Finding a way to aptly and appropriately start this message has been difficult. But saying nothing is being complacent and complicit in racism. So we will just start with the heart of the issue and not try to pretend that we have in one week done all the work necessary to be a voice of authority on the change that is happening, that should have happened much sooner.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Women Matter, Black Men Matter, Black Children Matter, Black Jobs Matter, Black Businesses Matter, Black Safety Matters, Black Suffering Matters, Black Dreams Matter, Black Relationships Matter, Black Love Matters.
Our company is founded by three white women. And as much as we have personally always held these truths to heart, we now know and see that being white has prevented us for *really* seeing that believing we are against racism is not the same as being actively Anti-Racist. And now that this truth has been exposed, we cannot move forward without actively engaging in real change, both for this blog and in our personal lives.
There has been so much incredibly eye-opening and heart-opening and heart-breaking content on social media and in the news in the last 10 days. It has been radical, and we are paying attention. We are listening. We are committed to trying hard to unlearn biases, and relearn a better way be business owners, mothers, and human beings.
But what does that mean for this blog? How can we support this essential movement from our little corner of the internet? We are working on it and will continue to work on it for the foreseeable future. In the short term, here are some things we are changing, immediately:
• We are committed to financially supporting organizations that make meaningful change possible. 100 Layer Cake has made donations to some of these organizations. There are many many out there. If you are able, perhaps consider doing the same. Black Lives Matter, ACLU Nationwide, NAACP, Black Visions Collective, Campaign Zero, Equal Justice Initiative.
• And going forward we will be donating 15% of all revenue from our vendor guide to these organizations, on a monthly basis.
• Refocus our blog and social content to include more BIPOC weddings, parties, and shoots, while also highlighting some of our past favorites. While we have always made it a point to show diverse couples and people in our content, we recognize that it hasn’t been nearly enough. And that by sharing so much content featuring white couples, we are inadvertently contributing to the pervasive and damaging ethos that whiteness is not only the norm, but also worthy of aspiration. We do not condone this belief, we do not believe it at all. But our content has said otherwise and we will not and cannot continue to contribute to this.
As far as submissions, you might not know this, but by and large blogs like ours depend on submissions from industry professionals and couples for the majority of our content. With that being said, we are actively seeking content and submissions with diverse couples and models. And we will continue this effort indefinitely. Please email us if you have a wedding or event submission to share!
• Joined the Unity Through Community network, which strives to “Rid the wedding industry of racism, prejudice, and bias” by supporting, promoting and purchasing from creatives of all backgrounds. We encourage all professionals in this industry to join too!
The final truth is that it’s hard to return to business as usual here. We’re not yet sure how we will craft our posts going forward. We might need some time to figure it out. We hope that by taking a bit of time, by reading, and listening, and engaging in dialogue, we can come up with a point of view that is exceptionally inclusive and celebratory of all kinds of love, of couples of color, bi-racial couples, and Black event industry professionals.
Here are some resources we have come across that we’ve found informative and essential. Choose a few if you have the time. Or maybe we should say, please make the time if you haven’t already. Again we are not experts, we are just people really trying to figure this out too.
The Obama Foundation has put together a comprehensive resource to get informed and take action.
Rachel Cargle, who guides conversations, encourages critical thinking and nurtures meaningful engagement with people all over the world.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham who is a leader at the intersection of culture and justice.
Layka F. Saad, who is an author, speaker and teacher on the topics of race, identity, personal transformation and change.
Still We Rise no. 9 is coming June 20th. If you are interested in donating, please do. (Info in the IG profile.) If you are interesting in shopping, please save the date. We’ll remind you when it starts again!
Etsy compiled their list of Black-owned shops. Consider these when shopping for your home, life, or upcoming event.
And last but very not least, VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and criminal justice system work at the state and local levels (mayors, county executives, district attorneys and state attorneys) and voter turnout for these local races is usually extremely low! Head to I am a voter, or text VOTER to 26797, to check your voter registration status, find your polling place and get local election reminders!
It’s not enough yet, we know. But please also know that we are truly committed to change both here and in our lives outside of this blog. If there is something you would like to see here, please let us know in the comments below.