What I’m Doing Starting Today

What Im Doing Starting Today Black Lives Matter

I think many of us are in the same boat right now with how we’re feeling. Angry, sad, heartbroken, over the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless other Black men and women killed by police simply for being Black. In some ways I think I’ve learned more in the span of a few days than I have in my entire life about racism in our society. I have SO much to learn and I have made that my mission. I am aware I’m talking to a mostly white audience, and so I ask you please, look within, ask yourself the hard questions, have the difficult conversations at home.

To my BIPOC readers, it is not your responsibility to teach or educate me. Please know my intentions are good, but I also want to be held accountable. I’m learning how to be a better ally and advocate. I’m learning how to be anti-racist. And I will inevitably get things wrong. It’s not about getting it perfect. It’s about doing more than just posting something on social media.

Today I am sharing four things I’m committing to as a start. If you’re not sure where to start see some resources I’ve shared in the beginning of this post. I have compiled a list of books to read here. I’d also love to hear from you all of you. What are you doing? How are you feeling? What have you read, watched, listened to recently? Please let’s be kind to one another. I want to encourage healthy conversation around this but I will not allow offensive comments or ugly discourse on here.


What I’m Doing Starting Today

One. I commit to holding my brand partners to a higher standard

I will ask brands up front who is involved in campaigns and if it’s all white women I will not participate. Also, I will be looking more closely at representation in leadership roles for the brands I partner with and asking why, if they are not diverse.

Two. I am donating every dollar earned from affiliate links for the month of June

I will donate every dollar earned from my affiliate links for the month of June to the following and I encourage you to look into them as well:

Three. I commit to supporting more Black-owned businesses and creatives

With my platform and my money, I commit to supporting more Black-owned businesses (particularly small businesses) as well as artists, creatives, influencers, and authors. I realized how little diversity was in my Instagram feed and I was really disappointed in myself. I realized how often I focus on featuring women and paying women for their work through my blog and they are almost all white. So I need to do better.

Four. I commit to being committed

The social media posts will inevitably stop. I commit to continuing this work when the media cycle moves on to something else. This starts with educating myself and my family. It starts with my daughter and what she sees now. It starts here on this blog and with this community.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

24 Comments

  1. Katie Gill wrote:

    Thank you for this post, I just donated to Black Visions Collection. I too have a lot to learn. Starting this month I will focus on reading form black authors, shopping from black owned small business, following more diverse social media influencers and donate to 3 organizations. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. We must start now, and do better.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thank you Katie. Please feel free to share with me any interesting and educational reading you find as well as any businesses, influencers, etc.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  2. Yesterday I signed up for Rachel Cargle’s free #DoTheWork course, a 30-day email course about how to do better as a white person fighting racism. In the first email, she wrote: “I hope that through my course your heart and mind will unlearn, expand, grapple, dissect, engage, and build a critical awareness that will change the way you move through the world as an ally.”

    I recommend others to sign up as well.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thank you Julia I am going to do that right now!

      6.1.20 | Reply
    • Alyssa wrote:

      Julia,

      This sounds like a great resource. I am having trouble finding it- could you share a link to sign up? Thank you in advance xx

      6.1.20 | Reply
    • Lindsey wrote:

      Anyone have a link to #DoTheWork Part 2 & 3? Just finished Part 1 and was never sent Part 2. Would appreciate if you could please share 🙂

      6.19.20 | Reply
  3. Thank you for sharing your commitments, Jess! I have donated to local BLM chapter, The Marshall Project personally and all June Collective fees to Black Visions Collective. I am working on an ongoing donation strategy as my way of paying reparations.

    I also look forward to diving into education: currently reading So You Want To Talk About Race and taking Rachel Ricketts Spiritual Activism 101 course.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      That’s so great Janine. I am also working on an ongoing donation strategy as there are numerous charities I give money to on a regular basis and realizing that one of them needs to be specifically targeted to BIPOC. I’m looking forward to reading So You Want to Talk About Race. I am starting with White Fragility.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  4. Stephanie wrote:

    Thanks, Jess for sharing this for your readers. I donated to the organizations you mentioned above and I am going to follow suit and donate my affiliate sales this month to the organizations that need it right now.

