In June, we made a renewed commitment to readers detailing our plans to actively build an antiracist platform. Today we’re checking in on our progress, sharing areas for improvement, and pointing out how we plan to continue this work in 2021.
For me, this work has always been about being intentional and sustainable rather than reactive and performative, which sometimes means the work is done at a slower pace—especially as we focus on running a lean small business. That slower pace shouldn’t deter anyone from doing the work, and I continue to believe we’re moving in the right direction.
Despite all the ups and downs that come with running a small business, ensuring that equal representation is part of the makeup of day-to-day operations is the ultimate goal, and we are committed to keeping ourselves accountable.
Here’s where we’re at right now.
I selected the courses below for our team to take, with our main focus on decentering white folks in the narrative around race and social justice.
My biggest concern when taking on this work was causing more harm by jumping feet first into communities that were not built for women like me, in an effort to “learn.” This is why we started with Layla’s courses. Looking at real-life examples helped all of us see our blind spots and where we can be harmful while having the best of intentions.
The second course by Toi Marie was one I first took by myself and then had the rest of the team take with me. It focuses on ethical business models, aligning our profit and loss goals with values that center around the humanity of our team, who we serve, and who we represent.
Lastly, I signed up for the big one, The Great Unlearn, to really unpack the relationship between capitalism and colonization.
We will continue this education as we move into 2021, and if you have additional courses you’d like to recommend, please feel free to send them my way.
Our team has also continually shared relevant resources, articles, businesses, and observations, which ultimately led to our latest hire.
After we posted our open position for an assistant editor, we met with a couple of wonderful candidates. We extended an assistant editor offer that ultimately wasn’t accepted (the person decided to move in a different direction that didn’t focus on writing) and haven’t found the right fit for the role yet. That being said, we’re determined to continue moving forward in this process.
In our search for an editor, we also met with someone who has a great deal of diverse experience in retail, e-commerce, AND product development. I’m excited to tell you she’ll be joining our Shop W&D team as a consultant in a leadership/advisory position. Her insight will reshape our retail business and we’ll be sharing more about her role in the new year.
I can’t wait to get going on this new project with her direction. Injecting new energy, insight, and expertise into the business is something we need, and you’ll be seeing her thumbprint on everything having to do with SWD beginning in 2021.
This is something we’ve always done to an extent, and we have become much more intentional about trying out products from BIPOC-owned businesses and sharing content from BIPOC creators. We include these products and pieces of content in each and every post and will continue to do so going forward.
Since June, we’ve made monthly donations to The Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund along with a number of additional donations to various organizations and to individuals who are meeting direct, timely needs in our local communities.
In 2021, we’ll continue to make monthly donations and are looking to shift the focus of our giving to local organizations that may not have received as much exposure and support. Mental health advocacy has been the cornerstone of our donations since 2014, and we’re open to any suggestions you have locally.
Sustainable change often doesn’t look like we think it will. It’s not a performance for validation; it’s about tuning in and honestly reflecting on the areas where you can improve and make the most impact. Sometimes those shifts are shared publicly; other times, they’re work that’s done internally. Over the course of the past seven months, we’ve been continually reflecting on how we can shift the core of our business to make positive, lasting change, in the way we show up as Wit & Delight.
We all have areas in our lives where we have the power to make different choices and have a positive influence. It took me stopping, listening, and actively learning to figure out what that meant for both me personally and for Wit & Delight as a business.
We’re more than open for any feedback and dialogue you may want to share with us as we continue to move forward. You’re always welcome to email us here.
BY Kate Arends - December 28, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.