What a month. Though this blog is mainly focused around candid reviews and not my personal life, I would be remiss to gloss over the state of the world these past few weeks.
As someone who has benefitted from light-skinned privilege and the oft-weaponized “model minority” myth, I realize that it is my duty to do better. Specifically, to actively fight against the systemic racism that has so thoroughly permeated our society. My goal is not to make this post about me – but to hopefully help others who may stumble upon this blog.
Danielle Coke (@ohhappydani) has done an incredible job providing digestible frameworks for allyship and action. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck, and unsure of what to do next – I highly recommend her posts and stories:
And to put the above in context – how have I personally used this framework to drive productive action?
In my personal / home life:
- I have spent the last few weeks going through resources to understand the history and scope of systemic racism, with a goal of zeroing in on a focus area.
- If you haven’t already, I recommend watching 13th (also available free on YouTube), LA92 and The Last Black Man in San Francisco, all are on Netflix. As a follow up to the latter, I recommend UC Berkeley Haas Institute’s report on the history of racially exclusionary housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- I am currently reading Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy, and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist up next.
- I am ashamed to admit that I simply ‘opted out of politics’ after the 2016 elections. It is my duty to research, to use my voice and my vote to elect local officials who have clear, community driven solutions and to push for policy change.
- And because I have the means to do so, I will research and contribute where I can to campaigns outside of my home state (California) that are aligned with the above
- Diversifying my Circles & Media
- Quite honestly, I think this is the most challenging of the three listed here – but easily one of the most important.
In my business / blog life:
- Hold Businesses Accountable
- Not only as a consumer with my wallet, but also as a partner when applicable.
- Quite honestly, the fashion industry as a whole is problematic in this realm. It sadly comes as little surprise to learn that companies like The Reformation (read here) and Vogue (read here) had horrible environments.
- In the case of Reformation – while their CEO stepped down amidst the backlash, other guilty leadership members have not. So until that changes, I will no longer be buying their items, promoting/reviewing their brand, and will update my existing review post to encourage readers to purchase secondhand instead.
- Shop (and Promote) BIPOC
- My goal is to discover and promote BIPOC-owned businesses in multiple verticals. Specifically, those I am passionate about: clothing/fashion, makers and the outdoors community.
- Donate to Community Organizations
- I’ve added the National Lawyers Guild (SF Chapter) as a recurring donation in addition to my ongoing ACLU one. I also contributed to bail funds in several major cities during the first week of June.
- Next, I am researching organizations in specific areas (ex. early childhood education and access to outdoor programs) that I can donate to or volunteer with on an ongoing basis.
- Note: If you don’t currently have the financial means to donate, but want to support – many people have come up with creative ways to ‘fundraise’ via content engagement. For example, with wendy, a sewist/DIY YouTuber I follow, is donating her June ad earnings to BLM related funds.
And in my work life
- I am very grateful to work at a company that values culture, diversity and inclusion. So much so that we include these values within our entire recruiting process. Of course, there is always more to be done, and we have a team (and the company) dedicated to having those tough conversations so we can continuously improve.
Lastly, this is a marathon and not a sprint. I will continue listening, learning and working, because there is so much more to do.