Last week, we hit the pause button. The team and I needed to pay attention, educate ourselves, grow, and reflect on how we can evolve and become more of an inclusive brand. Our hearts were (and still are) wide open while we listened and learned and gave space for the Black Community to speak and have their voices heard. What happened behind the scenes is something I will never forget. Every single day last week (and this week) has been dedicated to conversation. Difficult conversation, uncomfortable conversation, important conversation, and impactful conversation. Conversation with myself, my team, my family, and educators. A week has gone by, and while I feel as though I have learned SO much, I know that I have SO far to go.
As a leader, a mother, a boss, and an influencer, my mission has always been to spread kindness, do good, and elevate others to do the same. This brand has grown and evolved as I recognize and work to change my own flaws and shortcomings as a human being. I recognize that while using my voice and creating this space for all of you, I have avoided an important conversation around diversity, inclusion, and equity. I have failed to recognize my own white privilege and how it has greatly benefited me.
Unlike my typical reactional behaviour, I really felt that I needed to do something different this time. I want to be careful not to knee jerk and create content or share my thoughts only to ‘prove’ that this is important to me. Thoughtful change takes time, I may make mistakes, but my commitment is unwavering. As I evolve, naturally so will this brand, as you all have seen over the years. I will do better. I will listen more intentionally.
So what am I, Jillian Harris, our brand and Jilly Box going to do moving forward? Well, that is what we are working on. There are many more conversations to have. I am at the beginning of this journey. Some of you are light years ahead of me, some are behind me, some are right here with me. I have always believed that once you know better, you do better and that is my promise to this community.
I want to share with you what is top of mind in my work. I do this because I know silence is not the answer. Here is what I’ll be up to, I hope my communities can join me at their starting point in this important work together in anti-racism. This list will evolve but here is where I’m at personally.
- Starting the work to address how I contribute and benefit from white privilege
- Continue to learn about how to be anti-racist
- Continue to have conversations in our household and with our kids about race
- Continue to have conversations with the team, family members, friends, colleagues, and the community
- Expand beyond our ‘bubble’ to support and champion diversity in our community
- Support BIPOC folks in action by attending events, donating, and supporting businesses owned by non-white people
I had a big list of what as an influencer, brand, and business we will be doing. I still do. But this list of personal accountability is a top priority for me and will have a large impact on how I am able to use my brand and business to do better. I look forward to the big learnings ahead not because it’s easy, not because I think I’m going to ‘fix’ things, but because it’s the right thing to do.