It Starts Here ❤️
The murder of George Floyd has stoked the fire in a powerful movement in a demand for justice and accountability. Addressing an end to police brutality, and a wake up call to the systemic, overt and underlying racism in America. Our city of Minneapolis has seen its best and worst within the last week.
From a personal lens, we live in Minneapolis, a few miles from where George Floyd's murder happened on the corner of 38th and Chicago Avenue. In the past week we have witnessed peaceful protests by thousands of people, the beautiful sight of volunteers cleaning and donating, as well as restless nights as fires spread throughout the city. This week has been another eye opening experience to point out how heavy racism still weighs on our society and community. We need to do better for ourselves, our community and the future of our country. We have a lot of work to do.
I keep coming back to this graphic by Danielle Coke (@ohhappydani on Instagram, follow her). This is the fastest plan of action for all of us. We recognize we are not a voice of authority or experts on this issue. However, we have heard a call out of "where do I start?" and this is how we are working toward being better advocates and allies. Our goal is not to be performative or impose our brand into this space. We're here to be a resource. So we've decide to take these three elements and share actionable steps you can take today.
1. Unlearn Implicit Biases and Prejudices
We are not born racist. We inherit racism and even if you describe yourself as not, we all hold racial biases and prejudices. It is our own personal responsibility to do the work to become more aware and unlearn your implicit biases.
Listen. Read. Watch. Listen to educational podcasts. Read books and blogs about injustice. Watch documentaries, shows and movies and normalize diverse casts and storylines. Learn your city and state history. Our friend Nora McInerny shared a shockingly interesting resource called Mapping Prejudice, a history archive of the systemic racism in Minnesota. Watch this documentary, Jim Crow of the North on the covenants of Minneapolis, where neighborhood segregation started.
There are many resources circulating around, but a few recommendations by close peers are Whistling Vivaldi, How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Also, grab a copy from this black women owned bookstore in Chicago, Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery. We recommend watching 13th on Netflix or YouTube, a documentary analyzing the criminalization of Black Americans in U.S. prisons. Admittedly, this was hard for me to watch. It hurts my heart and in the past I've optioned for the easy button and opted to watch something else. This has changed.
3. Diversify Your Feed
Assess your social media feeds and who you're following. Follow content creators with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, education, and more. Instagram is our number one source for information and inspiration, the more you adapt, the more your feed will diversify based on IG algorithms. We know how hard we all work to put content out there, let's follow, like and comment on all feeds.
1. The Dinner Table
We've been fans for awhile, and always knew the time spent around the dinner table would go a long way. Providing a safe space to share the highs and lows of the days, openly talk about issues at school, home, what's weighing on our kids and concerns they are having for peers .. how we as a family can help. Studies show this supports resilience, conflict resolution and empathy.
2. Conversations With Your Kids
We need to have tough conversations with our kids. Topics around safety (kidnappings and strangers), inappropriate touching, bullying, equality, and racism to name just a few. Raising our kids in the city with a diverse school and neighborhood has always been a priority to us. I realize this isn't an option for everyone or a preference, but find ways to talk to your kids about these topics. Make sure they understand white privilege. This video on white privilege has gone viral in the past, we will re-share it again here. Every time you watch this, you learn something new. We recognize in our home we are privileged and even writing this blog post is because of my privilege.
3. Speak Out to Injustice
Actions speak louder than words. Words should be loud too when it comes to injustice. Calling out friends, family, neighbor, colleague, etc. is uncomfortable. It's without a doubt a mood killer. However, when we tell others, especially those close to us, that racist, sexist, transphobic, fascist, etc. comments will not be tolerated, they will think twice before saying similar comments in the future.
How Can We Help
Now is the time, we need to take a stance. There are a lot of different ways to help, if not protesting then remember to exercise your right to vote. We need to make change with our elected officials, judges, senators, congressmen, police reform, the list goes on. Donate your time, volunteer locally here in Minneapolis. Donate your money, help businesses get back on their feet. Support businesses owned by BIPOC, change your social media algorithm, call a friend that may be in need, offer your support and resources. Keep the conversation going.
And as a business owner, ask the question with yourself and your team, how can we effect change within our own culture? Here at Jkath, we've donated to the Sheridan Story, helped our painter and his family with supplies as they live off Lake Street and accessibility has become a challenge. We've opened our home as a safe place to stay, and donated to a crowd funding for Lake Street businesses. We will continue to hire crews of BIPOC, follow and engage fellow designers and businesses with diverse backgrounds, and seek client work with diverse opportunities.
One final leave behind, this video by @bigmammaofficial, will give you something to discuss during your next meal around the table, at home.
Katie + Jkath Team