We have never used our company platform to discuss anything personal, however, the recent events have affected us all and can no longer be viewed as things that require closeted conversations. We’ve been reflecting on what is happening in the world, our country and our communities. We’ve never felt as heartbroken about racism as we do now. But this is nothing new. Why does it feel new to us?
This movement affects our lives in a very personal way. Katie’s son is black and we pray the world is changing so he doesn’t have to grow up in a world we once called normal. All we see in him is a beautiful child who has the biggest heart of anyone we’ve ever met. How could someone be afraid of him? Why does Katie have to teach this sweet 11 year old that he needs to be aware that there are people who will hate him simply for the color of his skin? There should not be a need for any mother, or father, to have that conversation with a child. We can’t even think about it without crying.
We struggle with how to express this and who to express it to. We are listening and watching the people, around the world, protesting for action. We are inspired by those who are going out and collaborating with members of their community. We are also fully supporting those that are using their positions of leadership to talk about and demand change!
Katie and I have always personally felt that brands and companies shouldn’t be the direction that people look to when it comes to advocating for change. We never strongly felt that brands and corporations should solely hold that power and influence over our thoughts and actions. However, what we did feel mattered was the integrity and intentions of those who run these entities. Honestly speaking, prior to recent events, we had always looked at the company as an entity outside ourselves. We have taken this moment to become more educated and we now realize that we, as well as our business interests, have the ability to be a platform for change. Not only have we learned that we have that ability, we now know that is our responsibility.
We understand that there are more ways to show support than posts on social media, protests, and through mass media communications. We acknowledge that this challenge is multi-faceted and will require all forms of support, each form is equally as important and all very necessary. So after a few lengthy conversations with people who we endear, people who have been negatively impacted by things we hope to change, we asked ourselves —- can we use ourselves and our company as a vessel to express our support? Yes. Were we determined to do that right now? Yes. Why didn’t we do it sooner? Like so many others, we initially felt that action without knowledge would be truly disingenuous to the complexities of these issues, as well as simply insincere. That is not who we are. We have always wanted to make sure that we express what is truly in our hearts and minds and not just a generic company statement.
So what now? Where do we go from here? What we keep asking ourselves throughout the day is: what else can we DO?
We are thankful for the massive outrage about the injustice. It has definitely grabbed our attention…it has rightfully grabbed the world’s attention. It has put fear in, and spoken powerfully to, the corrupt levels and elements of our system on both local and national systemic levels. These brave individuals have come together to expose the lie in our society that some people have collectively chosen to believe and are now collectively choosing not to believe anymore. This is our fight against “normal”, our journey towards “new normal” and we’ve never been so optimistic that true and actual change is finally here on the horizon. We feel so grateful to live in a time where what was normal is no longer wanted or tolerated.
The beauty and strength being displayed by younger generations is revolutionary. They are determined to continue the fight that so many of their predecessors began, yet far too many of their predecessors had neglected. Katie and I believe that the more we fight for change and the longer the fight continues, the less afraid we will be as a nation. We do not fear protestors, we envy their passion. We do not look at the world and see chaos, we see a conscious shift toward love and the stripping of power to those who hate. We don’t see a country divided, we see a country inspiring the world to do better.
We see color and we LOVE the diversity. We also see not everyone shares that view and so we must vow to DO more. We must vow to no longer stay silent to avoid discomfort. We are so proud of those fighting and we pray it continues. The racism that still resides in our society is inexcusable and this must be an ongoing conversation we have moving forward. We can’t just apologize, denounce the behavior and move on. We pray the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arberry, Brionna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and all those who have suffered similar fates, will not be in vain, but continue to be the batteries that powered the alarm that finally woke up the most important race of all…the human race!