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Our Commitment to Change



Following on from our previous post, the rest of our team want to share what we have been learning in recent months and how we are committing to making changes that allow us to better act as an anti-racist ally. We've shared some more black-owned businesses and creatives below that have been inspiring to us as a brand and also to our team members individually. We really hope you'll take the time to have a good read through and find this a useful resource to come back to. 

 

From Katie, Business Owner.

It's just not good enough not being racist. We have to actively be anti-racist and confront our biased behaviour and that of other people we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. To unlearn these destructive habits and keep evolving we need to be consistent and realise that it's not a sprint but a marathon, a lifelong commitment. 

It's been a real wake up call for me personally, I have been so ignorant to my own white privilege as a white woman and the amount I have learnt in recent weeks has been invaluable. I haven't been a good enough ally for the Black and POC community and for this reason, I will continue to strive to make the changes that will make me a better ally.

The Black Lives Matter movement importantly has everyone's attention and it's time for true change. The world's consciousness is shifting, we have all been on pause, had time to reflect on ourselves and our behaviour, a fresh start to look at our place in the world and how we want to impact it. We have made more space to open up, listen and learn.

Let's continue to make real and genuine connections with people, to acknowledge that we are all different, but also the same and deserving of being treated accordingly. That there is so much injustice towards Black and POC communities and that we have to work together, collectively, to implement changes that will truly make a difference. 

We want to make our businesses even more inclusive, to continue to teach our children the importance of diversity and acceptance and most importantly to unlearn the behaviour that contributes to systematic racism within our society.

I would love to share with you a couple of extremely talented Black creatives and also a couple of books and videos we read and show our son often, which are listed below. 

Katie's Resources:

  • For kids and the family.

We're All Works of Art written by Mark Sperring & illustrated by Rose Blake.
Sesame Street: We're Different, We're the Same by Sesame Street Read Along Series, via YouTube.
Olli Ella Dinkum Dolls. This is a really amazing range of culturally diverse toys for kids.
Just Like Me Toys. Another great brand that creates diverse children's toys, they have an extensive collection of Black and Ethnic dolls and doll's clothes.

  • Films and videos.

13th (film/doc) dir. by Ava DuVernay - available on Netlfix.
When They See Us (miniseries) created by Ava DuVernay - available on Netflix.
Dear White People (series) created by Justin Simien - available on Netflix.
Selma (film) dir. by Ava Duvernay - currently available on BBC iPlayer.
I Am Not Your Negro (film/doc) dir. by Raoul Peck - currently available on BBC iPlayer.
Dr. Maya Angelou: "Be a Rainbow in Someone Else's Cloud" by OWN, via YouTube

  • Creative people and businesses to follow.

Our Lovely Goods: Natural candles, skincare and homewares. Follow @ourlovelygoods
TANAKA: Handmade natural soaps. Follow @tanaka.soaps
The Good Store: Independent organic store, minus the plastic. Follow @thegoodstore.scot
A Gray Life: A beautiful lifestyle account by Renie. Follow @agraylife
Rafikï Coffee: High quality speciality coffee sourced from Rwanda. Follow @rafikicoffee
Waste Free Marie: Blogger Marie Beecham advocates for people and the planet. Follow @wastefreemarie
Books For Diversity: Culturally diverse books for children. Follow @booksfordiversity
Scottish Mother's Collective: A community for women juggling work life, mum life and everything in between. Check out their 'Night Time Stories' which features a range of culturally diverse books. Follow @scottishmotherscollective
The Black Curriculum: Black British History teaching in and outside of UK schools. Follow @theblackcurriculum

 

From Amie, Team Member.

'In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist'. This quote by author and political activist Angela Davis is one that has been disseminated across my social media a lot in the past months and it is serving as a constant reminder to me in it's succinctness that I need to do more.

If I'm honest, in the past I have often disengaged with the news and certain global affairs, finding the state of the world overwhelming. 'Ignorance is bliss'. What a privileged outlook I have. As a white woman it's easy for me to switch off because I am not affected by the deep-rooted and systemic injustice that Black and other POC individuals live with. It is not my everyday existence. I can turn off the telly, put my phone away, walk past the headlines and be none the wiser. But that's not good enough. 'In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist'. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is simply ignorance.

As a result my first step as an active ally to the BIPOC community is to educate myself and be open to ongoing learning. I am committing to staying engaged with and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. I commit to listening to the voices of those that have been marginalised and to help amplify them. I acknowledge my white privilege and commit to further understanding the implications of this, specifically within the constructed systems of the country in which I live.

I have found so many informative and helpful resources available from books and films to local businesses and social media accounts. Take a look at my recommendations below. I hope you find them helpful, there is so much information out there, and it is our individual responsibility to take the steps to learn from, and act upon it.

Amie's Resources:

  • Currently reading and my TBR pile.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.

  • Currently watching and on my list.

13th (film/doc) dir. by Ava DuVernay - available on Netlfix.
When They See Us (miniseries) created by Ava DuVernay - available on Netflix.
Disclosure (film/doc) dir. by Sam Feder - available on Netflix.
Little Fires Everywhere (miniseries) dev. by Liz Tigelaar - available on Amazon Prime.
Black and British: A Forgotten History (miniseries) by David Olusoga - currently available on BBC iPlayer.

  • Organisations to support.

Black Lives Matter Foundation: The global organisation whose mission it is to eradicate white supremacy.
Black Minds Matter UK: 'Our mission is to connect Black individuals and families with free professional mental health services [...] making mental health topics relevant and accessible for all Black people in the UK.'
UK Black Pride: 'Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent. '
The NAACP: 'Founded in 1909 [...] the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization' in the United States.

  • Educational and inspiring accounts to follow. 

Rachel Cargle: Writer and public academic with several great platforms where you can learn about anti-racism and support initiatives to benefit minority communities. Follow @rachel.cargle
The Great Unlearn: An online learning community curated by Rachel Cargle. You can currently access Rachel's 30 day course, 'Do The Work' for free. Follow @thegreatunlearn
Intersectional Environmentalist: A platform created to advocate for an inclusive version of environmentalism. For the protection of people and the planet. Follow @intersectionalenvironmentalist
Leah Thomas: Writer and activist. Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist. Follow @greengirlleah
Fuse Manchester: An inclusive online community using its platform to elevate the voices and work from creatives of colour. Follow @fusemanchester
Shona Vertue: Personal trainer, yoga teacher and author. Shona uses her platform to share information and advocate for a lot of important issues surrounding the anti-racism movement alongside her fitness content. Follow @shona_vertue
Our Lovely Goods: One of my favourite local creatives we stock at Elk & Wolf. Ebi and Emmanuel have created such a beautiful brand and product range. They have also generously shared their knowledge on their social media as well as sharing loads of other amazing black creatives to follow. Follow @ourlovelygoods
Century General Store: Independent Edinburgh cafe and store, Century General support many black creatives and stock some amazing handmade goods. I've also found their content particularly informative and helpful in gaining a better understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement. Follow @centurygeneralstore