Our Anti Racist Pledge
Mike and I acknowledge that we have only recently woken up to the reality of pervasive and systemic racism in many aspects of American life, including in the wedding industry. We firmly believe that when you know better you should do better. We can’t go back and change our actions (or inaction), but we can commit to change moving forward. In order to effect the change we want especially in the wedding industry, everyone has to hold each other accountable to what they say they will do, and that’s why we want to make our action plan public:
1. Educate ourselves: It is not the job of other folks to teach us – we have to do the work. To that end, we will not stop at reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi or White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. We will actively seek out books, podcasts, articles from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators to learn more about these marginalized communities and their experiences.
2. See something, say something: We won’t let “off-color” comments go unchecked in our immediate sphere of influence. Being uncomfortable with calling them out as wrong is not an excuse to roll our eyes and let it slide.
3. Representation: Ensure that humans of all kinds and abilities are represented in our content when it comes to styled shoots and what we share or show on our website and social media.
Long story short, having black friends doesn’t make us “not racist” and/or somehow more evolved than others who are actively racist. We also know now that “not seeing color” is a polite euphemism for the whitewashing of cultures different than our own which has resulted in a VERY homogenous wedding industry aesthetic that leaves little room for other cultures to be seen as “normal.”
When we opened Elm Pass Woods, we wanted it to be a place that every person felt welcomed – and we truly believed that was enough. But we know now that it isn’t, and we pledge to do the work to make that goal something real and meaningful.