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It's been a long time coming

Change now has to come. 

A few weeks ago we said in an interview that during the pandemic we have to figure out, ‘What are we going to be for however long this is?’ The same sentiment rings true today. As an ethical and sustainable business we know there is a clear connection between taking care of our environment and taking care of each other. We want to use our platform to take necessary steps to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement and contribute to real, sustainable change in our community. We must and will work hard to show up with our bodies, voices, minds and money. To open our eyes to injustice and keep them open - not just yesterday, today, or tomorrow. 

We may be small, but we can take action. We’ll be working over the coming weeks to address and keep improving on our own choices as a company and we will share that with you at each and every step. We stand in solidarity with all black people fighting for safety and equality. We stand in solidarity with the black-owned businesses we work with and admire. Black lives matter. 

We have pulled together some resources that have helped to inform, activate and educate ourselves that we hope you will find valuable, but also act as a reminder to ourselves on what needs to be done.

1. Everything we need is right here 

If education is the first step towards sustained, systemic change, then we don’t need anything new. For years - decades - resources have been available to us. Writing about racism is nothing new, art forms highlighting the lack of equality for POC are abundant, music has always shone a light on what may otherwise be ignored. But we also understand that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. You can find an incredible list of books, films, articles and social media accounts to start consuming here. As a team we will be reading Me and White Supremacy together, a book that breaks down racial prejudice and provides practical, reflective exercises. Want to join us? You can grab a copy at Lighthouse Bookshop, or support your local bookstore. 

2. Donate from wherever you are

Right now, in the midst of critical protests, an immediate thing that you can do if you have the means is to donate funds. Over the coming weeks and months different organisations will be working to support detained protestors and activists get representation. The impact this can have if adequately funded is a sustained one - not just a momentary means of action. Do your research to check whether each association’s platforms are up to date with what they need (or if they are still accepting donations) and give as much or as little as feels right for you. Can’t donate directly but want to help financially support? You can stream this video on Youtube - make sure any ad blocker you use is switched off. All funds made from advertising on this video are being donated to bail funds that directly support the movement.

3. Now, and always, all our voices count

As with any cause, our voices are powerful. The more we speak up against what we know is wrong the more impact we make on political bodies, and the more systemic change we will encourage. Write an email to your local MP asking for them to explain their policies on diversity and inclusion to you, ask for specific action, sign petitions you believe in (some to look at include Justice For George Floyd, Ahmaud Arberyand Belly Mujinga). Call on your friends, family and colleagues to talk with open minds about how you feel. Remain kind. It’s our responsibility to learn together. 

4. Work hard to expand our minds 

Let’s use this moment as another opportunity to widen our circles when it comes to what we read, watch, and support. Platforms and voices we already love include Gal-dem, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Call Your Girlfriend, but it’s also up to us all to find those around us that we feel engaged with and we can share with others. We’ll be sharing some of the brilliant black influencers on Instagram over the next few days. 

5. Empathy is crucial 

How we are online should reflect who we are offline, and vice versa. When sympathy doesn’t cut it, empathy steps in and we know that kindness, patience and understanding is vital right now. If your mental health has been affected by anything you’ve seen or heard in the past few weeks and months, then reach out to someone you can talk to or take a look at Mind UK’s up to date information and resources and here for information from the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network in the UK. 

Be kind to yourself, and be kind to each other. We are always here for a chat - DM us or drop us an email.

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