I write this Promise following the death of George Floyd who on Monday 25 May was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as he struggled to breathe. I write this Promise following global Black Lives Matter protests in the first week of June 2020 and the deeply challenging and necessary conversations about racism online.
These words written by Danetha Doe is the personal reason why I write this Promise:
I understand that the privilege I was born into has caused physical, emotional, physiological and economical harm to others. I commit to doing the work to eradicate my fragility. I commit to showing up and doing my part to repair the harm that me and my ancestors have caused. The abuse stops with me.
What this means for we are stardust is that I commit to being actively anti-racist in how I run we are stardust. I commit to making people of all backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, ages and impairment. I write this as a Promise rather than a policy as I recognise action is needed in order equality, diversity and inclusion to be truly embedded within we are stardust. Below are the areas in which I will make changes as part of my commitment for we are stardust to truly champion equality, diversity and inclusion. They are written in present tense to encourage action now. Over time these areas will be added to. I will make mistakes and I welcome feedback and learning.
I commit to reading books and papers on nature, science and art by a wide range of authors to inform my designs.
I commit to showing a wide range of people, including those from marginalised groups, enjoying we are stardust products and services in my images.
I commit to asking my suppliers how they champion equality, diversity and inclusion within their workplace and strive to work only with suppliers who have genuinely made an active effort to make this a core value, e.g. they have a diverse group of people on their board of directors.
Using my voice
I commit to using my voice to promote the work of people from marginalised groups interested in the intersection of science, art and nature on my website through blog interviews and in my social media feeds.
Ask for change
I commit to writing to magazines, organisations and events I love where I notice representation or active inclusion of marginalised groups is missing and ask for change. I am particularly passionate about access to nature. The vast health benefits the natural world offers us should be available to all.
I commit to including this rider when I am approached for my work to appear in magazines, blogs or shops and when I am invited to speak on podcasts and collaborate with others:
Please note, with any work I take on I have an inclusivity rider which means that I will only work with brands who represent a diverse range of people and under-represented groups.
I commit to creating a means of donating profits from some of we are stardust’s designs to support the work of community-led organisations that improve access to the natural world, science and art to marginalised groups.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion definitions
Equality enables us to create a fairer society where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Equality is backed by legislation (Equality Act 2010) which is designed to address unfair discrimination, harassment, and victimisation, to advance equality of opportunity, and to foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. However, this is everyone’s responsibility as well. There are nine protected characteristics:
- Gender assignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation.
Diversity is when we recognise and value difference in its broadest sense. It is about creating a culture and practices that recognise, respect, value, and embrace difference for everyone’s benefit.
Inclusion refers to an individual’s experience within a space, e.g. art, science and nature, and in wider society, and the extent to which they feel valued and included.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are different things and they need to be progressed together. Equality of opportunity will only exist when we recognise and value difference and work together for inclusion. In the context of Black Lives Matter, this also means being pro-actively anti-racist. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will only be achieved through action.
These definitions have been taken from Calico’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Handbook.