Family and Friends,
We continue to feel heartbreak over the events that have happened in our City over the last few weeks. This weekend our family revisited the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South where over 2 weeks ago George Floyd lost his life at the hands of police. Thousands of mourners and protesters and have paid tribute to his life with delicate flowers, passionate words and moving artwork. As a result of the outcry, significant steps are being taken, and we can feel hope rising from the ashes of our burnt city. The work is not done, and the real test is still to come after months and years have passed.
As a company and as humans, we have been passive for too long, using the excuse of being a small family business with our own challenges, when the fact is we have gotten through many of those challenges because we are privileged. Enough is Enough. We understand the harm that our passiveness has generated and commit to take a stand with our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) neighbors to ending racial injustice in our community.
As a first step, we are taking time to listen to the BIPOC community and educate ourselves and our employees on the effects, impacts, and other structures of racism and what this means for us in order to identify new ways to challenge everyday racism and work on racial justice initiatives. We have expanded our company diversity policy to include an Anti-racism Action Plan to change and improve our culture.
While we take the time to learn, we are contributing financially and in kind to trusted organizations who have been actively working toward ending social and racial injustice within our community and start the rebuilding process. So far, we have donated $2,500 to Lake Street Council, which has started a fund to help rebuild Lake Street, sending direct support to small businesses to help them rebuild in the aftermath of destruction following the unjust death of George Floyd. We also donated $1,500 to Reclaim the Block, a coalition formed to divest from policing and invest in long-term public safety alternatives like mental health and education. We will also continue to support our long term non-profit partners Sheridan Story and Good Grocer who are working to provide healthy food to families in schools and neighborhoods with limited or no access at the time they need it most.
Next, we will start speaking up and actively challenging racism when we see it or realize when we are participating in it or perpetuating it. We will interrupt racial stereotypes when we hear them, and support BIPOC in our personal and professional settings when they speak out about their experiences with racism. We will work collaboratively within our company, community and industry to speak up on behalf of and break down barriers for BIPOC people and businesses. We fully expect that, due to our privilege and inexperience, sometimes we will make mistakes and “get it wrong” when it comes to identifying and challenging racism. At these times, we expect our community to hold us accountable, and will learn to understand and accept rejection. We also expect that some within our community may not align with our values or choose to follow us on this path, and we will accept fewer customers for the greater good.
Lastly, we recognize the lack of diversity in the natural food industry. Whether it be a farmer, influencer, or service provider, we will make every effort to consider BIPOC-owned companies when purchasing goods and services. After establishing a baseline of our current supplier diversity, we will set goals for ourselves to work toward.
As with everything in our business, we are not seeking perfection, but know we can do #bettereveryday. If you have thoughts or ideas on how we can do better, we would love to hear them. Please reach out to us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.