Hi there, Laura here, founder and CEO of Soul Addict. I’d like to start off that silence has never been something I’m very good at when it comes to the inequality I see in America. I don’t find it easy, and in fact, these days I find it almost violent. Silence is what has gotten us here and I’ve never found it tolerable to *not* be active when I see wrong. I’m not just outraged. I’ve been outraged for years and I have been in tears a lot the last few months in regards to racial disparity within America. I speak for the entire Soul Addict team on this. At the same time, I am not taking space away from my brothers and sisters within the black community- my experience isn’t what’s important at all as a white woman– I’ll save that for those who have lived through being black in America. What I can do is share what I’m doing and how I’m not being silent as a white woman, business owner and actionable ally. I’d like to think of these thoughts as my ‘preface’ of sorts for the next recollection of my thoughts.
As a brand, especially within the cannabis industry, I’ve always found it my mission is to make Soul Addict a safe space for us to come together and be real about the realities that exist around us. However, while we are a safe space, we will not also be a comfortable place for the old narrative. So above all, thank you for joining us here and allowing this to be a collective opportunity to do better and be the change. This isn’t ‘my’ space- it’s ours. I actively want SA to be a brand that is a direct catalyst for a collective, conscious change we believe is a basic human right. I will share my small perspective, but this is really just me sharing what I am doing to be an actionable ally for black Americans.
I have been working through what it means to be a white woman in America for quite some time. I deeply acknowledge we need a revolution. I have been sharing on this topic in conversations that are almost always uncomfortable– and that’s the point.
As I shared in last week’s newsletter: My biggest lessons in being a white woman with inherent privilege have come from Rachel Cargle (see below). I started following her work in 2018 as a white woman wanting to do some serious unpacking on what that means. The big lesson was: I have a lot to unlearn. What I’ve learned, while ‘unlearning’ (directly from Rachel Cargle) is: It’s my job as a white woman to ensure ‘comfortable conversations’ are no longer the destination of white-to-white rhetoric within racial awareness. Especially when considering owning a business within cannabis, an industry that rewards white people and still PoC sit in jail for this exact same action (see below, The Last Prisoner Project for more). I must be a part of the revolution of change where we demand white people cannot be comfortable any longer. We cannot change the way black bodies are treated within ‘comfortable’, ‘safe’, ‘complacent’, “I’m just in shock” discourse. These type of conversations with little-to-no-actionable allyship is the same symptom that has continued to oppress and systematically water down the black American experience.
As a founder of a company I have called ‘conscious’ from day 1, I won’t turn this off from our platform because it’s a part of our platform. Soul Addict has always been about radically calling out the sickness we’ve experienced as Americans. Our food supply, our capitalistic gains off the backs of those who don’t even have basic health needs covered, our soil from over-farming, the history of slow progress within Mental Health awareness, addictions that are stigmatized rather than going deep within the root of why our human experience led us there. This is all relevant to our brand and this is what I find worth my while as a business owner. I’m not building another silent brand that sits quietly in the corner ensuring we’re ‘on brand’ and comfortable.
We are not, and never will be, a silent brand. Within all of this, I deeply respect this community and hope you’ll find the same respect for us expressing our thoughts on a topic that needs white voices demanding a revolution.
Below, I have tagged those who have inspired me this week + donated to + resources I have found helpful when it comes to being truly ‘actionable’ as a white woman/person and not another talking point. Please know you have any questions or thoughts you can respond to this email and a real human will be behind the screen listening. We here for the open discourse within our community + send along what you’re doing so I can help spread this on our social channels.
FOLLOW: Rachel Cargle and join her monthly Patreon ‘The Great Unlearn’, a community where she spends her time un-teaching systematic oppression, white feminism and introducing lessons to help guide you through your own privileged experience as an ally.
DO: 75 things white people can do for Racial Justice. Actionable Allyship and examples from Black Americans on the Black American experience.
LISTEN: Rachel Cargle is hosting a live on these very topics tomorrow, Saturday evening. You can re-watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leBPMyQ60HM
DONATE: The Last Prisoner Project, Color of Change, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Council for Incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Dream Defenders, The Loveland Foundation, Healing Justice for QTPOC within the Minnesota Healing Justice Network
Thank you for being here, sharing space with us and being an ally with me and our team. I see you. I hear you, and I will fight everyday to lift you up. You can also watch my address to our community here + or click on picture, below.