Use your voice while learning.
Our entire country is waking up. Many have been fighting tirelessly for generations. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery (and too many others) ignited our nation, and while some were quick to jump to action, others have been slower to rise and are still rubbing that "sleepy dust" from their eyes.
A truth that has been a reality for this country since its inception has become dinner table conversation: the United States has a racism problem. Said differently, white people in this country continue to create and benefit from policies and institutions that intentionally uplift them and harm anyone who is not white.
Issues like “systemic racism” and “unconscious bias” that were once topics most white folks only talked about in college seminars and workplace trainings have begun to find their way into a national dialogue. Discussed over cups of coffee or cocktails (let's be real, zoom chats), many in the country have finally recognized we need to face up to our history and present to better the future.
Though the society-encompassing fervor for racial justice that dominated much of the early summer has begun to settle, the necessity of that conversation and the structural change it demands remains as strong as ever.
I, like many, spent much of my summer consumed by wanting to do while also feeling I had a lot to learn. As I alluded to in my last post, I firmly believe that there is no end to the doing or the learning. One does not cross a boundary that makes them anti-racist forever and always. Instead, we are defined by our actions and the analysis we use to interpret the world. We can be practitioners of anti-racism by continuously challenging racism in all its forms and bringing others along with us.
And now we come to my newest print release, inspired by so many of these ideas, symbolizing this expectation and challenge, and born of the desire to do more. I first had to identify my goals:
1) Raise money for a cause dedicated to fighting racism, and in doing so, putting my own work and money where my mouth is too.
2) Provide beautiful work that is relatable to the masses, and that people can feel comfortable purchasing, displaying, and discussing regardless of where they are in this journey.
3) Create a vessel that, hopefully, when displayed can act as a conversation starter. A bridge. A way to ease into the absolutely crucial conversations that, for white folks like me, need to be had and are most effective when had with the people closest to us. The people we share space with, enjoy coffee with, cheers to new beginnings with.
As a visual artist, I seek to tell stories and evoke emotion through the work I create. I have always been intentional about who I portray and how I represent them but continue to grow in my understanding of what my “lane” is in depicting BIPOC in my work. My feminism calls me to create images of women that both challenge the constructs of femininity and celebrate its beauty. Similarly, I feel pulled to paint pictures that contest racist stereotypes and rejoice in a multiplicity of experiences. My goal will always be to invite people into the anti-bias conversation.
Both of these prints, which will be available in two sizes and four colors, will result in 100% donation of my profits to The Movement For Black Lives. I sincerely hope that, if you haven't already, you will take a look at their website, and dig in to the phenomenal work they're doing. If you're nervous about having conversations with peers, family, or friends, here's a quick link to a resource. It doesn't have all the answers, but it's a place to start.
Shop my new prints HERE.