    Stephanie | SPV Living

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thank you so much Stephanie.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  5. Sage Christopher wrote:

    I’m starting with diving deeper into myself and thoughts. I admit, I “didn’t see color”, Now I know that is a mistake. Then I’m going to share that healing and knowledge with my kids. Starting at home. I plan to download an educational book on racism for our 12 hour drive to Florida so our whole family can listen and talk about it together & come up w a solution to help our black friends (bear and far) better, more, and always.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      That’s so great Sage. So important for us to have these conversations with our families, especially our children.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  6. Haley wrote:

    I’ve been a long time follower and really appreciate how you’re speaking out. Not just posts but real substantive change along with honest personal reflection about your own privilege and what you are learning. It’s inspiring and effective. One thing I’ve added to my own list is reading books written by black authors. It is a way to hear these voices in a way where you as a white person LITERALLY can’t interrupt or add your own experiences. You just have to sit and listen to what they are saying. My first read will actually be a reread: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      That’s such a great point Haley. I actually have that one on my list and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  7. Lexi wrote:

    What a wonderful post. It’s a joy to follow you because you’re not afraid to step up when something’s wrong and you’re so willing to learn more, try harder, and do better. After a comment a friend made late last year, I realized that simply being “not a racist” wasn’t the answer and that I had to work on becoming an anti-racist. In addition to a lot of reading, reflecting, and listening, I donated to a few of the charities/organizations you and several others have mentioned. Another thing I have been working on is how to raise my child to be better than I am. I’m currently a month away from the birth of my first child and something that I’ve worked really hard on is creating a diverse library. After reading an article about the impact of seeing different races, religions, family structures, etc. I realized how important it is to make sure my child is exposed to diversity from day one. I’ve created an infant library and have saved recommendations based on ages so that as my child grows I can update their library with age appropriate books.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      That’s so amazing Lexi. Congratulations as well. I’d love to hear any book recommendations for kids. I ordered a bunch for Marin that I will share on here but I’d love to know of any you find that you like.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  8. TB wrote:

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I just wanted to give a heartfelt thanks to you and to each of the readers that posted here for showing up in CLEARLY ARTICULATED AND ACTIONABLE WAYS in the fight against racism and white supremacist systems. Coming here and stumbling upon these comments was the first time that I’ve really felt like I have some allies in this thing. Confronting racism and white supremacism is HARD, but I can assure you that living under their constant threat is harder. The last few weeks have been utterly traumatizing for me as a Black woman, constantly worried about the safety of my family and friends. But what I’ve found just as traumatizing is the deafening silence of the liberal white and non-black POC around me. People assume that because they do not practice overt racism a la donning white hoods or actively discriminate based on skin color that they couldn’t possibly perpetuate systems of oppression steeped in white supremacist thinking as they move throughout life, and therefore have earned the right to stay silent and not take action in these moments. We know that’s not true; unless we are ACTIVELY working to undo these systems, we are benefitting from and complicit in them.

    Thank you for not falling into that camp of people. Thank you for taking a stand publicly and within your own families + social circles, committing to moving the needle through actions like donating, educating yourselves, and opening the door to uncomfortable conversations. It is essential that you not stop doing this work and not stop pushing those around you to do this work. This isn’t a one and done conversation (seriously, you can’t even imagine how many conversations about race I’ve had since I was a child–so if you’re feeling scared and like you don’t know how to have the convo intelligently, it’s just because you haven’t had enough practice!). You are uniquely positioned to undo racism in ways that I couldn’t even dream of simply because your social circles include more white people that will listen to you, engage with you, talk to you, be influenced by you. They may ignore people who look like me protesting in the streets because the feelings of kinship aren’t there, but you will have their ear because look and sound familiar. PLEASE use this power to push the needle.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Tina, thank you so much for coming here and sharing this. Please know you have so many allies in this community here. I know many of us are very aware we have been quiet for too long. I promise to learn how to be a BETTER ally and to use my influence not just online, but in life, at the dinner life, in my social circles and most importantly, at the ballot box.

      6.1.20 | Reply
  9. Amy wrote:

    I’ve invited my white female friends to join me in exploring whiteness by reading and discussing Waking Up White. We will use Debby Irving’s resources for discussion questions and meet via Zoom throughout the summer.

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      That’s amazing Amy. Great idea. I didn’t have that on my list but will add it.

      6.2.20 | Reply
  10. Serene wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring and much needed resources. And I LOVE that you linked to Bookshop and not Amazon! Yessss!

    6.1.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Just discovered through a friend’s recommendation and so happy she shared it. Always happy to support local vs Amazon!

      6.2.20 | Reply
  11. Jenifer wrote:

    Thank you for providing clear ways we can also make changes. I appreciate the very specific steps you are taking. I must do better. We must all do better. Thank you.

    6.2.20 | Reply