Silence is not what's needed in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet, we've been a bit quiet. For that, we'll begin with an apology. We are sorry. Because, of course, we wholeheartedly believe in equality and ending racism.
We've spent this time carefully listening—then asking ourselves, "what can we really do?"
We're a small company. We don't have much money or resources to donate. And we believe that more than a mere statement is needed. A movement needs action.
After many hours of listening, reading, and researching, we realized there's no playbook for this—because, of course, there isn't; the change that's needed is unprecedented.
We suspect many other emerging brands are searching for the same answers. So, we share our plans in hope to accomplish two things:
- To personally and publicly commit to deliberate actions that will help end systemic racism.
- Provide a starting framework for other emerging brands like ours to take action as well.
We thought, "whatever we do, it's got to be real, not something whipped up for social media. It needs to be achievable. And it must permanently impact how we operate."
Here's the good news: being a young company is a powerful position to be in; it's our opportunity to build something to prevent racism at the core rather than having to rip up existing bad habits. We feel for you, large companies
The Black Lives Matter movement has taught us that although we'd never consider ourselves racist, racism is a symptom of complacency. Racism and racial bias occur unknowingly—often innocently—when you're not deliberate about making sure they're not there.
The opposite of racist isn't "not racist." It is "anti-racist."
- Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antiracist
That said, we're going to do our part to be more deliberate about combatting racism on three levels. All of this is hopefully just the start for us and companies like ours.
In & Around Our Business
These are the specific actions we will take to be more deliberate about destroying racism in our business and the ones we do business with.
We will have representation from Black and Latinx communities in the candidate pool for every role we hire.
We will help underrepresented people get opportunities by actively recruiting through networks that we have not engaged with before. Admittedly, we don't know all the networks we should be working with yet, but we will. This will begin to happen with the very next position we hire.
We will make it clear to all employees, especially new ones, that we believe in celebrating diversity through conversation.
We're adding sections into our employee handbooks and onboarding materials that explain our positivity around discussing race. Lack of communication builds fear of misinterpretation and hurts progress towards ending racism. As our company grows to be more diverse, we'll encourage everyone on the team to discuss race with open-mindedness and curiosity. Because if creating a diverse company is the first step, healthy communication within that group is the next.
We will continue to provide thoughtful representation of people of color in our photoshoots.
We've always tried to capture a variety of races in the handful of photoshoots that we've done. But we can do better. We consider it our duty as a brand to confidently celebrate the different races, backgrounds, and cultures that make up the fabric of our world.
In & Around Our Community
Incredible change can begin and be sustained at a local level—especially when lots of businesses and groups work together within their communities. Here are some things we're doing to make an impact both as individuals and as a company team:
- Volunteering in black community schools to teach entrepreneurship
- Becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister
- Attending local government meetings to understand what's happening and offer help
- Attending peaceful protests to understand the issues better
- Getting registered to vote, and more importantly, doing so
In the World
We will do our part to combat racism at The Feel Good Lab, in the business world, and in our community. But systemic racism is a big, complex problem. And big problems require big solutions. That's why in addition to the things we do within our smaller circles, we think it's critical to support the organizations that make it their business to create change. Both approaches are equally important. That's why on Juneteenth, June 19, 2020, we will be donating 100% of our online revenue from that day to the Equal Justice Initiative.*
The plan, the donations, all of it, it's not enough; we know. But it's all a start. And it's what we can do right now. We hope the approach inspires other companies, so we can all move deliberately towards ending racism, and really, forging unity.
We are committed to the process, and taking action will be our priority. Please help us stay honest and true along the way. If you have any guidance, we're here with open ears and hearts to listen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*To keep our small business safe in case Juneteenth goes really well we reserve the right to cap donations at $5,000 if needed.