In the aftermath that followed the murder of George Floyd, I was introduced to Rachel Rodgers, an intellectual property attorney turned business coach, through a raw and honest Instagram video calling out white business leaders for performative allyship or the outright refusal to acknowledge Black Lives Matter, all while taking money from Black clients.
Not gonna lie, I cried through most of the video. I found myself saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!". Until I realized she was talking about me.
She said, "Being an anti-racist is not convenient. If it feels convenient for you, you're not doing enough and you're not anti-racist."
That was me. I often blame my anxiety for holding me back, but I realize I can most often choose when I want to face racism, something she (nor my husband and children) can't.
She also said, "We have our spheres of influence. Do as much as you can. Step in to your power as much as you can and do something! Do MORE!"
So, I took what she said to heart. I reflected on what more I could do both personally and professionally. Below are some of the steps that I've taken to better use my influence, resources and power as a small business owner to build a better world.
(A side note about Rachel, just two weeks after posting that video she organized "Reimagining Small Business: A town hall to listen, learn & commit to building equitable, anti-racist organizations." Watch it, share it, and join me in taking The Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge if you are a business owner.)
Professional actions taken:
Created Diversitybeans.com. Before, Diversity Beans were one of many products sold on our sister site. By creating Diversitybeans.com we are better able to clarify our vision and have a greater impact.
Joined with a co-packer to produce larger quantities quickly and created consistent packaging saving both time and money (previously we were all hand packaged).
Designed new labels allowing customers to coordinate their packaging with specific training. New labels include: United to End Racism, Celebrating Pride 365, Building a Better World, Anti-Bias Education, Black Lives Matter. This was done to give customers options without having the cost of customization.
Created an affiliate program to reward our community for sharing Diversity Beans--getting more beans in more hands. This also gives us an opportunity to build strategic partnerships.
Developed a School Donation Program to encourage underserved schools to apply for free or discounted Diversity Beans. This money will come from our new give-back program.
Committed to donating 20% net profits to organizations and schools that align with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Created a blog "Tools for Inclusion" that will tie in with our resources. This will help with SEO and draw more customers to the site while organizing our resources.
Committed to growing our resources to help parents, educators, and businesses find tools to help build inclusive spaces.
Personal actions taken:
*This is a living space that will be updated as we grow.