Our Promise at Semaine
We were so happy to see people and organizations amplifying Black voices this past week and sharing resources to listen and learn. Moving forward, it is important to us that our words of support are grounded in concrete steps, and that we work to ensure our company structure never enables the same injustices we protest. We must not stay quiet, but instead use our actions to push for change.
We are sharing the actions we took this week (June 1-7, 2020) and our plan moving forward. We are not sharing this with you to be congratulated (or to feel less shame or guilt—as allies, those are emotions we must continue to sit with), but so you know at Semaine Health that we are taking action and not just showing performative support for Black Lives Matter.
This week we:
- Stayed muted on our social feeds to amplify melanated voices—only sharing stories created by the Black community and specifically those in the health and wellness space.
- We halted all digital advertising so that our product images would not take up space on feeds that should go to the Black community and their stories.
- As a small business, who we choose to work with speaks volumes and we'll continue to partner with the amazing womxn behind Endo_Black, Oak and Melanin, Kimberly Murray and other BIPOC businesses.
- We donated 30% of this week's proceeds to the Black Women's Health Imperative and will do the same on Juneteenth (next Friday, June 19, 2020).
- We started supporting Black womxn activist on Patreon: Rachel Cargle, Tricia Hersey of the Nap Ministry, and Aja Barber.
Even more importantly, here is how we plan to do more work far BEYOND THIS WEEK:
- When we start hiring for Semaine Health, we will hire BIPOCs so that our growing company is always a place where minoritized people feel included and welcome (including our LGBTQIA+ communities).
- As we grow our company board and medical advisory board, we will specifically seek out Black mentors, doctors, nurses, and entrepreneurs.
- We will continue to highlight Black and all BIPOC voices, especially in the healthcare, wellness, and medical fields.
- In our educational posts and emails, we will research and share what we learn about the systems of oppression and how institutionalized racism has undergirded our medical and healthcare systems from the beginning.
- Semaine staff and cofounders will be required to take multiple trainings yearly on racism, implicit bias and microaggressions. We're starting with Siha Collin's Connection in Action course (starting this Tuesday but also available in October 2020).
- We will promote Black womxn and other WOCs in our advertising for Semaine. We know the wellness industry has mainly focused on cisgendered, white women as entrepreneurs and models and we will work to diversify this space and appropriately attribute where wellness practices come from (often BIPOC cultures).
- We will require our board members to sign a public statement to support equity and inclusion at Semaine.
This promise will be a living, breathing document that we continue to add to as we learn daily how to break down systemic racism.
Beyond Semaine as a company, it's important for you to know that we, the cofounders of Semaine, promise to do additional work on a personal level alongside the learning we do as a company. You can follow Cath and Lar at @asiancajuns. And as always, please feel free to reach out to us at any time to hold us accountable, ask questions, or just to talk.
In love and support,
Cath, Lar, and Matt