Race and Rallier
To Our Community,
When I was in college I took a class called Institutional Racism. It should have been called American History. We studied America on a systems level by looking at how our country's institutions (schools, housing, banks, government, and more) came to be. We saw how racist laws and policies built each one of these systems and how little their racist effects have changed since their founding. We learned how racism and sexism interact to cause multi layered harm to Black women and girls. I remember thinking how different our country would be if we all understood these truths about the place we call home. Institutional Racism was an elective and the only classroom I've ever sat in with only one white male. Learning about institutional racism in my early 20s helped build my value system. It informed who I hired when I worked in the corporate world, where I chose to live and who I've voted for in every election. It factored into my decision to leave the traditional fashion industry. It is one of the reasons that Rallier exists.
And still, the horrific deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd feel like a jolt. I'm reminded that antiracism work isn't something I can ever check off my list. Ibram X. Kendi explains, "racist and antiracist are not fixed identities." You can be antiracist in one moment, and racist the next. We must be constantly checking in with ourselves to understand where we fall. In this spirit, we've recognized the following about Rallier:
We must ensure that everyone in our community not only sees themselves in images, but also knows that they are represented at every level of the business. Our work moving forward is to achieve a minimum of 15% Black in each of the categories listed above to fairly represent the 15% of Americans who are Black (thank you Aurora James). We can get to work immediately in most of these areas but it's important to be honest. As a small business, it will take longer than we want to achieve 15% in all of them. But, I think long-term effort is part of the point. This work is a choice we make over and over again in every moment for the rest of our lives. One that we will be infinitely better for. I make this commitment for our human family, and for my daughter, who I hope one day looks at Rallier and feels celebrated for every part of who she is.