Big Cartel’s Anti-Racism Work is Ongoing: Update 5

What a year it’s been.

June 2020 was a harrowing time, with new tragedies in our communities each day: loss of life, loss of naivety, loss of trust. And while the pain felt so present and unusual for many of us, it was a moment when we realized that so many felt this grief and fear every day. We began our efforts to be anti-racist because those belonging to minority groups have been dismissed and harmed for far too long.

The world hasn’t been fixed in the past year, but our work continues. We’re thankful for the glimmers of hope where we see them, and for more opened eyes. Here’s an update on some of Big Cartel’s recent anti-racist actions.

Ongoing Monthly Donations

We’ve earmarked $10,000 per month to donate to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color-led organizations committed to antiracism. Big Cartel employees are invited to nominate and vote for organizations, so the groups we select are personally meaningful to us, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to support the people working for causes and communities we care about.

In March 2021, Big Cartel donated $10,000 to Red Canary Song, a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers. This organization provides language support and healthcare to immigrants, acts as a mutual aid group, and is in coalition with several prison abolitionist groups. In the wake of the attack on Atlanta massage workers in March, their work felt especially relevant and important.

In April 2021, we voted on three organizations and it came to a tie. So we divided up our donation and sent $3335 to each:

Heart of Dinner combats food insecurity and isolation within NYC’s elderly East Asian American community by delivering hot meals and fresh produce, along with a handwritten note in their native language, each week.

AF3IRM is a national organization of women fighting oppression through an anti-trafficking campaign by advocating for migrant and immigrant women’s rights, and more.

The House of Rebirth is a housing initiative led by Black Trans Women that also offers therapy and employment assistance.

Small Giants Leadership Academy

In 2018, Big Cartel made the Forbes Small Giants “definitive list of America’s Best Small Companies.” Through this association, we learned about the Small Giants Leadership Academy, and invited a few members of our team to enroll. They’re finishing up their time in the academy, and because of their positive experience, we’ve decided to offer three sponsorships to our employees each year.

The Leadership Academy is a significant financial and time investment in leadership growth, and we recognize that this investment from companies has generally happened less for BIPOC folks, so we’re prioritizing making the space and investment for our BIPOC team members. Beginning this fall we’ll be offering three sponsorships into the Small Giants Leadership Academy each year, with two of these sponsorships designated for BIPOC Big Cartel employees who are interested in learning more about purpose-driven leadership and investing the work-time and effort in growing these skills.

Big Cartel Art Works

In 2020, we committed to working with a diverse group of illustrators, writers, and other creators with transparent and consistent budgets. This ongoing project, called Big Cartel Art Works, helps us better represent the backgrounds, races, and genders of the people who use Big Cartel to run their businesses.

Here’s what we’ve recently published for #BigCartelArtWorks:

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