I’ve been trying to write you this post for days. Every word I write I erase because there are a thousand things I want to say and I feel like none of it is good enough or “right” enough.
But not saying anything for fear of messing up isn’t helpful either. So even if in my attempt to put my emotions into words I stumble, please know where this imperfect letter comes from. My heart.
First: I love you. I love humans and all of their maddening, complicated, bizarro selves. I love the world and it’s endlessly fascinating and diverse cultures. I love our differences and our similarities. It’s why I travel, it’s why I want you to travel with me, so we can experience it in wide-eyed wonder and joy together.
Second: I hate inequality. I hate that the world doesn’t work the same for everyone. I hate divisiveness. I fucking hate racism.
I stand with Black Lives Matter. End of story.
I’m sick to my core by the brutal murder of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, of Ahmaud Aberey. I’m sick that this is just three instances in an entire SEA OF BRUTALITY. To think that anyone has to fear for their safety because of the color of their skin is so unacceptable that it feels paralyzing at times.
Some of my core values are inclusiveness, connection, and kindness.
With every trip I take and tour I create I make an effort to spotlight global cultures. My goal is to positively impact everyone I come into contact with.
When you travel with me, your tour dollars go directly to families who welcome you into their homes and share their trade, life’s passions and time with you. I avoid dealing with corporations wherever possible. I want you to feel a true sense of place and I want locals to benefit from your visit.
Travel has to be meaningful for both the visited and the visitor in my book.
I strive to apply this philosophy at home as well. While I might not curate tours in the United States, that doesn’t mean that I don’t direct my money and attention to making life better for everyone here as well.
By now you’ve received a flood of emails with a lot of lists on how you can be an active part of dismantling this broken racist system.
If you’re white this may be the first time these organizations, resources, and people have appeared on your radar. I put some of those suggestions out on my IG earlier this week as well.
Here’s another step I’d like to suggest:
Seek out and Support Black-owned businesses and organizations
Let’s work harder to invest our money in each other, not corporations. Especially corporations who extract BILLIONS from our economy.
Corporations that only enrich those at the very top.
Corporations that are not protecting their employees from systemic racism, wealth inequality, or even providing safe working conditions.
Let’s spend our money on each other and small businesses where we can.
Especially black-owned businesses, especially those run by black women. The one-woman shows, the entrepreneurs, the mom and pop shops, the artists, and the grassroots organizations.
You can do so much just by making the effort to lift up and buy from businesses run by minorities, by women, and by families trying to get ahead.
I’ve compiled a shortlist of businesses owned by black women where you can spend your money that will actually enrich someone’s life directly, not just throw it down a billionaire’s bottomless well. This is just the beginning.
–> The below black-owned businesses, services, and organizations are provided by women of color. I also endorse them because they are also my personal friends and a few of their friends. I figure starting with women I personally know is a great place to start, and the network can grow from there.
Please check them out, support them, buy from them, and share this with your friends.
Seek out and support crafts, artists, services, and products created by women and people of color in your own community. Where we spend our money matters. It’s another way to help dismantle racism at a local level.
Products and Services
Contact Nikki for a consultation if you or your business need help with Copy Writing, Social Media Management or Branding Strategy.
Encompass Medical Group – Dr. Corinthia McLeroy, MD
If you are in Dallas, Texas, here’s your new Primary Care Physician
Moss Boss Health – Order 100% Irish sea moss directly from Marketta. Use as both a health supplement and topically (also please watch the video on her home page. If you were one of those kids that let glue dry on your hands (like me) you get it.
If you’re in Los Angeles and want to take a private boat tour on the Pacific Ocean, harbor cruise or celebrate a special occasion with a sunset cruise, contact Grace and Chris. The Blue Moon offers a variety of marine life tours, as well as an unforgettable party venue or a romantic cruise.
Contact Inger for packages that include planning sessions, emergency support calls and on-camera workouts.
Online classes available as well as beginner specials. Contact Nailah directly if you have a group that wants to try a beginner class online and she’ll work with you. DM her on Instagram at TheresSoMuchToSee.
Organizations that Need Donations – So Go Donate (I did too)!
Our Mission – We mobilize young women around the globe for social change through community development and social action. Through travel and cross-cultural experiences, we ignite the leadership ambitions of our scholars to be change-makers in their communities and lead the mission of changing our world one girl at a time.
Our Purpose – To access the untapped potential that exists in 51% of our population by creating transformative experiences that mobilise and motivate girls to lead impactful community change.
Our Vision – Throughout the developing world girls are taking on and being recognised for their leadership potential and impact. We are creating a network of girls who recognise their intrinsic power as change-makers and are inspiring and motivating each other towards, individual, community and global transformation.
Help Fund this Community Gardening Initiative run by Natasha Nicholes (who runs the website Houseful of Nicholes) and her husband Shomari.
From Natasha: Your money goes into every part of the farm. Want to know how it’s spent?
Well, $25 supports a chicken for a month (those jokers eat a LOT) meaning fresh eggs for the community.
$75 builds a cedar raised bed.
$650 gets us a full truckload of soil to fills the raised beds!
$1000 can sponsor 3 beehives, and create a source of honey for our community to purchase.
$3000 can buy us a hoop house.
We also use donations for small things like fencing, and general support for volunteers when they are on-site. Snacks, water, gloves, tools, hats, etc.
Let’s unite and make this world better.
Listen to each other, love one another, try your best, be okay with making mistakes, and when it’s safe to do so, keep traveling.
Oh, and vote racists out of every single level of local, state and federal government.