The last few months have been crazy. And even though it’s admittedly getting increasingly challenging to carve out time to post to the blog, I didn’t want to let this month go by without being present here. I want to say hello and check in with y’all, mark this intense, challenging and emotional moment, and share my feelings.
So WOW. What a month. Our office has been closed since mid-March and I am working from home. Because of my asthma, my mother’s COPD (and because I’m privileged enough to be able to), I have been very seriously quarantining. I’ve left my block less than a dozen times in the last four months. The isolation has been both difficult and, at times, nice. I have had a chance to spend so much time with Ida. We have been doing a lot of cooking. Our edible garden is bumping. We are very lucky that our business is mostly an online so we’re able to continue our work. And while it’s very different not meeting up with my team everyday at the studio, we are adjusting and learning to do things remotely. I’ve been feeling lucky that I have been able to keep my whole team on during this time. And also realizing that even though COVID 19 has been so incredibly devastating to so many people and communities around the world, it has also made me reevaluate aspects of my life that I never would have otherwise, and it feels as though the same might be happening for society at large. After the horrific murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken over the streets, hearts and minds of so many people across the whole world, raising hopes that systemic racism may be disrupted and overcome.
I didn’t go out to the protests in person here in Los Angeles, I decided I could do more good, with less risk, from here at home. But I had tears in my eyes seeing photos and videos. I was so moved to see so many people out in the streets ALL OVER THE WORLD — I felt overwhelmed by all the love and support. At Jungalow we were able to raise a good amount of money for the movement and will continue to do so in the future. I also am doubling down on my personal commitment to continue to mentor Black creatives coming up in the design industry, as well as continuing to push for diversity and representation in the industry as a whole as well as on campaigns, partnerships and events that I participate in. This really is an instance where every single one of us can make a difference.
There is still SO MUCH work to be done, but I am moved by the progress that we have made together this month. I am feeling hopeful at the idea and implementation of SYSTEMIC changes in this country. Reimagining, re-evaluating and re-examining the systems that we currently have in place that are broken, and making space for new ideas, new leadership and new systems based in love, care and inclusion instead of violence, incarceration and racism. Right now we have middle schools with police officers and no counselors. We have mentally ill folks on the streets who need care, not cops. We have crimes of poverty that should be met with assistance, not incarceration, and we have systemic violence and rampant racism against Black folks. This must end. We have a lot of work to do. This article is a good one if you’re interested in learning more about ways in which investing in community, not cops, can keep us all safer.
Here is a short list of folks who have been inspiring me with their activism, if you’re looking for a few good follows:
Resistance is NOT a one lane highway. Maybe your lane is protesting, maybe your lane is organizing, maybe your lane is counseling, maybe your lane is art activism, maybe your lane is surviving the day. Do NOT feel guilty for not occupying every lane. We need all of them.
In love, hope and solidarity,
Also, a big thank you to Beyoncé for the love.
(…I’ve been waiting my whole life to say that haha…)
Beyoncé has assembled a wonderful list of black-owned businesses. Click here to check them all out and support.