The heart of MGG Studio has always been about beautiful things, made ethically. These ethics are a foundational value of this business and need to be reflected in our commitment to sustainability (how we value the planet), as well as in our commitment to social justice (how we value our fellow humans).
I’ve spent the past few weeks reading, listening and reflecting, and I’ve realized that there is further work for me to do to honor that commitment to social justice, both personally and in this business.
Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith, a clinical psychologist who educates parents on how to talk to kids about race, recently participated in a conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Julie Lythcott-Haims through InForum (link here). When asked what we can do to further necessary change, Dr. Briscoe-Smith encouraged us not only to “look for the helpers,” as Mr. Rogers famously encouraged, but to BE the helpers.
For me, being a helper requires vulnerability and honesty with myself about my own bias, listening to and learning from Black educators, having important conversations about race with my community and family (especially my kids), and committing to an anti-racist stance going forward.
So what does that mean for MGG Studio? It means amplifying the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, thinkers, and creatives in our emails and social media. It means committing to supporting Black-owned businesses, and making sure our monthly giving program includes organizations that support movement towards greater equity. Perhaps most fundamentally, though, it means widening and diversifying my circle, both personally and as a business. For me, this means making more real, personal connections with people who don’t look and sound like me, both inside and outside of my community. And, it means making sure that the internal structure and external face of MGG Studio reflects the diversity of the world I want to live in.
If you’re reading this and wondering where to start, I’ve gathered some resources that have been helpful for me below. If you have resources to add- please share them in the comments (and thank you!).
I acknowledge that my role in this process is learner not teacher, so it’s my job to pass the mic to Black teachers. Here are some educators who I have learned so much from thus far:
Rachel Cargle: @rachel.cargle @thegreatunlearn @thelovelandfoundation
Nicole Cardoza @nicolecardoza (I highly recommend signing up for her daily Anti-Racism email)
Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith
Bookshop.org created a robust anti-racist reading list here.
And these are the books on my personal list that I've been reading and discussing with friends and colleagues:
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Isabel Wilkerson)
Stamped From the Beginning (Dr. Ibram X. Kendi)
So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo)
White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo)
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
How to be an Antiracist (Dr. Ibram X. Kendi)
Finally, I want to give credit to Shessa Garbutt for calling out these resources to find BIPOC creatives and designers: