Stylists like Joseph Cassell, Jason Bolden, June Ambrose and more are sharing personal stories, call-to-actions and resources when it comes to the current climate of our nation. Below are 10 individuals who embody being vessels for change and are using their voice to create perspective and awareness. As Martin Luther King Jr. shared, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
Featured image Credit @Wayman+Micah
This is my son. He is black. He is eleven. I’m filled with fear when I think of the world my husband, his younger brother and I share with him, but I know that every purposeful, peaceful and courageous step of each protester in every city in our country and around the world leads us all closer to understanding and change. Recent images of policemen in uniform making white power symbols with their hands while protesters are in those same images fighting for justice and for their lives make me sick. Change must happen RIGHT NOW. Systemic racism in our police force must be rooted out, removed and in many cases prosecuted. Blas and I are often discussing with our son the dangers he faces because of the color of his skin… that people have been and are being killed because of the color of their skin. We started having these conversations with him when he was 8 years old. This is an insanity that has been a part of our country since it’s inception. Racism must die. Not my child. No one should die or be diminished in any way because of the color of their skin. What’s happening in the world right now fills me with despair, fear and also hope. Hope because our nation and allies around the world are actively pursuing justice and reform through words and deeds. I feel hopeful when I see police officers laying down their weapons and joining the protesters and when I see images of cops who take a knee in respect and reverence for the black and brown lives lost at the hands of the police. For those who can safely protest PLEASE continue. For those who remain steadfast allies but cannot physically participate please use the links below to donate to organizations who are on the front lines helping win the war against racism. I’ve also included a link in bio to informational resources.
Black Lives Matter
The Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org
Here is a crowdsourced Google Doc of bail funds nationwide:
Equal Justice Initiative https://support.eji.org/give/153413/#!/donation/checkout”Image and caption credit: Joseph Cassell’s Instagram
“Brothers and sisters do not surrender your hope! We must continue to stand with one another to birth change. There has been a lack of focus on changing the conditions that has led to these actions. We are witnessing the harvest of injustice, systemic racism, and privileged legislation. Current legislation favors a majority and excluding a minority. We love you and stand with you! We Matter! Our Black lives matter! In the words of Terrance Floyd… ‘Peace on the left, Justice on the right!”’Image and caption credit: Wayman and Micah
“Now is the time to speak up, educate yourself, open yourself to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations, vote for leaders that share in the fundamental belief that #racism must end, and that #blacklivesmatter. We each have the power to change the narrative. Today I pledge to practice what I preach and spread the message that racial injustice and inequality has no place on this earth. #blacklivesmatter#blackrightsmatter#humanrightsareequalrights”Image and caption credit: Micaela Erlanger
“JUSTICE ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾 EQUALITY”Image and caption credit: Jason Bolden
“I am a BLACK MAN!…..We build ….We don’t tear down other BLACK MEN! ….We have felt the pain of being torn down & I have decided I will be deliberate about building others! too often, we men find it easier to criticize each other, instead of building each other up. With all the negativity going around let’s do something positive!!🌟 Upload 1 picture of yourself…ONLY you. Then tag as many brothers to do the same. Let’s build ourselves up, instead of tearing ourselves down. (If I tagged you, don’t disappoint me!!) #BLM#BlackMan”Image and caption credit: Bryan Javar
“On this 9th day of June #georgefloyd will finally be laid to rest, but we must not! 🕊🕊 May his life lead us to justice, equality and peace! 🖤:Image and caption credit: June Ambrose Instagram
Artwork by @ohhappydani ❤️
Hatred, racism, bigotry, xenophobia and discrimination are not new concepts in this country, they are only being amplified more than ever because of technology, because the news moves faster, because we are able to see images now in ways we cannot ignore.⠀
These conversations are difficult but necessary. I believe deeply that people can change, that knowledge and experience are power, that the mistakes of a past do not have to define a future, and that the future of humanity and the impact we can have are decidedly up to us.
The time for all of those things is now.
It’s not enough to just see color, we must honor it. Having empathy for experiences that are not your own is so important, but it will never be the same as a lived experience. I will never know what it is like to go through oppression or struggle based on the color of my skin. It’s important I recognize that, and use my spaces to not only amplify the message of love, but also to stand firmly behind those who are unfairly and unjustly oppressed. I must honor a history that is not my own, and work to understand and have compassion for its deep implications. I have to ask myself today and every day after how I can be a better ally, a better advocate; ask myself how my work, my words, my world, can better represent and honor the lived experiences of those I care for so deeply, and for those I do not know personally. I must work every day towards ending the injustices that tear us apart, even if it makes me uncomfortable, even if it reveals that which makes me uncomfortable with myself.
We owe it to those who cannot do so. Ask the hard questions. Recognize our own ignorance. Want better for our future generations.
Change starts within ourselves. I hope you choose to keep an open heart and mind with me. With love. ❤️”Image and caption credit: Brandon Maxwell Instagram
“I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts and it’s been very difficult to express how I feel. My heart is heavy and I am angry, sad and just emotionally exhausted. Our issues with racism and police brutality have been going on way too long and without the true help of those in charge of our states. We need to work smarter by researching all of those in charge at our local levels and START VOTING in those who are truly wanting to make a change for the better. If they don’t, we need to work together to make sure they’re held accountable. #EnoughisEnough Make sure you’re registered to VOTE!#justiceforgeorgefloyd#justiceforahmaud#justiceforbreonnataylor#blacklivesmatter #enoughisenough#togetherwecanmakeadifference ✊🏽”Image and caption credit: Monica Rose
- https://www.instagram.com/karlawelchstylist/Karla Welch
There is a lot more to this quote. In context: “I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.’”Image and caption credit: Karla Welch
If you enjoy reading more about conscious creators and perspectives, read about 10 Fashion Designers Letting Their Voices Be Heard.