Big Cartel’s Anti-Racism Work is Ongoing: Update 4
A new year brings a renewed optimism, and around here we’re certainly happy to have said goodbye to 2020. But we’re not so naive as to think that a calendar change has solved all problems.
We’re continuing the commitments we made last year:
- Donating each month to organizations committed to anti-racism.
- Offering price relief to Big Cartel shops that are fundraising for racial justice issues.
- Maintaining a section of our website dedicated to Black Lives Matter.
- Posting quarterly updates with more details. In case you’d like to read them all, they’re all archived in our blog’s Big Cartel Team section.
And we’re furthering our work with new initiatives in 2021:
- Participating in a Racial Equity and Belonging Audit with the McKensie Mack Group
- Committing to accessibility and equity as part of our 2021 company goals.
- Reviewing our hiring process both internally and with a third party to ensure it is equitable.
Ongoing Monthly Donations
Each month we set aside $10,000 to donate to Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led organizations committed to antiracism. The organizations are nominated by and voted for by Big Cartel employees, giving us a personal connection to these groups, and an opportunity to make positive change in our specific communities.
While we normally donate to one organization per month, there were a few that stood out in December, and we just couldn’t choose between them. We decided to spread the love and donated $2500 each to four different organizations:
- Suenos Sin Fronteras de Tejas is a Latinx, WoC-led collective aiming for better health outcomes and increased healing opportunities for immigrant and undocumented women and their families in South Texas through direct service, access, and advocacy.
- The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center working for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.
- Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ+ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.
- Creative Reaction Lab. educates, trains, and challenges Black and Latinx youth to become leaders designing healthy and racially equitable communities.
In January, Big Cartel selected the Braddock Youth Project, a Pittsburgh-based program that allows teens to design projects based on the needs they perceive in their community. The program fosters skills that will advance participants toward positive life outcomes, by providing youth with the means to create meaningful and sustainable community development projects.
February’s donation recipient was The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM), an organization that uses education, training, advocacy, and the creative arts to help Black people get access to or stay connected with emotional health care and healing. BEAM has a community-based approach that works to address the many factors that create barriers between Black people and mental health.
Big Cartel Art Works
Our art commission project, Big Cartel Art Works, keeps us on track for sharing the work of a diverse group of illustrators, writers, and other creators. Our goal is equal opportunity, transparent and consistent budgets for each project, and a group that represents the backgrounds, races, and genders of the people who make up Big Cartel’s community of shop owners.
Some recent work that emerged from #BigCartelArtWorks:
- The Power of Vision in Overcoming Social Injustice by Bunmi Adebiyi (with illustration by Nicole Medina)
- Creating with the Colonizer’s Tools by Camille Gomera-Tavarez (with illustration by the author)
- Deconstructing the Stigma on Black Mental Health by Robert Jenkins (with illustration by Antoinette Thomas)
- Mind Over Matter: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome by Carla Thomas
- Spot the Difference illustrations by Anna Hurley
- Anti-Racism Organizations illustration by Nicole Medina
- Black History Month illustration by Nicole Medina
- 2021 illustration by Worry Lines
- Print-your-own Valentines cards by Josué Baltézar
- Portrait by Louisiana Beedy
- Holiday illustrations by Daneisha Davis: Cheers, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays
Join us in some cautious optimism for 2021, and in the work of making this a year of sustained progress and learning.