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Our Commitment to Black Lives Matters and Our Continuing Anti-Racist Education

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed by a police officer–a bystander caught the murder on video and the disturbing images went viral. This incident sparked protests around the world in support of Black Lives Matter, a movement and organization founded in 2013.

Fashion Furniture Rental joined the voices that spoke out against racism. See our public statement voicing our support for Black Lives Matter:

 

 

How will Fashion Furniture continue to support Black Lives Matter, stay educated, and work towards being active allies? 

We realize that putting out a statement is not enough. We realize that we have work to do. Fashion Furniture is committed to following through with our statement and we are actively taking the following steps to create an anti-racist workplace:

Diversity Committee 

We are pleased to announce the formation of Fashion Furniture’s Diversity Committee. This Committee will be made up of volunteers throughout the company and will meet every other month (via Zoom) and will look at all aspects of Fashion and life at Fashion and recommend ideas to help improve life at the company. Being that it is a Diversity Committee, the main charter of the group will be to engage the company leadership on issues that the Committee feels should be investigated to ensure we are doing our best to create unity, comfort, and a sense of belonging for all team members. An inclusive company, where people from all backgrounds, races, religions, etc., feel comfortable and know they have the opportunity to grow will be a much stronger company in the long run. The Diversity Committee will be an important piece of this quest.

Staying Informed 

While we are home, we encourage everyone to take this time to read, watch, and educate yourselves and your families about Black Lives Matter and the deep-rooted racism in our country, including the history of how we got to where we are today. Below is a list of books, articles, podcasts, and shows/films to start:

Books

(from The Cut)

How To Be An Anti-Racist  by Ibram X. Kendi

From the book:

“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.’”

So You Want To Take About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

From the book:

“Being privileged doesn’t mean that you are always wrong and people without privilege are always right. It means that there is a good chance you are missing a few very important pieces of the puzzle.”

(From Booktable.net)

Stamped From The Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

About the book:

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America — it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. 

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

About the book:

As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights—including the right to vote; the right to serve on juries; and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet as civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander demonstrates, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once labeled a felon, even for a minor drug crime, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal again. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Children’s Books

I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo 

About the book:

This moving, thoughtful book celebrates and centers Black girls, who too often receive messages from society at young ages that they are not enough. As Black girls are shown playing, learning, and challenging themselves, they remind us of who they are and what they can do.

The range of emotions and experiences that are included in the simple rhyming text is strengthened by beautiful, realistic illustrations. (Recommended for ages 3 – 7)

A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara 

About the book:

A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. 

The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with their parents’ values of community, equality, and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

About the book:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (Recommended for kids 13+)

More recommendations are available here

Media

13th (2016), directed by Ava DuVernay available on Netflix and for free on YouTube

Named after the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in 1865, DuVernay’s Emmy-winning documentary follows history from slavery through to the mass incarceration of Black people in the United States. The documentary shows why many people have been calling for reform against police brutality for years.

When They See Us (2019) directed by Ava DuVernay available on Netflix

Based on events of the April 19, 1989, Central Park jogger case and explores the lives of the five suspects who were prosecuted on charges related to the sexual assault of a female victim, and of their families.

 

Pose created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, and Steven Canals available on Netflix 

Taking place in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Pose documents the fabulous and dramatic world of New York’s Underground Vogue Ballroom scene. Directed and produced by Janet Mock, the first trans woman of color to direct for a television show ever, this show touches on a lot of important topics related to both Black and LGBTQ+ experiences.

Dear White People by Justin Simien available on Netflix 

Based on the 2014 feature film, Dear White People focuses on a group of college students of color who challenge the “post-racial” culture at their Ivy League university.

You can find more information on these titles and additional media here:

 

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