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Where We Stand on Issues of Social Justice

This page last updated on March 20, 2022.

This page will serve both businesses we run, Wandering Aimfully, and our software company Teachery.

Welcome! If you find yourself here, you’re likely interested in learning more about what we stand for as a business and the issues facing our world that we have a passion for addressing.

We hope in reading this page, you will gain a better understanding of who we are by learning about who we aim to help protect.

Wandering Aimfully Stance on Social Justice

We intend to update this page on an ongoing basis, as we continue to better educate ourselves on some of the human injustices present in our society. You can always find this badge within our footer that will lead you here in case you want to check back in as we update.

We want you to know that we share these positions with you not as an announcement of who or what we are against, but in an effort to affirm who and what we are for.

We believe there is power in who we choose to spend money with or whose ideas we choose to amplify, and so we want to be fully transparent with you so you can make an informed choice on whether you’d like to spend money or time with our business.

Ultimately, we desire a world where all humans have an equal opportunity to have their humanity celebrated, to pursue joy, and to be protected from harm. That’s the vision you’re aligning with when you choose to support us.

The issues we hope to address on this page (as a start) are: racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, and climate justice.

We support racial justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and we are committed to being an inclusive, anti-racist organization

This page was originally published in response to weeks of ongoing protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement, precipitated by the many wrongful deaths of Black people (many at the hands of the police) including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

These protests were the catalyst for us to engage in deeper, more meaningful work on anti-racism than we had ever endeavored to do before.

Upon doing that work, it became clear to us that one action we could take in supporting our BIPOC friends would be to unequivocally reject the ideals of white supremacy that still permeate our culture and to take a public stand in solidarity with activists and citizens trying to close the disparities between white and non-white Americans (and people worldwide).

(Ps. You may see us refer to the Black community specifically throughout this page because that community is experiencing a particular kind of centuries-long egregious oppression, but please know it’s also our intention to be inclusive in recognizing many of the inequities that all people of color experience to varying degrees throughout all facets of our society.)

 


Why we care

We run an international community, but our perspective is that of two American citizens. The United States has always said it intends to stand for “liberty and justice for all,” but the current system has largely failed at following through on that promise for Black Americans, Indigenous Americans and American people of color.

Black Americans specifically have been systemically oppressed through policies like mass incarceration, voter suppression, a biased criminal justice system, housing inequality, income inequality, and unequal treatment in our healthcare system—all vestiges of a society built on the very foundation of enslaving African American people.

Here are just a few facts that help support the notion that policies in this country do not protect all people equally and racial discrimination permeates:

  • The net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family as of 2016 [source]
  • A 2002 experiment showed that resumes with “white-sounding” names were much more likely to result in callbacks for interviews than were those with “black-sounding” names (even though the resumes were otherwise identical). [source]
  • Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of white people, and at least ten times the rate in five states. [source]
  • The current 30-percentage-point gap between black and white homeownership is larger than it was in 1968, when housing discrimination was legal [source]
  • Black women are more than twice as likely as white women to die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. [source]

 


Our role…

We know that as two white Americans, we hold an immense number of privileges that our fellow BIPOC friends do not. We have knowingly and unknowingly upheld racist ideas and perpetuated racist ideologies in the past, and we have at times been silently complicit in maintaining norms that, at best, make BIPOC feel marginalized and undervalued, and at worst, have proven to be downright fatal.

We are no longer interested in burying our heads in the sand on these issues. We are working every day to better educate ourselves and take actions in alignment with the anti-racist values we aim to uphold.

We believe that it’s our responsibility—as members of the racial group with the most power and privilege in perpetuating a system still intimately entangled with the notion of white supremacy—to challenge and help reimagine this unjust societal framework.

The world we want to live in is one where we all recognize the more diverse and inclusive our society is, the richer and better off we will all be.

We want to know that all people have access to good healthcare, a great education, community safety, financial resources, fair-paying jobs, and, above all, recognition of their equal humanity.

 


How we plan to participate in that change with our business…

To help work toward that vision of the future, we have set forth some actions we plan to take moving forward, both personally and in our business.

Some of these changes feel small and insignificant, others will take time to achieve, but all of them we feel are ways we can shift our daily lives and behaviors to further the cause of justice and work toward a world where people are not harmed disproportionately for the color of their skin.

Self-Education and Analysis

We know change first starts with widening our worldview and working to understand what it means to be anti-racist. We also know that doing this work requires us to ask hard questions about ourselves and examine our behavior and beliefs critically.

That's why we're committed to working through at least one anti-racism online course or program every quarter to learn from (and pay) the best educators already committed to this work

Diversifying Our Media Consumption

The media we consume and the influencers we look to help form our worldview. We want to make sure that’s a worldview that is actively choosing to incorporate BIPOC voices and perspectives.

  • In our household, Saturday night is always Classic Movie Night where we watch feel-good movies from the 80s-00’s. It occurred to us that most of these movies—in part due to the white-centered nature of Hollywood and in part due to our own implicit racial bias—feature white narratives. Moving forward, we will intentionally make space for movies in our line-up specifically highlighting BIPOC narratives, whether that be a movie like Just Mercy, bringing to light discrimination in the criminal justice system, or a comedy like Lovebirds, celebrating BIPOC joy, hilarity, and creativity. Our goal with this action is to enrich our repertoire beyond what we would instinctively reach for AND educate ourselves on the lives, stories, talents, and challenges of the Black community.
  • Follow more people of color on social media. More specifically, if we find one new non-Black account in a specific niche, we will make an effort to seek out the voice of a BIPOC in the same niche to intentionally diversify our perspectives on a topic we’re interested in.
  • We commit to asking each podcast we’re invited to give an interview for what their inclusion practices are to ensure we’re only lending our voices to platforms actively making an effort to amplify and feature more BIPOC voices.
  • Continue “decolonizing” our Kindle bookshelves (thank you to Ericka Hines on the Re-Imagining Small Business Town Hall for this phrase.) Out of the past 50 books Jason’s read, 20 have been from BIPOC and he’ll continue to actively maintain that diversity. (Jason’s pick: I just discovered N.K. Jemisin who is a Black sci-fi writer has tons of books to read; Caroline’s pick: I read a lot less for pleasure than Jason, but one recommended read, if you’re into romance, is The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory.)

