raised close to $40k from our online orders (and we are still tallying the totals of our email orders so the total continues to increase!) for The Bail Project. We are sending the first round of donations today and will post the receipt to our IG stories for you to see in the hopes we inspire more giving.