#BlackLivesMatter - An Open Letter From Jo Chidley

I’d like to talk about racism and #BlackLivesMatter. I am not an expert in this subject but I have personal experience of discrimination and I find it abhorrent. I and Beauty Kitchen, have a voice and it is time to use it.

 

We’ve always been active in supporting a diverse culture and range of causes but have rarely talked about them. We are always listening, learning and will continue to act. But right now we have something to say to you about the systemic disease that is racism and I’d like to thank Marta Canga for challenging me to do this.

 

The “R” number, which stands for “Reproduction”, is headline news right now as we fight the pandemic disease that is coronavirus.

 

As the first high street beauty business to become a B Corporation we have a continuous commitment to use business as a force for good, protecting the environment and the community.

 

We believe that the collective worlds rapid response to reducing the coronavirus “R” number sets a new benchmark on what can and should be done when lives are at stake. The target for the coronavirus “R” number is zero and together we will achieve that soon enough with a vaccine.

 

However, there are two other global pandemics that we cannot treat with a vaccine. Racism and the Climate Emergency pose an even greater threat to life. They are both systemic issues that need rapid action on a massive scale.

 

I started Beauty Kitchen to use business as a force for good with an equal weighting on the community, the environment and profit in every decision we make.

 

We are pioneering unique change within the circular economy, in particular to impact the “R” number that is “Reuse” of packaging. We are getting results from small changes that have a BIG IMPACT. We keep doing the right thing and are influencing customers and other businesses to follow us. Our voice has grown loud and we are leading the conversation on this topic whilst others follow.

 

Our voice has not been so loud on the “R” number that is Racism. We have supported charities with donations and pro-bono work since 2014, but rarely talked about it. That is no longer enough.

 

We are not experts in the subject, but we want to use our voice to amplify a zero tolerance approach to racism. We have been listening, learning and acting. We have been and will always:

  • Look internally at our own business and culture
  • Donate to charities (see list below)
  • Review & audit the ethics of who we buy from and sell to
  • Review & audit the ethics of the people and businesses we work with

 

From now on we will also force the topic of Racism onto the agenda of as many events that we participate in as possible.

 

We will continue to fight this pandemic until the “R” number that is Racism reaches zero.

 

We encourage you to listen, learn and act to eliminate racism. Small changes make a BIG IMPACT.

 

MEASURE:

Take a discrimination test at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html

 

READ:

  • No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland by Neil Davidson
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • How to be an anti-racist – Ibram X. Kendi
  • White Fragility – Robin Deangelo’s
  • We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

DONATE:

  • Minnesota Freedom Fund
  • Bail Project
  • Black Visions Collective
  • Reclaim the Block
  • North Star Health Collective
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black Lives Matter UK
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
  • The Movement for Black Lives​
  • Stop Watch UK
  • Girlfriend Collective

 

 So Far Beauty Kitchen Donations Have Benefited:

  • Uganda – directly supporting 3 community projects
  • Bradford District Community Empowerment Network
  • Muslim Council of Britain Charitable Foundation
  • Black Arts Alliance
  • Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Trust
  • Pakistani Resource Centre
  • Action For Refugees In Lewisham
  • Agency for Culture and Change Management
  • Inspired
  • Rise Community Action
  • Bengali Workers Association
  • Iraqi Welfare Association
  • Central Africa's Rights & AIDS (CARA) Society

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