YOU MAY JUST BE WONDERING...
'Are those White girls at GFJ still talking about antiracism?' Yes. Yes, we are.
We've written recently about how 'intent vs. impact' continues to come up in our daily lives, both personally and professionally. Another concept that recurs, and helps to spur us onward, is that of 'clean pain' vs. 'dirty pain'.
In My Grandmother's Hands, Resmaa Menakem writes, "In my therapy office, I tell clients there are two kinds of pain: clean pain and dirty pain. Clean pain is pain that mends and can build your capacity for growth. It's the pain you experience when you know, exactly, what you need to say or do; when you really, really don't want to say or do it; and when you do it anyway." (italics ours)
He goes on to write, "It's also the pain you experience when you have no idea what to do; when you're scared or worried about what might happen; and when you step forward into the unknown anyway, with honesty and vulnerability."
Last week, we talked about the need for cultural change, which is being outlined for us by many brilliant change leaders, including Menakem and Ibram X. Kendi. But if there is one thing to know about this process, it's that the effort must be sustained over the long-term.
If that makes you feel tired, we get it. No one is advocating for you to run yourself into the ground; in fact, it's essential for every human with the privilege and power to take a break and recharge, to figure out how to do so. But if you do have that privilege and power, as we - White, small-business owners, backed by generational wealth - do, then you must also 'spend your privilege' as Ashtin Berry reminded us this week (she also made us laugh with her beautiful humor, which is another way to restore yourself).
This week, we are spending our privilege by removing the option to post an internship on GFJ that isn't paid minimum wage* or better.
(*Is the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour livable? No. Many states have raised their minimum wage up to $15 an hour, and you can find a list of those states here. We'll be continuing to advocate for increased minimum wage through our access to voting and through our feedback to employers on GFJ.)
If this seems like an abrupt change, we could argue that it has been too slow. Since 2014, when we removed internships that were 'volunteer' or compensated only by 'experience', we've been searching for a solution that felt balanced. We wanted to capture those 'gray area' internships where the employer really did provide a fantastic opportunity, coupled with tangible benefits like room and board and fresh farm vegetables. But our good intentions allowed us to stay comfortable in a situation where many BIPOC are more than uncomfortable. The impact of unpaid internships is that they promote white supremacy by continuing to boost the career trajectories (i.e. wealth) of the White people who are disproportionately able to access them.
While our search for balance felt comfortable, in some ways, it also made us feel what Menakem would call 'dirty pain' - "...the pain of avoidance, blame, and denial." He writes, "When people respond from their most wounded parts, become cruel or violent, or physically or emotionally run away, they experience dirty pain. They also create more of it for themselves and others."
Internships that benefit a person or persons already in a privileged position perpetuate dirty pain. We are not so naive as to think that there won't continue to be unpaid internships posted on other platforms. But we do commit to educating the people who post with us on why we do not offer that option, and how employers can create more equitable businesses, which in turn create equitable opportunities for BIPOC. If unpaid internships are still a thing when BIPOC have equal access to them, then we'll happily welcome them back.
In the meantime, how will you join us in re-creating culture? You can't do everything, every day. But you can so something every day. What are you doing to practice? Remember that empathy is not enough. Listen, engage, think, participate, act by:
- Reading literature by Black authors
- Donating to a Black benefitting cause, even in it is just $10 each month
- Buying from Black-owned businesses
- Reading books that features Black joy to your children
- Listening to a podcast featuring Black voices
- Researching / watching / learning about the history of the United States through a Black lens
- Sharing Your Mic with a Black voice / sharing the work of a Black person whose work you admire
- Unpacking White Fragility with your White friends / family / colleagues
- Reflecting on how you unknowingly perpetuate White dominant culture
- Working with an accountability partner to ensure that you continue to do the work
See below in the tidbits for some consolidated lists to use as a springboard to keep you moving.
Dor + Tay
To the privileged: spend it forward.
In food, justice, and food justice,
Rob Veggies photographed by Andre Gallant for GFJ Stories
resources on anti-racism, environmentalism and food culture AKA stuff we're reading / listening to / watching / noticing / thinking about / captivated by this Tuesday . . .
'If you don’t do everything you can do to change things, then they will remain the same.' - Barack Obama, in his eulogy for John Lewis.
Patreon is a tool for creators to build a business based on paid membership from their community of followers. If you liked the two links to Ashtin Berry above, then consider becoming a patron to her work.
It's no secret that we love the U.S. postal service. Here are two ways to do your part to help save it, featured on @soyouwanttotalkabout and Vote Foreward.
Thanks to Yewande Komolafe I have a new favorite summer dish: Spicy Cucumbers with Yogurt, Lemon and Herbs.
Don't know where to begin? Work your way through any of these lists of resources and/or compiled calendars to get you going: Good Beer Hunting, Justice in June, West End House 30-Day Anti Racism Challenge, @antiracismcalendar.
John Melngailis, of Black Rooster Food, has a story to share about bread (and his wife, Michaele Weissman, has one to share about marriage, but they might be the same thing).
Our list of books to read is long, and that's a good problem to have. This week, thanks to a newsletter reader's recommendation, we added The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., the Surgeon General of California.
got a tidbit? drop it here for us and we'll share it in next week's newsletter.