Two weeks ago, we posted to Instagram and Facebook "We Are Listening". Since then, we have been muted, listening, learning, working, and affecting change.
BLACK LIVES MATTER. Standing against racism is something we've always believed in, but we didn't say or show it, and we failed to recognize the harm that our inaction helped perpetuate. We are grateful for this awakening and the opportunity for us to step up and work toward a better future.
The updates to our progress are here in this blog, posted to our Social accounts and emailed to our subscriber list. We are sharing these statements and actions not for pats on the back, but to update you and to make a promise and commitment that we will continue these efforts each day going forward.
Eileen & James
OUR ANTI-RACISM STATEMENT & ACTION PLAN
At LSF we’ve taken the past two weeks of silence to listen, (un)learn, and take first steps toward being a more actively anti-racist company.
It’s not enough to be non-racist. We must act as a business, and in our personal lives, to end racism and no longer passively ignore racist actions or comments.
With that in mind, we initiated a plan and a committee within LSF to fight against racism and to bring the anti-racist mindset permanently into our company culture. We can implement lasting change and grow as a group to be a better ally to the Black and Underrepresented communities, and a better employer to our Black and Underrepresented team members.
Education & Training:
Our recent education about the importance of an anti-racist approach led to the realization that we have blind spots. There are innumerable biases that we unknowingly carry. These biases are deeply ingrained by centuries of racial injustice, and the inaction that perpetuates it. This realization is painful to accept, but it is incomparable to the violence and oppression that the Black community has endured and it must be addressed.
There is action we can take right now to begin to see clearly and we are making this a priority. We are implementing DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) Training for our entire team to help move us to a place where we not only recognize that we have blind spots, but are able to dismantle them. The education and training efforts we take now will be a permanent part of our onboarding and continuing education processes.
Diversity In Our Workspace:
We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage diversity of all forms in our workplace. Previously, we exclusively used referrals for new hires, which unintentionally led to a lack of diversity in our applicant pool. Of our 8 employees, 1 is Black. In 2019 we transitioned to posting jobs on Indeed.com to increase the diversity of job applicants and are looking for additional ways to reach a broader range of applicants.
As a small company, we believe our contributions will be most impactful when made on a local level when possible. We’ve identified Gideon’s Army as a local non-profit doing excellent work in the racial injustice arena and will be making a minimum donation of $5,000 to their cause. Gideon’s Army seeks to end the school to prison pipeline within the North Nashville community with zip code 37208, which ranks as the highest per capita incarceration rate in the country. Incarceration is not and cannot be the only answer. We are inspired by Gideon’s Army’s efforts to seek better solutions and we look forward to being a long-term partner in their cause.
We view racial injustice, farming, and conservation as intertwined and also plan to support organizations that bring both racial injustice and environmental awareness to the table. We will be contributing $5,000 to OutdoorAfro, an organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature.
To raise more funds and awareness for these causes, we will be hosting a sale on Juneteenth (June 19th) in celebration and partnership with the Black community. 100% of the profit from the sale will benefit both Gideon’s Army and OutdoorAfro.
We are also matching our employees’ charitable contributions dollar-for-dollar to the charities of their choice.
Media & Marketing:
LSF has not had a budget for Models, Ambassadors, or Influencers in the past and Eileen and the goats were historically our sole models.
We will be shifting our feed and imagery to accurately reflect our beautiful and diverse customer base. We are actively working to co-create content that features Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color to ensure this vision moving forward.
BIPOC Entrepreneurship Incubation:
Access to mentorship, funding and other tools necessary for starting a business can be limited for BIPOC. That is part of the embedded racism within our country. As leaders of a small business, we can directly change that by offering mentorship to BIPOC entrepreneurs.
We plan to take on one entrepreneur per year to help guide them in the startup of their business. If you or someone you know would like to take part in this program, please reach out to us at email@example.com.