Here at GirlGang Kindness, we know we are not diverse. We are intentional to never define ourselves as such. We are unique individuals who have a variety of backgrounds and lived experiences, but we are not diverse. We are six white, straight, educated, middle-class, Canadian females. We ooze privilege.
Our mission has always been a simple one: BE KIND. To ourselves, others, and our community. We believe that kindness has no boundaries. We pledge to continue to use our platform to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our community.
We believe in supporting organizations that are already doing great work. Many organizations we support are serving vulnerable populations and dealing with complex social issues – racism, homelessness, addiction, abuse, mental health, and poverty. We lean on them to continue educating us and others – they are the experts, where we have been a platform for promotion, an avenue for giving, and advocates for their work. We draw attention to these organizations and causes while remaining pretty positive, upbeat, and sunshiney, doing our part by spreading messages of love, kindness, and support. At the end of the day, we are still removed from most of it. Our privilege affords us that.
We aren’t feeling positive, upbeat, or sunshiney right now. Collectively, we are feeling the heaviness of what is happening in the United States, and around the world, with Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and systemic racism and oppression. We are having conversations about racism with each other, our families, our friends, and our children. We are also having conversations about the racism and systems of oppression that exist in our own country and community, and we want to do more. We want to be louder, and we want to take action.
Last month, we’d developed a variety of plans for June and the summer months, aimed mostly at fostering support for local organizations and businesses being impacted by Covid-19. In recent weeks, we’ve pivoted our intentions. We will be more conscious of the people, organizations, businesses, and charities that we support moving forward. We will continue to shine a light on those who are working to make our community more inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all.
With full recognition of the privilege we have as a group of white females (which allows us to downplay or pass over issues of race), we stand together and make a commitment to no longer be silent. To use our voices to call out and speak up for racial injustice. This means:
‣ Challenging ourselves to create safe spaces by not tolerating racist jokes, attitudes, or
‣ Using our privilege to help bring about justice.
‣ Acknowledging our own unconscious biases that exist because of our lived experiences and the things we’ve heard, seen and been taught (or not taught) throughout our lifetime.
‣ Working to understand the ingrained messaging and then, interrupting those biases.
‣ Looking at our social and familial circles to notice patterns of unconscious bias that exist around us, and in the systems bigger than us.
‣ Understanding how this impacts the daily lives of our non-white sisters and brothers so that we are better able to effect change.
Most importantly, we are committed to continuing these conversations long after the “trend” dies down. Until the majority makes the concerns of the minority their own, there will never be change.