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Black Lives Matter.

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Image via @girlknewyork

art via @girlknewyork

Looking Back

Phew. We made it. The sprint out of the gates is over and we're all starting to catch our breaths. Our lungs are burning, legs are aching, but we're settling in for a long run now. It's been two weeks since George Floyd was horrifically murdered in front of our eyes. What started as a dull roar of anger has grown into waves of protest demanding change - demanding we open our eyes to the reality of what it means to be black in this country. Personally, it seems like I've learned more about black history, REAL black history, in two weeks than I did in nearly 21 years of formal education.

It's breathtaking. 

As a white woman working in science while moonlighting in retail, I felt as though I was more "woke" about racism than many. I grew up in Ferguson, MO, worked in diverse areas of retail, and even wrote a master's thesis about environmental racism. As founded in fact and inclusivity as I believed my opinions were, the truth was this: my narrative of racism in America failed to acknowledge one of the most important factors of racism - my narrative was crafted from the white version of history. It was told by white teachers in white schools in white washed textbooks where white retellings of history drowned out the voices of black Americans telling their experiences. 

Moreover, it was MY narrative of racism - a white woman's narrative of racism. The narrative of what racism was never mine to tell. It can't be my narrative. I've never experienced racism as a consequence of the color of my skin. 

As uncomfortable as it is to acknowledge your privilege, the subsequent personal growth as you acknowledge how society permits you to exist according to the color of your skin is essential to understanding this movement.

I can't change the color of my skin. You can't either. But we can promise to utilize the power it gives use to affect change. It's not our story to tell.

Black Lives Matter. 

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Moving Forward

Today, Revival is launching our first (of many) events advocating for racial justice and standing with the Black Lives Matter movement. This event will be the first of many - we will not return to normal. We have been inundated with information for two weeks now. We have closed our mouths, opened our ears, and begun to learn. There are so many roads to justice and we just starting to plot our route.

We first want to acknowledge our role in the complacency of maintaining the old normal. We were not vocal advocates for Black lives. We are vowing to do better. Over the coming weeks, months, and years, we will be highlighting ways in which our community can learn and stand with us as we advocate for Black lives. 

We will begin with our event benefitting Humanize My Hoodie. For every donation made, Revival will match the donation up to a total of $1,000. You will also receive a discount code for our shop. Humanize my Hoodie was co-founded by an Iowa City native, Andre Wright, with Dr. Jason Sole to shift the paradigm of how police, and society, view a black body in a hoodie. For more information, please visit their site https://www.humanizemyhoodie.com/

In the coming weeks, we plan to continue educating our customers and community by highlighting some important facets of this movement. We will highlight important histories on how race has been portrayed in fashion, sustainability, LGBTQ+ rights, as well as many others that affect our shop. We will also be making changes internally including diversifying our models and analyzing how our brands responded to the Black Lives Matter movement. We want you to hold us accountable to these changes and we will be writing more about our process of change and the self reflection we have performed collectively as a store. We are lowering our voices to listen and using our privilege to amplify the voices of the Black community. 

Finally, we hope everyone is taking the time they need to reflect and tend to your mental health. We are still in the midst of a pandemic. We are now in the midst of a social revolution. We encourage you to talk about how this is affecting you - write it down, speak it out loud. Read accounts of how other voices, both black and white, have internalized and processed these events.

Reflect. Answer. Move Forward. 

xoxo,

Revival

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