No more silence...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

I see you. I stand with you. I will speak up.

I shared last week that I was lost for words, because there were no words, but as we all know, silence is no longer an option.

As I slowly start to think about sewing again, I am aware of the fact that things can't go back to where they were. I connect with this community through craft, so finding ways to show I am marrying this and anti-racism work is important — they are not mutually exclusive.

I wanted to take the opportunity here to lay out some of the things I will be doing moving forward to fight systemic racism, especially here in my own country, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

  • I will continue educating myself on the ingrained racism we've all grown up with and will be doing more work around understanding the racism that is rampant in Aotearoa and how I can effect change locally and nationally.
  • I will continue having hard conversations with my Pākehā friends about what it means to be privileged in this way and how staying silent is no longer an option.
  • I will continue supporting charities working towards equality.
  • I will be using more te reo Māori in my everyday conversations — it's a beautiful language and deserves to be spoken by everyone in Aotearoa.
  • In terms of my business, it's still just me, so I will be making sure I ramp up efforts to work and engage with a more diverse range of people from testing groups to collaborations, to the handful of freelancers that help me run this show.

    I also know many indie designers are talking about having more diverse models showcasing their patterns. I currently still model all of my regular patterns myself, and while hiring this out has been a thought I've had frequently, it's not quite an option for me yet. When it does become an option in the future though, I will be seeking out a diverse range of models.

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I also thought here was a good place to round up some of the things I shared on social media over the past few weeks.

Justice in June — Education Resource

White friends — if you are floundering, and don't know where to start, how about you start with yourself.

I've been telling people about Justice in June as much as I could ever since I found out about it. Written and compiled by Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace, Justice in June is an incredible resource and a brilliant place to start learning how to be a better Ally to the BIPOC community.

It's broken down into digestible information and you only need to spend 10 minutes a day on it if that's all you have (but there are schedules that you can also spend 25 minutes or 45 minutes a day if you have more time). Download the resources, follow the timetable and do the work. It will get you into the headspace you need to be in to be helpful.

They're running a fundraiser to build a website, so if you use this resource, perhaps consider supporting them for that work here.

Black Women's Mental Health Campaign

Mental health — we all know we need to take care of it. The events of the past week, combined with a pandemic ravaging the world, has probably left many teetering on the edge of complete overwhelm, anxiety and depression. It's a scary and unknown place out there right now and unfortunately, BIPOC have to shoulder all of this AND their everyday reality of being oppressed, ignored, attacked.

I shared a campaign being run by Jennifer at Workroom Social on social media to help Black women and girls get the help they need during this tumultuous time.  While this particular campaign has been fully funded (yay!!), you can donate to other campaigns through the same Loveland Foundation site here.

Having said that, I also know that this is a hard time for many financially, so please don't worry. You can still help by sharing campaigns, speaking out if you see something, educating yourself (hello Justice in June), signing petitions (more on that below), highlighting the work of BIPOC in your community (also more below) and making sure you're enrolled to vote (yes, that's below too!).

Support BIPOC Makers

Are you following Black Makers Matter on Instagram yet? Make sure you follow them on Instagram here. They have a great list of BIPOC and Ally craft vendors which is being added to all of the time. Take the time to browse this list and if you have suggestions to add, especially BIPOC owned and led, make sure you get in touch.

Also, now's the time to let your dollars do the talking! If you're not happy with the response (or lack thereof) from your favourite crafty makers/designers/proprietors, I'd encourage you to get in touch with them first. If they don't give you the answer you're looking for, shop elsewhere.

Arms Down NZ

I was planning on posting about supporting the #ArmsDownNZ campaign, but if you're a Kiwi, you already know that this has been scrapped! Yay!  So, I'll leave this here as a reminder that your voice does matter and that signing petitions, writing letters to local and national Government agencies and speaking up in general, DOES WORK!

And last but not least for today...


New Zealand (along with America and many other countries) has a general election coming up this year. The very most important thing you can do is make sure you're enrolled! Your vote counts! Your vote could be the vote that changes everything, but it can't if you're not enrolled and then don't vote on the day.

If you're in NZ, click here to either enrol or check your details are up to date. EASY!

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I know there is a lot of noise out there at the moment, and it can feel deafening, but I guess that's what the world needs right now. I've only highlighted a very small handful of ways you can start to fight systemic racism and oppression — hopefully they help clarify your thoughts and give you a way forward over the coming weeks, months and years.

Kia kaha my friends,

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