If you’re finding it hard to believe that it’s mid-September already, you’re not alone. This year seems like the longest and shortest at the same time. Yet, despite all of the ongoing challenges of 2020, I have to admit I’m encouraged each time I get to share our diversity, equity, and inclusion updates with you. Our team of over 200 employees is committed to the short- and long-term changes we are making, and we’re inspired by your support every step of the way.
Our last update, on August 27th, was not our usual update; instead, it was a feature article spotlighting Black voices, social justice charities, and the launch of our much-anticipated debut Black Artist Collaboration (and there will be more!). 100% of the profit from this collection supports the artists and the social justice charities of their choice.
The response to the artists, their designs, the collection, and the charities the collection supports has been beyond inspiring! If you haven’t read the article, I encourage you to do so. It gives you an inside look at the talented artists, their inspiration, and why they chose the charities they did.
Even though the collection launched only two weeks ago, I’d like to share early donation info with you in full transparency. As of today, we will be donating over $13k to the selected charities on behalf of the artists and paying over $13k to the artists, collectively. This Black Artist Collaboration is powerful, positive, and important. This art will be available on our site for at least a year, and it’s the first of multiple collections to come! You can show your support for these great artists and charities by shopping this social justice collection here.
While we’re on the topic of giving back, I’m also happy to share on behalf of our Diversity & Inclusion Council Community Outreach Team that during the back-to-school season, we donated over $250K in much-needed school supplies to BIPOC students, teachers, and families in need and those living in underserved areas impacted by social injustice.
Here’s the full list of organizations and schools we sent planners, notebooks, binder refills, accessories, and more to according to their needs and our ability to meet them:
- Testimonials Community Outreach
- Baby 2 Baby
- Richstone Family Center
- Boys & Girls Club of Mississippi
- Boys & Girls Club of Austin
- Frankie McCullough Academy, Chicago, IL
- Trio at Columbia College Chicago
This was just Phase 1 in an ongoing initiative to give back to teachers and students in underserved communities. I look forward to sharing the next phase with you in the next couple of updates.
In our next update, I hope to give you a sneak peek at the new designs from our second Black Artist Collaboration launching in late October and discuss how our company-wide social justice education course is coming along!
I look forward to continuing the conversation and sharing more progress in the coming month.
Tonia Misvaer, CEO