Like so many of you, I’ve had a heavy heart this week, my mind racing between grief and hopelessness and of course a desperate desire for change. I posted this over the weekend and together you donated over $7,300 to the Black Visions Collective, the first $1,000 of which Will and I matched and the second $1,000 of which our friends Jenn and Bob matched for a total of over $9,300. I’m grateful to this community coming together to raise money for an organization I truthfully didn’t know about this time last week, but I know these efforts are a drop in the bucket of changes I must make to be a better advocate for people of color. I’ve been brainstorming about how I personally can be actively anti-racist (more on that in this post) and how I can use my platform to be a more vocal ally for black people and all people of color. There are so many more well-versed resources out there (this Google doc is an excellent place to start) but I know I can be a more powerful advocate both in my online community and in my everyday life. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I know a lot of us are overwhelmed and eager to help in any way we can, so I wanted to share a few of the changes I’m personally implementing in the hopes of inspiring you to take similar action yourself. As I wrote this weekend, I’m hopeful that many people doing something will have a greater impact than some people doing everything, and it’s high time I and so many people like me step up and play our part.
- I’m committing to sharing resources I find educational and/or eye-opening. I’ve started by creating an anti-racism highlight on my Instagram so you can refer back to stories with graphics and videos I’ve found impactful. I will never pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I’m committed to listening to, learning from, sharing, and properly crediting the people who are.
- I’m committing to amplifying the voices of people of color in my industry. There are so many talented content creators across all races and I’m truly ashamed that I haven’t done more to seek out and promote their work. I’ll be sharing a list of my and your favorite POC bloggers (collected on Instagram over the weekend) later this week and linking their work on an ongoing basis in the weekend reading posts I share here each Saturday. The links in these posts routinely get thousands of clicks every week and it’s a massive oversight on my part that the majority of those clicks have gone towards white bloggers and business owners for so long.
- I will ask more of the brands I work with. There is an urgent need for more inclusive brand campaigns and press trips in our industry, all of which should reflect the diverse population of people purchasing goods and planning trips to the destinations being promoted.
- I will do the work myself. To whom much is given, much is expected, and I know I personally have a lot of learning to do. It’s up to me to seek out new voices and new resources rather than asking friends of color to help do that work for me. I know I will make mistakes, but I’m committed to listening when I’m told I’ve messed up and doing my best to learn from and avoid repeating those mistakes.
- I will continue this work after the social media frenzy has quieted down. A frequent concern I’m seeing echoed among people I follow on Instagram is that the promises being made during this tidal wave of social media attention will not be kept once there’s another headline that grabs our collective attention. But the most important anti-racist work we can all do is in our own homes, and it’s incumbent on me as a new mom of a white son to make sure his bookshelves are filled with heroes and heroines of color (many wonderful recommendations here) and to lead by example in standing up against incidents of racism in our community.
I know some of these actions apply specifically to my work as a blogger, but if you’re looking for a tangible first step that anyone can take (again, something is better than nothing!) please sign this petition or make a donation if you’re able. The organization we raised money for this weekend has met their fundraising goals and asked that additional funds be directed elsewhere, so please consider other organizations like Campaign Zero, the George Floyd Memorial Fund, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
I’d love to hear the anti-racist actions you’re taking in your own homes and I’m open to any and all feedback you’re willing to share. We are all in this together. xx