It’s been 18 days since George Floyd was killed, the tragic and catalyzing event for many to change our thinking and start to see more clearly the systemic racial injustice that people of color live with. We’ve been taught since childhood to not see color and that everyone is equal. We are listening and learning how damaging this belief is and how it has enabled us to exempt ourselves from examining our contributions to a system of racial injustice. It is our responsibility to be a part of the solution.
We’ve been silent on social media since Blackout Tuesday, when we spent the day reading, watching, and researching to educate ourselves on black history in America and of the current challenges facing people of color today. We’ve just started this education and we are committed to continue.
Since then, we’ve also been brainstorming ideas of how we can contribute to positive change. Our approach consists of two steps: immediate action and long-term improvement.
Our immediate actions consist of personal donations to organizations that are working on the justice and elections systems. We are still learning and working on our plan to hold ourselves accountable into the future. We are also marching in support of Black Lives Matter today here on Vashon Island.
Long-term improvement is where we feel we have the biggest opportunity to make a difference, and as Covid-19 restrictions are slowly lifted around the Seattle area we are committing to weekly volunteering and mentoring sessions with organizations supporting at-risk youth and the reform of the juvenile justice system.
We will continue to work on our plan and build an overall strategy for Normal Bicycles in support of social responsibility. This is a value we have privately professed as part of our vision for this company. We are finally hearing the calls of our fellow humans to stop professing, take the time to figure out how we contribute and take action to make the change we seek in the world. To hold ourselves accountable, we commit to sharing a yearly report that includes our actions and plans in the realms of environmental and social responsibility.
Chris & Jess
If you’re interested in what we’re reading, watching and donating to, here is a list we’ve collected (these are not affiliate links and we will not receive any compensation for these referrals). If you have suggestions or ideas, we’re happy to hear from you. Please email jess @ normalbicycles.com.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
How to Be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi
13TH directed by Ava Duvernay (YouTube or Netflix)
1619 Podcast (New York Times)
Bikepacking Roots BIPOC Adventure Scholarship (Adventure Grant)
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (https://blacklivesmatter.com/)
American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org)
Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org)
Year Up, Inc. (http://www.yearup.org)
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (https://lawyerscommittee.org/)
Kiva US (kiva.org)
Black-owned Small Business Damaged by Riots in Minneapolis (GoFundMe)
Help Rebuild Wilbourn Sisters Designs in Atlanta (GoFundMe)