Big Cartel’s Anti-Racism Work is Ongoing: Update 6
After a year and a half, some of our ongoing actions have become routine: We have recurring reminders for employees to nominate charitable or non-profit organizations that benefit the lives of Black, Indigenous, and POC-led organizations. We have an ever-growing roster of artists, writers, and other creatives who create work for Big Cartel to help keep their bills paid.
The routine is part of the point: we as a society haven’t “fixed” racism, so there’s a continued need for individuals and companies (especially ones, including Big Cartel, that are majority white) to try to even the playing field for everyone else. The routine means we’ve begun to make anti-racist action a part of our daily lives.
But even if making donations or looking for a variety of contributors has become a habit, there’s still so much discovery and delight. We find and talk to talented potential contributors and creators. We better understand each other through the causes we’re passionate about. We learn about new-to-us organizations making a difference in their communities. We enhance our understanding and vocabulary and become more well-rounded and compassionate individuals. We realize how much we still have to learn.
It’s a process, and we’re grateful that we have the opportunity to improve and contribute. Here’s what we’ve worked on lately.
Ongoing Monthly Donations
We’ve earmarked $10,000 per month to donate to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color-led organizations committed to anti-racism. 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.
May and June’s donations were split up a bit unevenly: instead of two equal donations of $10,000, we worked to cover (in full) a project close to a specific employee’s heart: The 3rd Ward Chess Park in Houston is a community staple, but doesn’t get any significant city funding. A group of locals wanted to make the space more comfortable in the Texas heat, but needed a way to cover any costs. Big Cartel donated $16,250 to purchase umbrellas recommended by the people who maintain the park.
With the remaining budget for these two months, we donated $3,750 to Give India, an organization distributing vaccinations to rural communities in India in response to a devastating second wave of COVID-19 cases.
For July 2021, we donated $10,000 to the International Refugee Assistance Project. IRAP organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees, and they’ve provided legal resources for displaced Afghans, including support for the SIV process and Afghan P-2 refugee program, plus resources for persons not eligible for visa.
August 2021’s $10,000 donation went to The Lilith Fund. When new barriers like the recent Texas Abortion Ban are created to obstruct reproductive choices, they primarily impact lower-income and marginalized communities. The Lilith Fund helps people find and pay for abortions when they can’t afford them. It’s part of comprehensive healthcare without shame or stigma.
For September 2021, Big Cartel donated $10,000 to the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe. This small community lives along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien in South Louisiana and endured extensive damage to homes and the displacement of hundreds of tribal members when Hurricane Ida reached the area in August. This donation was intended to help with cleanup and rebuilding as this community worked to repair their lives and return home.
Big Cartel Art Works
The ongoing Big Cartel Art Works ensures that we work with a diverse group of illustrators, writers, and other creators with transparent and consistent budgets. We strive for a diverse group that represents different backgrounds, races, and genders, just like the people who use Big Cartel.
Here’s a sampling of our recent #BigCartelArtWorks commissions:
- Shop Indie animation by Jeremiah Shalo
- Holiday Shopping Trends to Watch for in 2021 by Amanda Zurita
- A comic about growing up by Underpants and Overbites, aka Jackie E. Davis
- Are Industries Engaged With Racial Equity or is it Just a Phase? by Camille Gomera-Tavarez
- Illustration to celebrate Autumn by Tiffany Jan
- The Pandemic Pivot: Forsythia NYC Opened During The Pandemic And Bloomed Into A Success by Carla Thomas
- What’s Your Fall Vibe? animation by Linda McNeil