Dear Coclico community members,
The Black Lives Matter protests and the advocacy initiatives that are now filling our streets and airwaves have been centuries in the making. It deserves attention and every type of support that each of us is able to give. While history cannot be undone, our system, which unquestionably supports racism and oppression, requires a sustainable overhaul that affirms the prosperity of Black lives.
We have taken part in muting branded content this week to make room for voices that need to be heard. We are shoemakers, and we believe that is the reason you come to us. We're not curators of social content. So while this week we're being really quiet on social, we're soaking in the content others are graciously sharing. We're digesting and learning with each post. But we are also aware that the onus is on us to be very clear to the world that we've chosen a side, and we stand with Black Lives Matter. Today, tomorrow, and always.
The following are some of the links, accounts, businesses, and more that we have found helpful, inspiring, fun, insightful, stylish, beautiful - in no particular order.
We've donated to: Campaign Zero, Higher Heights, ACLU, NAACP, Black Lives Matter LA, CBCPAC, Change.org. The more we learn about Intersectional Environmentalism the more we're enthusiastic about directing our resources and energy into it. We're in the researching phase but can confirm that Intersectional Environmentalism will play a part in our plan for sustained support of BIPOC. Expect to hear more on this from us in the near future.
Here are some resources others have generously researched and shared: National Resource List, Anti-racism Resources, NYC Black-owned Restaurants, Best Black-owned Beauty Brands, Black-owned Business Directory
We recommend these feeds that offer a variety of voices and interests:
Some Black-owned independent businesses well worth exploring and patronizing: @__edas (gorgeous accessories!), @estellecoloredglass, @badguild, @blkandgrn, @galariela, @the.herbal.scoop, https://www.harperiman.com there seems to be a lot of awesome brand lists being posted on some of the IG accounts listed above, we're definitely going to take a deep dive to discover more.
Worth a listen: 1619 Project, Interview with Dr Cornel West, Talking To Strangers, Code Switch, Throughline (this and this), Revisionist History (this), Hidden Brain (this), Rough Translation (this, and in general I really look forward to this podcast), The Daily (this and this, min 10:35 esp), Obama Foundation
Lists of this sort are rarely perfect, and as we evolve with learning and constructive insight we expect the resources we share will as well. We're looking to roll all this up and form actionable steps that will make us valuable allies as neighbors, friends, global citizens, and as a small business.
Having a brick and mortar shop for nearly 20 years, we have long known that we serve a diverse community of women. So many of you are far more than just names in our database, you are long-held and cherished relationships. As a teeny-tiny company, we don't have a huge amount of opportunity to hire, but when we do we are committed to growing a team as diverse and beautiful as our customers. We will also double down on our commitment to representation in images, which we know are worth 1000 words. We often only have the budget for one photoshoot a season, resulting in our communications looking one-note, we need to pay closer attention to what that note is. Regarding influencers, historically we've worked with very few, always trade-only, and often exclusively with those who have reached out to us directly because they genuinely love our shoes. But could we do better to ensure representation? Absolutely. We know that we can improve upon this, and all it takes is mindfulness and some outreach. We can do both.
Black Americans have been oppressed for centuries. Action to change this needs to be swift, sustained, and concrete. We mourn with those who mourn. Our hearts and minds are open.