It has been an emotional past week for I'm sure many of us, but that does not even touch what BIPOC (black indigenous people of colour) have lived with for centuries. While working, studying and chilling in my downtime, I have put on the videos shared by BIPOC in our very own planner community. Hearing the pain and frustration in all of these voices really emphasizes how traumatizing it must be when every aspect of BIPOC's life is subtly--or not so subtly--working against them since the minute they are born. We as a planner community need to work towards making this a safe space for BIPOC, and we should have been doing that since the beginning. Systematic change will certainly take time, so let this be a wakeup call for us non-BIPOC folks to be proactive.
What have we done so far?
One thing that I make sure to do is having an intent to change behind any sort of actions I take. I am going to outline each of them to you:
- Reading list freebies: I created some digital recreations of book covers for books that I'm reading to educate myself on racism. These files are shared for free on my social media platforms, and I hope that you can join me in educating ourselves. As mentioned previously, systematic change takes a long time and I believe that reading books, watching documentaries and learning what BIPOC went/go through is crucial in fighting racism. Children are impressionable, so many of our racist tendencies are instilled by our environment growing up. Let's break that cycle, shall we?
- Actually reading: Going off my previous point, it is important to take that first step rather than just talking about it. I have started to read "My Grandmother's Hands" and "Stamped from the Beginning", and I will be sharing the notes I take along the way with you. Please consider purchasing the book from a smaller bookstore, or borrow them from your local library. Libby is a great app if you like reading digitally!
- Support BIPOC-owned shops: I shared on my Instagram stories some of shops owned by BIPOC, and I will continue to purchase and use their products in the planner spreads I share. I cannot remember the last time I noticed a BIPOC-owned shop in Toronto, so I am going to make a serious effort to shop in these small businesses rather than the stores that are most convenient to me due to location or price.
- Donations: We have made a $1000USD donation to the George Floyd Memorial Fund, and we will continue to make donations to smaller, niche charities that need our support. Below is our donation receipt for documentation, and I will add to this towards the end of the week.
- Donations: We have made a $1000USD donation to the Justice for Breonna Taylor Fund
What will we do moving forward?
- Speak out: This is something I will personally do. If I hear a person, friend or family member say something that is racist and insensitive, I will tell them why their statement is inappropriate. I will be respectful but firm.
- Drawing BIPOC: To start off, I am part of the problem. I no longer create my handpainted sticker kits in which some of them feature girls, but I started my shop by selling them. I am committing to revisiting all of my older handpainted kits and improving them to be BIPOC-inclusive. Not just adjusting the darkness of the skin, but doing studies of facial features, hairstyles and fashion.
- Embracing BIPOC: I will be continuing my influential women collection, and part 2 will have even more amazing black ladies who have changed the world. Other than that, I will also be designing a kit for Black History Month and other stationery products. While I do not have a solid plan for this collection yet as I'm carefully putting thought into this, I will arrange for a portion of the proceeds to be donated to BIPOC fundraisers. The portion % and such will all be disclosed before we launch this collection, and as always donation receipts will be provided.
This is a pretty wordy post so I am going to reread this in a few hours. To put it blatantly, black lives matter, black trauma matters, black voices matter. Inevitably, news stations will dwindle down their coverage and I highly doubt most of the mainstream social media will have this same amount of energy a few weeks down the line. That is when it is most important to continue the fight against racism. I said this a few times already and I don't mean to repeat myself, but please educate yourself (share your findings), stay openminded and aim to make a lasting impact. I love you so so so much and my email inbox is always open for discussion, or you can leave a comment!
BIPOC PLANNER SHOPS THAT ARE AWESOMEEE:
https://capitolchicdesigns.com/password (reopening Friday)
VIDEOS TO WATCH: