As we start to transition out of our week-long pause…we’re trying to figure out exactly what TME will look like, long-term. ‘Business as usual’ is NOT the goal. And after a week of reading and reflecting and discussing and soul-searching…I am hopeful we can find the right balance. Here are a few concrete things we are doing now:
1. Increasing our coverage of black-owned businesses is one commitment that the entire team is excited about. This excitement is due, in no small part, to the insanely amazing gems we found in our Black-Owned Business Directory. You can see each editor’s top picks in the special edition of our Weekly Sales Report (and my top picks are here).
2. OOOO…THIS. Additionally, for the month of June, the “OOOO…THIS” section of our daily newsletter will be from Black-owned businesses. (If you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter here.)
3. Lobbying affiliate companies to onboard more black-owned businesses. Influencers make money by using affiliate links when linking to products we recommend. The brands make money because they sell more products, and the affiliate marketing companies make money by taking a cut for enabling these transactions. It’s a win-win for everyone — including consumers — because money is only made if you genuinely love and keep the products. There is no doubt that many of the black-owned businesses (featured in our directory) would benefit from being part of these affiliate networks, but I know from experience that it’s sometimes tough to get through the process. Since we have contacts in the industry, The Mom Edit is going to start advocating for black-owned businesses to be onboarded into the affiliate networks we work with. (Either way — whether an affiliate link exists or not — we will work to make 15% of our content support black-owned businesses.)
4. Raising up black voices. We’re going to start exploring guest posting opportunities on The Mom Edit, especially by black women. And every week we’ll be highlighting a few black influencers on our IG channel (@themomedit). Note: if you aren’t already following TME contributors Kat (@thekatrinanichole) and Tiarra (@beingtiarra) on IG…start there! And I have mad respect for Tiffany Moon (@thenorthernbelleofthesouth) if you haven’t yet followed her. Oh! If you happen to be on TikTok…our Kat is kiiiiiind of a Tik-Tok star. She’s promised to do a Tik-Tok primer for moms, too. 🙂
5. We’re also going to continue having conversations about racism here on TME. We’re going to continue our push to educate ourselves, and we’re going to continue to talk about being actively anti-racist (as well as raising anti-racist kids). I think it’s OK to be uncomfortable! And if you — like me — found yourself “surprised” these last few years by how racist America really is…I sincerely hope you stick around.
6. And YES. Using the word ‘Black’. We had many team meetings last week, just to keep checking in. During one of them — while trying to come up with a name for our Black-Owned Business Directory — we collectively realized that some of us were interchangeably using the term POC (people of color) with Black. Or that sometimes we felt compelled to say “African-American” instead of Black. It turns out that several of us — especially those of us who grew up in a well-intentioned but misguided ‘see no color” community like myself — were hesitant to use the word Black to describe people. It was one of those uncomfortable/embarrassing discussions that are SO important to have right now. The answer (in case it isn’t already obvious): Black is NOT a bad word. It’s OK to use it. And read this 2018 article by Tolani Shoneye, As a Black Woman, I Hate the Term, ‘People of Color’. The situation she describes in the opening will likely sound all too familiar. And if you are curious about the term African-American, as @jenerous points out here (slide 5), “…do we specifically mean African-Americans? Not all Black people come from African descent.” Got it.
7. De-Colonizing our bookshelves (kids and adults). There are a ton of book lists on this topic already, but diversifying your bookshelf is such a worthwhile, easy and, ultimately, fun thing to do. I’m working on a post about my favorite kids’ books that features non-white characters, and Lex is coming out with some ideas for us adults. (If you want a little sneak peek…I’m currently putting all of my favorites into this list on Bookshop.org.). Is it worth creating another list for older kids? That list won’t be as long, but I do have several books in mind….
8. Getting educated on systemic racism. I hear too many white people condemn police violence against black people without realizing that that is only the tip of the iceberg. Police violence is a symptom of a much bigger problem. The real issue? Systemic racism. I’ve been searching for an article that summarizes the topic nicely…and couldn’t find anything I was happy with. This video, however, does a decent job of attempting to summarize systemic racism in 4 minutes. I watched it a few times with my son (Raines), and it’s a good one. We had to keep pausing to talk through the concepts (despite the animation it is made for adults), but is totally worth a watch. A good starting point.
9. Donating. One consistent message — heard loud and clear from the people who are black — is that one important way for white people to support is by donating. The Mom Edit will be donating directly to bail relief efforts and…others. Not trying to be secretive — we literally don’t yet know. There are a ton of possibilities we’re working through as a team, trying to make a thoughtful decision. (And let us know if you want to hear which organizations we ultimately end up donating to.)
10. Doing some mind stretching. This past week was the first time I heard the phrase ‘Defund the Police’ and my gut reaction was immediately ‘NO. WRONG’. But as more information trickles out…it’s got me thinking. I did NOT realize, for example, that the annual budget of the NYPD is $6 billion. That amount gives me pause. According to this article in the Atlantic, $6B is more than NY’s “Department of Health, the Department of Homeless Services, the Department of Youth Services, and the Department of Employment Services combined.” Six billion is also more than the WHO (World Heath Organization), and more than the GDP of at least 50 countries. That’s….a ton of money spent on policing. And then I came across this set of slides that goes through common scenarios and how they could be handled in a defunded police situation. It’s intriguing and thought-provoking. (ps. It looks like the original slides came from this event.) As we move forward together, I am going to try and do a little less gut-responding and more open listening.
And lastly…let’s spread a little Philly love….Despite the protests and pandemic, one Philadelphia couple tied the knot last weekend — downtown Philly — and celebrated in the midst of a protest. The resulting pictures are both sweet and powerful. An epic moment.
Welcome, Skaters. Also, skateboarders joined in the protest and the footage is kiiiind of awesome.