Leveraging Privilege to Stand Against Racism
We all have found ourselves having to choose whether to speak up and pay a price or remain silent. I want to tell you about my recent experience.
Recently, my small Sarasota website and graphic design company, Rough & Ready Media, was on the brink of finalizing an important partnership with a university when I faced such a crossroads.
I was happy my company would be able to work more closely with and serve the needs of this well-respected school and earn revenue to support our work. That changed, however, when its leadership made a shocking decision that showed its values and mine were no longer aligned.
The college censored a display of children’s artworks supporting world peace, harmony, and justice. The university requested the removal of any artworks featuring the words “diversity,” “inclusion,” “justice,” and “equality” from the art installation that was planned to be displayed on its campus, which led to the cancellation of the show.
Because I am committed to diversity, inclusion, justice, and equality, I withdrew from the partnership, standing with other people and companies that oppose hate and inequitable, unjust treatment of people who look, live, and love differently.
At Rough & Ready Media, we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all. We cannot support any institution or individual who seeks to suppress or censor these important messages. We believe it is our responsibility to take a stand against racism and all discrimination.
Our decision to say no to the partnership was not easy. We understand the financial benefits such a partnership would have brought us. But we are a company that values its principles and beliefs above all else. We cannot compromise our values for the sake of financial gain.
We believe it is up to companies and individuals with the privilege to use their influence to take a stand against racist actions and create a more just society
We believe that actions speak louder than words. By declining this partnership, we are sending our team, our clients, and our community a clear message that we stand for what we believe in. We hope our decision inspires others to take a stand against racism and discrimination in their own lives and work.