To My Community:
SimplyBe. had a full content calendar for the beginning of June. I canceled everything that was previously scheduled to bring you this message instead.
The only thing I feel called to address on my personal platform and the platform of SimplyBe. is racial justice—and injustice.
I am outraged and heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd — and Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Stephon Clark, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Clifford Glover— and for all of the senseless deaths of people of color that do not make the news.
However, I recognize that this is a time not for my feelings, but for my awakening. It is a time for me as a white person to look inward at the role I play in the systemic problem of racism in America. It is time to do the hard inner work of owning my unconscious and conscious behavior, thought, action and inaction. It is time for me to do my part to create a more equal, just and safe America for the black community and all marginalized groups. It starts with me. It starts with you. One step, one action at a time.
I recognize that as a white woman with a platform, I have an obligation to do more than simply share an email like this, or re-share the current trending posts on my social media channels. I would like to instead use this as an opportunity to encourage action. Here are some of the steps I am taking and encourage my community to consider as well:
I will: follow black experts, content creators, influencers and voices. I will engage in their platforms, share their content and get involved in their work: Rachel Cargle, Xavier Ramey, Lalah Delia, Layla Saad, Mahogany Browne, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Eugene Daniels, Angel Kyodo Williams, Skill In Action, Check Your Privilege.
I will: donate money to BIPOC organizations and encourage my white peers, colleagues and community members to donate as well. SimplyBe. has already sent donations to help protestors post bail and be released for standing up for justice, as well as to the Official George Floyd’s Memorial Fund.
I will: get involved in BIPOC non-for-profit organizations and show up for black people. Currently, I Grow Chicago is SimplyBe.’s official social impact partner of 2020 by helping them with their marketing and branding efforts. I Grow is an organization that supports the Englewood community through healing justice, wellness and advocacy. Learn more here.
I will: educate myself through podcasts, essays and books. I won’t just look to social media to get my information. Books I am reading, films I am watching and podcasts I am listening to: Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, White Fragility, So You Want to Talk About Race, 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice, 13th, When They See Us, Dark Girls, I Am Not Your Negro, 1619, You Had Me at Black, While Black, Airgo Radio, Good Ancestor Podcast and Code Switch.
I will: attend workshops, seminars and lectures to actively learn about internalized oppression, internalized whiteness and white supremacy. The entire white staff of the SimplyBe. Team has signed up for this workshop: “Dismantling Racism,” a 4-part webinar series hosted by Michelle Cassandra Johnson. We hope you join us.
I will: look at my business through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, not only from an internal standpoint, but externally as well. I will ensure the work we create as a company, and the work we develop for our clients amplifies the voices, initiatives, talent and businesses of the BIPOC community.
I will: use my personal platform to spotlight black voices. This week, I spoke to Jadah Sellner, author, entrepreneur, speaker and community growth expert, on the SimplyBe. Podcast. We did not talk about race, but instead her story of success, resiliency, authenticity and Love. Click here to listen.
Here is one last piece of truth: talking about this topic is uncomfortable, which is precisely why I have not done so in the past. That is no longer an excuse for my complacency and my silence. Nor is the fear that as a white person I might say the wrong thing or feel awkward in saying it. We need to nonetheless embrace this work with our full dedication to doing better and being better. Not just now in this time of unrest. Not when the news cycle fades and the protests end. But forever and always. This is my commitment to the BIPOC community.
I hope you will join me.
With Humility, with Sincerity, and always, with Light,