Where I Stand: Black Lives Matter

 

I have been spending a lot of time on Instagram, and I realized I have neglected to make my stance clear here, where some of you may not be part of that conversation.

I am outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others killed at the hands of police officers and private citizens because of their race.

I stand with all those fighting the systemic racism that Black communities and people of color face, here in NYC and across the globe.

I believe Black Lives Matter. I believe Black Entrepreneurs Matter. Black Girl Magic Matters. Black Owned Businesses Matter. Black Artists and Creators Matter.

That position, that statement, does not absolve me from doing the messy, hard and ongoing work of becoming and being anti-racist. 

This ongoing work is a priority for me, and for my team.

In June, we attended Rachel Rodgers’ Town Hall on Reimagining Small Business and have taken the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge, designed by Rachel Rodgers / Hello Seven. We are committed to speak and act in ways that advance racial equity in society and dedicated to the act of interrupting racism. As such, we will:

  • Name white supremacy and the impact of racism on both our personal and professional lives
  • Engage in anti-racist education for the Amy Jacobus Marketing (AJM) team
  • Commit to open-conflict and allow discomfort
  • Invest a portion of the AJM monthly company budget to the Black community
  • Express our sincere, long-term commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization  

So far, in an effort to redistribute resources and contribute to reparations, my team (currently, all white) has created a system around monthly team donations to Black-led organizations. In June 2020, we made a $292 donation to Equality for Flatbush, and in July 2020, we made a $165 donation to Sydnie L. Mosley Dances. At the start of each month, we will propose organizations, and vote on which to support as a team, and I collect individual donations to create a team donation. Right now, there is no required minimum for giving, and every member of the team offers what they’re comfortable with and capable of giving at the time.

We have rewritten our most popular free marketing resource—our Forever Fans workbook—to incorporate language that encourages users to consider how their categorization of their ideal clients and customers may be classist, sexist, racist or otherwise discriminatory and ensure they are not perpetuating discrimination through marketing.

We are recommitted to hiring BIPOC to this team, BIPOC as contractors and advisors on current and future projects, and recommending/referring BIPOC to our clients for other work.  New recruitment processes and diversity and equity clauses in contracts are in process.

We have also rewritten our contracts to incorporate our commitment as an intersectional feminist, anti-racist organization, and to explain to clients that we will not market statements that contradict our values. AJM will candidly share with clients if and when we feel a statement or response is problematic or out of alignment with our values and offer suggestions for reflection and revision. Should the client choose not to incorporate our suggestions, they will be responsible for distributing the message on their own. AJM cannot be responsible for writing, crafting, or creating such statements on behalf of our clients.

I was told in May, “perfection is a form of oppression.”

(Even after doing some Googling, I’m unsure of the origin here, but good, here’s an example of imperfection – I can’t figure out how exactly to credit that thought…)

I know I have been afraid to demonstrate my allyship, because I know it will not be perfect. I might choose the wrong words. Or not have enough knowledge. I’m committed to showing up anyway.

Now you know where I stand.

Amy

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