A Note from SF Etsy's Co-Captain, Rebecca Saylor
(first posted to our community forum 6/10/20)
As a community of makers, dreamers, idealists, and (in many cases) outcasts, the events of the last few weeks have left us all in pain.
This pain is felt severely and disproportionately by the black makers on our team and by the black community all over the world.
It feels naive of companies to send out random quotes from a black leader to say "we care" only to then move onto their marketing plans for the year, like they checked a box. HOWEVER, I do think it's important to speak up and speak often to foster great change. And the more messages of support, the better, IMHO.
One of the most profound efforts I've seen in our community is an uplifting of black business owners. If one of us in our community is suffering, we are all suffering. As makers, generally, we are more attune to emotions and feel more empathetic than the average person.
Now is the time to use that empathy to radically support our black team members. You may think what you can do is small, keep in mind that real change comes from many making small decisions everyday. Collectively, our influence is large. We all have the ability to lift and support the black maker community in a variety of ways. Such as sharing a black maker business with your community, buying from black makers, writing a letter to support a black artist in getting an art grant, supporting organizations committed to funding black artists and projects (here's a list), hire a black employee, intern or business to help you in your own business. (I have loved working with Bay Area company NewDoor who provides jobs to at-risk youth, including many black youth in SF and Oakland).
Sometimes people become concerned with speaking up about "political" issues. I challenge you (and myself) to put that fear aside because the real concern is to stay silent when you see someone hurting or witness injustice. Do what you do best - using your art to bring joy, understanding and love to a community that is hurting and in pain. You may never know the spark you create, so don't ever be afraid to use your voice and your art for good.
Members of our SF Etsy Community have put together a list of Black Makers and Artists to follow and buy from. We've compiled it into a Pinterest board, that will keep being added to.
Please support - follows, likes, and comments on social media are a great support, even if you can't purchase anything!
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