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Black Lives Matter

I was not born in this country. I was not raised in this country. I did not meet any black people or know what black racism was until I moved here almost 13 years ago. I did not even know people could be different because of their skin color.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you probably already read this POST, but it’s worth repeating: Black Lives Matter.

Witnessing the unfolding of events over the past ten days, just like many of you, I am at a loss of words, shocked, and devastated. My heart is heavy.

The police brutality we’ve seen is heart-sickening and impossible to ignore. I’ve been listening, researching, learning, sharing, and taking action about the intensity of the issues we are currently facing as a society. 

They say, “before every breakthrough comes a breakdown.”

I am hopeful that we, as a collective consciousness, can make a long-overdue change. 

There is still much to be done, and I choose to use my platform to bring more awareness to this serious issue: The black community’s fight for justice in quality.

I’ve received emails from my favorite brands addressing this issue, and I’ve seen incredible support from lots of brands, organizations, celebrities, influencers, and more. Some founders came out about their racist actions ( Reformation founder Yael Aflalo). Some high-level executives like Refinery 29 Editor Christene Barberich have resigned after black women and other women of color who said they had faced discrimination at the company. 

As I am self-educating and evolving, I welcome your feedback and ideas. Leave a comment below or reach out via DM on my social media channels if you want to share anything. And for additional resources to support further education and awareness of this movement, including content that has spoken to me via social media, check out my Instagram highlights named ‘BLM.’

I also compiled a list of organizations to look into/donate, influential people to follow, books to read, and TV shows to watch, and much more in this POST.

Some of the messages from companies/people I follow stood out to me, and I wanted to share some of them with you:

From GOOP:

Being able to go for a jog, watch birds in the park, relax at home, drive your car, walk on the street without getting sidelong glances, eat at a restaurant, be angry, ask for help: These are things we should all be able to do without the threat of being shot, arrested, or killed. We’re all here trying to do the same things—support our families, thrive at work, fall in love, take care of ourselves, learn, feel, live, and die—but so many of us in this country live a totally different reality, without those basic freedoms. America is failing black Americans: While they make up 25 percent of COVID-19 deaths so far, black Americans represent only 13 percent of the population. Black people are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white people. Black women are more than twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

The ugly statistics we could cite here seem endless; the number of lost or compromised human lives is unacceptable. As people sharing this earth and this experience, we have to do better. It’s easy to feel bad, post on Instagram, be inflamed for a week, but to create change, we need more. We need to get rid of preconceived notions and the way we see people. If you’re white, that means being aware of the privilege that you’re born into and walk around with, and then using it to break down the barriers between us. And all of us—today, this week, every single day—can be part of the change. There are so many ways to meaningfully show up: standing up for what you believe in at a protest, donating, and educating yourself on how to better support black friends, neighbors, and businesses. 

From Gabrielle Bernstein:

On Friday, I had a blog post and newsletter ready to send for Monday. This weekend I canceled them and sat down to write this note.

The only conversation I can have right now is about racial injustice.

I’m deeply saddened by the horribly unnecessary and violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless names that came before theirs.

I’m outraged by the racial injustice still flourishing in 2020.

As a mother of a white child, I have no fear of my son’s future — his ability to walk around freely, to drive a car, be safe in his house, and all the other ways white people are given the benefit of the doubt by the police, the criminal justice system and so many other institutions in America.

We all deserve that reality, but it’s not true (and never has been) for millions of people in this country.

The only conversation right now is about changing the system that has oppressed black people and other marginalized communities.

I take responsibility for my public platform and my voice. I feel ashamed of my white privilege and the system that’s set up to protect me.

It’s my commitment to be part of the solution to ending racial injustice. I will do my part by asking myself the difficult questions as well as listening to the community.

God bless you all.

