Today we’re dedicating this post to the wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As such an important holiday to remember, we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about what we’ve learned.
I’m far from perfect, but I am trying to make sure I acknowledge my state of ignorance, be sensitive to the complicated web of history with which this subject is so fraught (and the contemporary carry-over today), and continuously make an effort to be as informed as I can. So, who’s with me? Let’s learn to be better, more loving citizens and human beings together, shall we?
What we’re learning
Acknowledge Your Position of Privilege
Sometimes it’s so hard to admit that your way of seeing things isn’t the eternally correct way to see things. Speaking from a very non-expert position here, something I’ve been told many times and learned over the years is that when talking about discrimination and race, it is absolutely critical to acknowledge your position of privilege. Who’s in a position of privilege? Anyone whose ancestors were not discriminated against due to race. And anyone who is currently not discriminated against due to race. Note: obviously there are other modes of discrimination besides just race, but we want to specifically highlight racial discrimination as a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his day.
Acknowledging that your world view has flaws can be embarrassingly difficult at times. I can say from experience that it’s not very comfortable to realize you’ve been living in a bubble created by your own biases. But it’s even more difficult for those whose position of non-privilege has been compromised. It’s difficult to change, but I’m setting a goal this year to make an effort to look past my own biases and see things through others’ eyes. I want to be more sensitive to others’ experiences and then try to break out of my own complacency.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am far from an expert on the topic of civil rights, especially with respect to race. Martin Luther King Jr. was far more of an expert than I am (and far more eloquent)! So I’m not here to preach about the very little I do know. What I’ve learned, though, is that it is much more beneficial to admit my own ignorance and seek to learn more.
Here are some resources to get you started if you’re interested in learning more:
Last year on Juneteenth, we compiled a list of books, movies and shows to highlight black creators. See our list here! It’s definitely not comprehensive, but it’s something to get you started.
Also included in that same article are links to a few of our favorite black creatives, as well as an essay with lists of places to learn more and donate.
Here and here are a few more articles about Juneteenth, but we feel that they’re absolutely appropriate for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as we try to become more informed about everything he fought and died for.
It doesn’t all end with reading a bunch of books to feel good about yourself (saying this to remind myself, too)! If Martin Luther King Jr. has taught us anything, it is that making change requires action.
How we’re trying to help
Empower BIPOC Creators
We’re not perfect, and this is not the “look at all the good I’m doing” brag portion of this post. I see it more as an opportunity to be accountable. We’re sharing some things we’re trying to do to not just learn more, but do more to actively support those around us who may have less opportunities and privileges than we do.
We’re doing our best to be informed as we strive towards this goal. A way we feel that we can make a difference is by supporting the BIPOC makers in our community and around the U.S. through our donations. We’ve partnered with Nest, an amazing charitable organization, to give those makers opportunities that have been limited in the past. We hope to continue to do our part going forward. It’s not a perfect way of helping, but it is something small we can do to contribute to making a society that’s more loving and focused on stamping out inequality and discrimination.
Specifically, we loved the opportunity to use crafting as a way to donate to Nest. This past year, as you may be aware, we hosted a Nativity craft along. You can read more about it here, here and here. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of your donations and thrilled to help Nest in their cause. If you’re interested in learning more about Nest, you can visit their website. Also, check out this post, and this one.
To Help You Remember Martin Luther King Jr.
In order to help you remember Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor him this year on his day, here’s a print with one of his many poignant quotes. We’re donating 100% of net profits from the download to Nest. An additional 15% of net profits of all prints including mats and frames will be applied.