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Moving Forward

Published Jun 12 2020 in Customer Appreciation, Life, Values

The grief and rage so many of us feel about the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery (and the heartbreakingly many before them) is valid.

We, in America, live in a white supremacist system that is anti-Black. This system sanctions many forms of violence that have always dehumanized Black people.  This system was also created to perpetuate a multitude of unfair advantages and privileges for us white people. Many of us aren’t sufficiently aware of these advantages and that, ironically, is a form of dehumanization too.

So last week on social media, I muted all candle and cottage content on Harmony Farm Candles and instead shared Black voices through the #amplifymelanatedvoices movement.  These posts represented a small sampling of Black voices that have opened by eyes, heart and mind in my own antiracism journey.

Moving forward, Harmony Farm Candles will continue to explicitly stand in solidarity with the truth that Black Lives Matter through thought, word *and* action.

Social media posts at Harmony Farm Candles on Instagram and Facebook will continue featuring Black writers, thinkers, activists, historians, artists and more. Posts and shares about whiteness and antiracism work will be present along with cottage and candle posts. Every post that amplifies Black voices, or covers racial justice, whiteness and antiracism work, will be posted to either the Amplify Black Voices or Antiracism Instagram highlight sections so they’re always accessible.

By the end of the month I’ll have researched and selected one Black-centered organization to support with 10% of Harmony Farm Candle’s profits for the second half of 2020. The organization will then be announced on social media on July 1st. 

10% of profits from all sales (retail & wholesale) from July 1-December 31 will be sent to the organization in two contributions: one by October 15 for the 3rd quarter, and the other by January 15, 2021 for the 4th quarter. With the latter half of the year being the busiest for Harmony Farm Candles, this creates the most impact financially.

On a personal level, I’ve looked at my giving plan and made adjustments so that at least 50% of the monies I pay go to Black women and organizations that work in direct support of Black women.

Additionally, I commit to:

  • Continuing the reading, learning and listening required to be antiracist as a white person; this includes enrolling in paid courses led by Black antiracism educators.

  • Taking action where I might have influence or impact. Examples include: having ongoing conversations with white family and friends even if they’re awkward or uncomfortable; raising my white child to be antiracist; being engaged with white community leaders to address inequities and blindspots; supporting organizations led by Black, Indigenous and People of Color that have long been working for racial justice; and buying from Black-owned businesses and services providers.

  • Remaining open to correction/feedback. Because mistakes are inevitable and also an opportunity for learning and doing better as a white person.

I recognize this is a radical departure from what you’ve probably come to expect from Harmony Farm Candles.

Some businesses, especially bigger ones, opt to remain silent on human rights issues, or at best provide tepid responses of support. Being a one-woman business, however, it feels right and good to integrate my values around racial justice here too.

In following Harmony Farm Candles, it’s likely that you value the human element of handmade goods or knowing that a real person is behind the products offered or that you appreciate having a home for you & the people you love and that you enjoy making it comfortable, safe and beautiful. It is because of the common theme behind these reasons--the desire to be in connection with your humanity and my own--that I stand openly in support of racial justice.

Thank you for being here and reading this message from my heart.  We’re in an important moment right now, one that’s filled with the very potent possibility that needed change is coming.  I look forward to learning and growing together, being held accountable in doing better, and being more connected in our shared humanity.

Take care,
Erin Hils

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