Black Lives Matter: We Must Do the Work

Geroge Floyd should still be alive. Breonna Taylor should still be alive. Eric Garner should still be alive. Stephon Clark should still be alive. Sandra Bland should still be alive. Trayvon Martin should still be alive. Plus countless other black lives have been taking by the hands of systemic, institutional, and internalized racism. 

We must do better and be better- all in the hope of being able to grow together. The last few weeks have been a wake-up call that we all have been snoozing on. I have been listening and processing everything that is going on and I can honestly say that Party Art Community has a ton of work to do and a lot of room for improvement. After sitting with these things, I decided to write out what we can and must do better. I also see myself and the shop as a safe space for all people of color, yet I haven't done the work to ensure we are truly representative of that in all aspects of our business. 

We are taking these actions below and can only hope that this effort is continued by other businesses large and small.

- Using our social platform to listening and amplifying Black voices. We must listen and not create our own idea of what is best for the Black community. 

- Continuously learning. We are doing the work by educating ourselves on Black history, racism, anti-racism, and social justice. Here is a list to get you started. You can then purchase your books through an independent Black-owned. You can find a list of shops here.

- We are committed to working with supplies that are in line with our values and ethics. We must be more conscious about where we spend our money as a business. From tape to paint, we will be conscious of the companies we purchase from and where they donate money. 

- Product Representation. We have embarrassingly fallen short of bringing in enough products made/created by Black woman-owned businesses. We see this error and have immediately begun the process of bringing in more products from Black woman-owned businesses. We hope to see at least 15% of our inventory by Black-owned businesses by Fall. 

- Voting. While voter suppression is real, it is imperative that we do what we can to vote in leaders that represent the true community and our values. 

- Our workshop space. While COVID is still present our workshops have been on hiatus, but once we get back, we are going to offer more programming that celebrates and highlights experiences of people of color. Also, provided free programing for any social justice workshops.

- We will continue to do the work, call out racism when we see it and be mindful of where we spend our money as a business. This will not be a quick fix but a life long fight. 

We are not safe until we are ALL safe. Black lives matter. 

June 16, 2020 — Destinie Escobedo