From SETH GODIN:

Sometimes, though, ambiguity isn’t called for. Sometimes, it’s misunderstood. In my town and my city and my country, we’re coming to grips with issues that have been simmering for far too long. And you’ve certainly heard from people with clear and actionable things about what you can do right now, and about their commitment going forward. I don’t want to confuse anyone about my take on it.

Avoiding breaking news is a privilege that I have, because there’s insulation for me.

Black Lives Matter.

The systemic, cruel and depersonalizing history of Black subjugation in my county has and continues to be a crime against humanity. It’s based on a desire to maintain power and false assumptions about how the world works and how it can work. It’s been amplified by systems that were often put in place with mal-intent, or sometimes simply because they felt expedient. It’s painful to look at and far more painful to be part of or to admit that exists in the things that we build.

We can’t permit the murder of people because of the color of their skin. Institutional racism is real, it’s often invisible, and it’s pernicious.

And White Supremacy is a loaded term precisely because the systems and their terrible effects are very real, widespread and run deep.

The benefit of the doubt is powerful indeed, and that benefit has helped me and people like me for generations. I’m ashamed of how we got here, and want to more powerfully contribute and model how we can get better, together.

It doesn’t matter how many blog posts about justice I write, or how clear I try to be about the power of diversity in our organizations. Not if I’m leaving doubt about the scale and enormity of the suffering that people feel, not just themselves, but for their parents before them and for the kids that will follow them.

It’s easier to look away and to decide that this is a problem for someone else. It’s actually a problem for all of us. And problems have solutions and problems are uncomfortable.

Alo Moves:

We are living in a historical time of change — and that change is long overdue. Systemic racism persists in the United States, and in this moment of time, not only is that injustice being given its overdue spotlight, but people, communities, companies, and countries are taking the time to listen, learn, and take action.

We cannot ignore the facts: Black people are unfairly and disproportionately burdened economically, emotionally, and psychologically with the stress that comes from daily racism and discrimination. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on how we can avoid contributing to the cycle, offer resources that help the community, and use our platform for good.

A post on social media is not enough. Everyday action is required to eradicate racism and help all people and institutions see that we are one. To start, we are making the following company-wide commitments:

  • We will listen. This week, we won’t be promoting any Alo Moves content on our social channels to give more space for the more relevant and prominent voices in the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • We will learn. I am working with our leadership to compile resources to educate ourselves and our employees on the issues, challenges, and actions that we all can take, both internally at Alo Moves, as well as externally in our personal lives.
  • We will amplify the voices of others. Our voice is not the voice that matters right now. We will continue to use our platform and social media channels to help amplify the voices of the Black community.
  • We will contribute to others. We realize actions speak louder than words. In addition to our donations to Black Visions Collective and Campaign Zero, we will also be matching our employees’ donations to organizations of their choosing.
  • We remain committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace. We fully acknowledge that we have more work to do to uphold the banner of unity in diversity, and build a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist community — both for our workplace and our broader community.

Korres:

As our extended family, we want to share with you how we have been feeling as of late. In short, our hearts are grieving due to the systemic and often brutal racism Black Americans endure. One thing is undoubtedly true — this must end. Society must change. We are all responsible for doing our part to find the path forward, together.

We stand by black men, women & children, including our KORRES family & friends. Our compass is our values, and we are committed to supporting the black community actively — not just today, but in the days, weeks and years to come.

It is not our place to speak on behalf of anyone, but to use our platforms to share the black voices impacted by this scourge. We ourselves are learning through this process. Moving forward, we will humbly share the people, organizations, and resources that are educating, inspiring and teaching us through this journey. We want to amplify black voices to make them better heard.

We will be sharing these  resources on Instagram stories and highlights. We welcome your feedback, questions, suggestions, or if you just feel like letting us know what’s on your mind.

We hear you, we stand with you, and we want to listen and learn. We invite you to join us and help make our platforms a place to share and teach what our community needs to know. Black lives matter.

We are in this together,

Nihan

 I wanted to end this post with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King.

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
 
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

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