Hi everyone - first off, I'm sorry that I'm still working through getting all of these blog posts out! As a small business, I'm the head of creative design, marketing, content, production, customer service, shipping and handling, and everything else in between - I'm cranking them out as quickly as I can without impacting the attention to detail they deserve. In addition, just a friendly reminder that if you're still hoping to get your hands on a 2021 calendar you only have a week and a half left - February 28th is the last day that they'll be available for purchase!
I'm going to start this post a bit more untraditionally (at least compared to my previous posts), because it's Black History Month and if your dedication to fighting racism started out strong but is now "back of mind", this is your reminder to get back on track! In September I wrote a blog post called "Using Your Voice While Learning", and talked about how the society-encompassing fervor for racial justice that dominated much of the early summer had begun to settle, but that the necessity of that conversation and the structural change it demands remains as strong as ever. If it was settling then, it's even more settled now - and that's just not an option. There is not a boundary that, when crossed, means you've officially passed your course on anti-racism, so today I challenge you to pick up a new book, join a course, watch a film or documentary, and recommit. If you're not sure where to start, the Badass Lady whom I'm highlighting in today's post might be able to help!
Rachel Cargle is a rockstar educator, and has curated some amazing content within a monthly, self-paced collective, and it's a great place to start/continue. The Great Unlearn combines reading prompts with live lectures and is designed to aid in unlearning and relearning. You can sign up here.
I personally love Rachel, because she keeps me on my toes. She is the teacher who knows your capable of more so challenges your work, even when you feel you’ve done your best. Her message is clear: if you are white, you have work to do and there is not a finish line to that education or an award to be won for self-improvement. Her demand of her students is to be not just anti-racist, but to join the effort of dismantling white supremacy; to be an active accomplice, not just a passive ally.
Rachel’s classroom is enormous, democratic, and ever-expanding. She has accrued a massive following on Instagram of mainly white women, like myself, who she calls into recognizing the advantage their privilege awards them within American society. Through anecdotal examples and curated lessons, she urges her followers to personalize their relationship to racism rather than hold it at arm’s length, and to see how indoctrinated personal beliefs can uphold oppressive systems. Her methods illicit response and action, rather than complacency or performance.
As a constant student herself, Rachel encourages her followers to do the readings and study hard rather than rely on soundbites and catchy phrases. She also is a steadfast believer that rest and recovery are an integral part of revolution. Recognizing the extreme obstacles in place for particularly Black women and girls to get proper service in caring for themselves, she began the Loveland Foundation in 2018 as a resource to assist in healing and growth by providing access to low-cost therapy and mental healthcare for communities of color.
It was such an honor to create this portrait, which I particularly love because it encompasses the strength in joy. If you haven't already, please check out Rachel's course "The Great Unlearn" which I linked above, or consider donating to the Loveland Foundation.
My favorite quote: "White feelings should never be held in higher regard than black lives."