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Huckleberry Baby Prop Supports the BIPOC Community

Black Lives Matter

BLM, racism, privilege, apathy, Black Lives Matter

This is a great time for every business to ask the question,

"Can I DO BETTER supporting the BIPOC community?"

For me, personally and professionally, this was a clear yes! I am listening, learning, and am willing to make mistakes to try to do better. We may be a small business, but imagine if all the small businesses did something just a little better (or a lot better) than what we already are doing. Together we help create BIG change!

Action is needed.  Here are some things we will continue to do at Huckleberry Baby Prop to support the BIPOC community, and most importantly, reflections on how we can do better.

We use our dollars. 

Huckleberry Baby Prop regularly donates to DonorsChoose.org classrooms since 2013. We feel that dollars donated for educational programs have an exponential reach.

  • 2019 classroom donation locations included:
    • San Jose, CA (frequent regular donations, ESL, 50% low income classroom, teacher has her doctorate, has taught abroad, and is active in her teacher union and state education politics)
    • Waseca, MN (local, 33% low income)
    • Carroll, IA (33% low income, Huckleberry client classroom)
    • Owatonna, MN (local, special needs classroom)
    • Owatonna, MN (local, inclusive playground donation)
    • Owatonna, MN (local, low income student needs)
    • Cincinnati, OH (regular donations, nearly all students low income, special needs)
    • Cleveland, OH (50% low income),
    • Undisclosed city, New York (nearly all students low income)
    • Undisclosed city, Kentucky (nearly all students low income)
    • Undisclosed city, Michigan (50% low income, special needs)
  • 2019 classroom projects that directly supported the BIPOC community include Japanese-American Incarceration history books, Equity-Centered Design Thinking and Innovative Mindsets teacher continuing education, Chameleon Color Tones Marker Sets to allow students to color diverse skin tones in art/classroom projects, basic classroom supplies and snacks to ESL and low income classrooms.
  • We occasionally offer to match Huckleberry Baby Prop client donations to Donors Choose when a classroom project we are supporting is close to deadline and needs a boost.
  • How we can do better: offer more HBP client donation matches, look for more classroom projects and teacher continuing education that specifically educate about racism and encourage diversity, inclusivity, and equality.

We actively seek supply shops that are woman and minority owned and willingly pay a higher price when necessary.

  • How we can do better: We have been great at buying from women business owners.  We can DO BETTER specifically looking for BIPOC owned businesses for materials, office supplies, and educational materials.

I am learning more about mass incarceration and prison labor.  I have a lot of growth to do in my education in this area, but I hope to make more conscious buying decisions to avoid businesses that use prison labor.  If you are looking for a great documentary to introduce yourself to mass incarceration, watch 13th on Netflix.


We use our reach. 

There is power in social media and we want to use our social voice to support equality. We have always tried to be inclusive, but we can do more.

  • How we can do better:
    • Make sure our in-use images regularly show a wide range of skin tones, ethnicities, and diverse family structures.  We will be doing an internal monthly evaluation to consciously make sure our social media feed is diverse to the best of our ability.
    • Actively seek out Huckleberry Baby + BIPOC artist work to share.
    • We rarely to model calls, but when we do we will look at the body of work of the artist to be sure they a) show diversity in their work and/or b) seek out a collaborative BIPOC artist and/or c) specifically request a BIPOC model.
    • We are reaching out to more clients who love to use Huckleberry Baby props and who have a diverse social media feed.  We have a "use anytime" list where I have permission to snag in-use photos to share from business pages. I will be looking add names and growing this list to be more inclusive and diverse in my social media feed. If you are an artist that fits that description, please reach out!

We listen and learn.

I am privileged to learn about the struggles of racism the BIPOC community faces rather than experiencing it first hand. I have a lot to learn but understand the importance of doing the work. I will embrace a growth mindset and be willing to learn from mistakes as I educate myself and as I learn how to speak up for the BIPOC community. 

  • How we can do better:
    • I am actively searching for information by reading books about racism, Black history, and BIPOC personal experience stories, watching documentaries, and seeking other educational opportunities. I can seek out museums that feature work from BIPOC artists and those that tell the real history of the BIPOC community. I can share the quality resources I find with friends, family, and my social reach. I can attend more diverse cultural events. 
    • I can take action as I learn new information.  The BIPOC community needs us to implement changes in the current system, now!
    • I welcome feedback on how I can improve HBP business practices to support diversity in our photography community and daily operations.

We vote.

I vote for human rights.

I vote for education.

I vote for the environment.

I vote for bodily autonomy. 

I vote for the arts.

I make personal campaign contributions to politicians who support my big five priorities.

I show up on Election Day.

  • How we can do better: I can better listen to the voices the BIPOC community leaders regarding endorsed candidates and community needs.  Please register to vote (USA registration link) and VOTE on Election Day. 

 

Huckleberry Baby Prop is committed to supporting the BIPOC community.  As I learn better I will do better.  Now ask yourself,

"Can I DO BETTER supporting the BIPOC community?"

 

Please share an actionable idea for small business owners in the comments below.


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