How YOU can help - Black Lives Matter

June 08, 2020

How YOU can help - Black Lives Matter

Even before Exhale Movement was formed, we discussed just how critical intersectional inclusivity and the celebration of diversity was to both of us. When it came time to create a company mission statement we didn't have to think very hard about what the core beliefs of our company would be and how it would reflect openly in everything we do and every decision we make. 

We are in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement and will continue to do all that we can as a company and as individuals to provide assistance in amplifying voices that need to be heard.

We have been listening. We have been watching. We have been educating ourselves. We have been consolidating resources to assist ourselves and others in making the biggest positive impact.

Donate

If you are able to donate, please consider one of the organizations below.

Black Visions Collective: A Black, Trans, & Queer-led organization that is committed to dismantling systems of oppression & violence, and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.

Campaign Zero: Online platform and organization that utilized research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.

Color of Change: The nation's largest online racial justice organization. They help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, they move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

There are also a number of protesters who could use your assistance with bail. Please consider donating to these bail fund organizations either at your local level or, if you live somewhere well funded, where you feel it will make the largest impact.

Amplify Black Voices

Now is the time for us to share more of the Black people who inspire us. When it comes to pole (as it's the movement closest to our hearts) we look to Black Girls Pole (@blackgirlspole) for the absolute best stream of inspirational dancers to follow. Even better, their site has the Black List, which is a list of black-owned pole and aerial studios across the US. 

Marlo Fisken recently shared a resource on her Facebook page (with even more resources than this post) with a list of Black Mindfulness, Meditation, and Movement Leaders. Her entire document is well worth reading to learn more about these leaders but we will list them here for the sake of expediency:

If you're more into outdoor sports and movement, here are some absolutely fantastic people to follow that were recently shared with us.

Jenny Bruso: @unlikelyhikers
Teresa Baker: @teresabaker11
Alison Desir: @alisonmdesir
Corina Newsome: @hood__naturalist 
Kathy Karlo: @inheadlights 
Ambreen Tariq: @brownpeoplecamping
Kareemah Batts: @herhopness
Grace Anderson: @amaze_me_grace
Mirna Valero: @themirnavator
Rue Mapp: @outdoorafro
@indigenouswomenhike
@latinooutdoors

Support Black-Owned Businesses

This is more than just making a single purchase. We challenge you, just as we've challenged ourselves. Find some new companies to buy your everyday products from. Find some new companies to buy your gifts from. Find something entirely new! 

Crystal Sand Tarot started accumulating a list of Black Owned Etsy shops and that list has (as of this moment) surpassed 400+ and is still growing.

In case you hadn't heard of it, there's a really cool organization called IFundWomen and it's essentially a Kickstarter/GoFundMe platform specifically to support women-owned businesses.

"We launched IFundWomen of Color in January 2020 because we firmly believe in supporting diverse, women-owned businesses.

According to Amex's 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, Black women represent 42% of net new women-owned businesses started in the last year, which is three times their share of the female population (14%). Yet in the past decade, Black women-led businesses have captured just .0006% of the total venture capital funding pie.

The ongoing violence against the Black community undoubtedly places a strain on black women trying to launch and grow their businesses. Take action and fund Black women entrepreneurs right now."

Speak Out

Your voice can make a difference. Write to your representatives and let them know that systemic racism and police brutality are abhorrent and should not be perpetuated or tolerated. Here is an online resource called My Reps to help you determine who your representatives are and how to reach them.

Keep Educating and Learning

One of the most critical things we should all be doing right now is the introspective tough work. We need to read more. We need to watch more. We need to have the messy and uncomfortable conversations with ourselves, our friends, and our family members. Change begins from within.

Medium published an incredibly thorough list of media to consume in case you prefer watching or listening to reading. There are even resources for children and teens. 

If you only have a few minutes right now consider reading this comic "Your Black Friend" by Ben Passmore.

Avoid Burnout

Let's be honest, burnout is real. This movement can certainly be overwhelming and mentally (and physically) exhausting. But we're going to need to keep fighting for change and change won't happen overnight. Remember to stay tuned in and active on a healthy level. Summer is coming and the majority of us have already been abiding by Stay at Home orders for some time now. We know the temptation to "return to normal" and "take a break" for a bit is great. We're right there with you. But the reality is, we can't. Normal is broken. We need to stay engaged to fix this together because at the end of the day, Black Lives Matter. 





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