By Carolyn Dunne's Statement

Carolyn's personal statement, delivered to her business audience via email and social media 10 June 2020 (link)

"With great privilege comes great responsibility."

In the matter of racism--speaking up against it, standing alongside those fighting it daily, unearthing/examining/relearning my own biases . . . the list goes on and on--I haven't lived up to what is expected of me. And it's past time for me to step up. It's time for me to say
I am responsible
and take on the work that has always, and rightfully, been expected of me.

Since true change happens from the inside out, initially, I'm educating myself through resources already available and the voices of Black social justice and business leaders who are offering concrete advice on how best to support the Black Lives Matter efforts. I'm taking a hard look at social media accounts I follow and groups to which I belong and seeking more diversity among them, so that I'm hearing from and engaging with cultural norms and personal experience far different from mine.

As you know, Escentuelle by Carolyn Dunne is a one-woman show, with no employees or contractors and extremely few suppliers. So, as a step I can take immediately, I will leverage my core mission of supporting women to specifically lift up Black entrepreneurs in my social media feeds. And I will continue to seek out ways for my business--and the messages it sends to a listening community--to promote antiracism.

The Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge

Signed by Carolyn 10 June 2020 (link)

  1. Name white supremacy and the impact of racism on both our personal and professional lives. Acknowledge the omni-present existence of white supremacy and how it operates and is supported in your company. Name it in your company values, business operations, discuss it with your employees and discuss it with your business partners, clients and greater community.
  2. Engage in anti-racist education for you and your team. Commit money and time to be educated on anti-racism on an ongoing basis for you and your team. This is not a one-time thing. Antiracism must be active. We recommended taking courses, reading books and participating in a book study, hiring a DEI consultant to come in and offer training to you and your whole team, etc. Active anti-racism learning should take place on a quarterly basis.
  3. Commit to open-conflict and allow discomfort. When conflict arises on your team and within your communities, let it arise. Don’t try to hide it, delete it, or ignore it. Acknowledge the conflict, allow space for community members to be heard and deal with the underlying issue rather than demonizing the community member who raised the issue. These conversations are happening regardless, allow them to happen in your spaces and be a part of the conversation. Take action to implement the needs expressed by community members. Train your community moderators on how to have culturally responsive communications and handle conflict online.
  4. Invest a portion of your monthly company budget to the Black community. Review your company budget and you will find that your white dollars stay in the white community. Commit to spending a portion of your company budget, we recommend 30%, on hiring Black employees, vendors and contractors, using Black-owned software and services and hiring Black speakers, purchasing Black-authored books and more. Invest in the Black community, not just once, but on an ongoing basis.
  5. Express your sincere, long-term commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization. Create a permanent statement that illustrates your commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism that goes on all of your external facing documents (website, job announcements, publications, contracts, etc). It should be written from a place of realistic language about where you are and also be aspirational about where your business is trying to go. It should outline specific steps that you will take to get there.