Financial support

While voting in elections is of primary importance to affecting policy change, we also believe that *voting with our dollars* in support of BIPOC business owners is a way we can contribute to what we want to see more of in our world.

  • Audit our business expenses to ensure our money is going to businesses that have publicly acknowledged their support of Black Lives Matter and racial equity.
  • When hiring any contractors moving forward for Wandering Aimfully, Teachery, or our various other businesses, take the extra time to seek diverse candidates in those positions and commit to hiring Black contractors 30% of the time, and more broadly, BIPOC and women at least 50% of the time.
  • Set up monthly recurring donations of 5% of our profits across three different causes:
    • NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund (to support economic and criminal justice) - “LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.”
    • The Loveland Foundation (to support trauma healing) - “Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy.”
    • A rotating monthly local investment in a Black-owned business or smaller non-profit with a mission that supports racial equity. Here are just a few organizations, businesses or people we've supported:
      • A campaign for Nikki Helms’ dream to open a Black-owned birth center here in San Diego. We felt this was particularly important given the statistics showing the disproportionate mother mortality rate of Black women in childbirth.
      • A campaign to start Black Diego magazine, a magazine celebrating Black culture in the San Diego area.
      • A campaign to support a local Black entrepreneur’s business Extraordinary Banana Pudding, during COVID
      • Sista Afya Community Care, an organization specializing in bringing free and affordable mental wellness resources like therapy to Black women in the Chicago area

Using our platform and voice

  • Write this page, share in our footer across our site, and continue to update as we learn, evolve and seek new information to inform our values.
  • Be among the vocal anti-racist voices in our family/friend groups and be courageous in challenging racist ideas while pointing people to more qualified sources of education.
  • With every coaching session moving forward, clearly state our values of inclusivity and justice at the beginning of every session, and reiterate our commitment to try and facilitate uncomfortable or challenging conversations around race inside our community.
  • Facilitate dialogue in our Slack channel with our members where we can discuss as a group the changes we’re all learning about ourselves/making in our lives.
  • Amplify voices of BIPOC and feature BIPOC-owned business owners in our teaching content.

Some of you reading that list may say, that’s a lot.
Some of you reading that list may say, that’s not enough.
And the truth is, we think it’s both. Yes, it’s a lot…AND it is not enough. But, it’s a start.

We made this list because we believe these actions are tiny, intentional changes to make in our daily lives that will hopefully combine with tiny, intentional changes that other white business owners are making, and when added up together they can shift the movement toward justice further.

We hope this gives you some ideas of where to start too.

 


What this means for you as a customer, reader or subscriber…

We hope that when you buy from us or support us, you know that you’re supporting a business trying each day to commit itself to inclusion, justice, and love of humanity.

If you’re a person of color, we hope you know you are valued in this community, and your voice will be heard. If you ever feel that’s not the case, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll be ready to listen.

If you’re a white member of our community, we hope you feel you’re in a space that is willing to have the uncomfortable, messy conversations that have been avoided for far too long. And we hope you know we’re on this educational learning/un-learning journey with you.

We know wading into these waters means that conflict will inevitably arise.

We’re not going to get it right all the time. When that situation arises, we’ll do our best to hold space for those disagreements and that discourse, while trying to maintain a level of respect and not allowing for harmful or inflammatory language.

We have created a formal Harm Repair Process that we reiterate with our community each coaching session so everyone knows how and when to offer feedback so we learn and apologize or make things right when needed.

We know we will continue to make missteps due to gaps in our knowledge and the limits of our privilege. Our commitment to you is to show up humbly, and ready for correction. We will do our very best to practice non-defensiveness, to provide context when needed so you know the people you're learning from are actively engaged in these shared values, to listen even when it’s hard, and to apologize sincerely when we’ve caused harm.

Know that we are always doing our best behind the scenes to continually educate ourselves. That burden should not exclusively fall to the Black community. As we have learned, this is a problem that was originated by white people and it’s on us to engage in solutions that make things better moving forward.

Resources that have helped educate us

*Please note: It was brought to our attention that some members of the Black community have taken issue with this work, specifically in the co-opting of work from other voices discussing anti-racism without credit. We have read FB post threads and various opinions on this, but since we are not a part of those communities or have not witnessed these criticisms in full context, we hesitate to delete this book from the list. Plus, this post is all about updating and learning in real-time! Instead we encourage you to do your own research and investigate all works that you consume on these topics, as we intend to do!


In addition to racial justice, these are issues that it’s important to us to clearly state so there’s no confusion on who is welcome in WAIM or what we believe.

🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ We support LGBTQIA+ equality and we embrace and support queer, trans and non-binary people

We embrace and affirm people of all genders, including those who are non-binary or agender, and we celebrate people across the vast spectrums of gender expressions and sexualities. We think everyone deserves to be seen and loved for who they are, with equal legal rights to marriage, having children (should they choose that), and above all, safety.

As two cisgender, heterosexual people, we are constantly trying to educate ourselves on how to break out of heteronormative patterns and make our LGBTQIA+ members feel fully comfortable and celebrated. Film projects like Disclosure and Suited have helped evolve our understanding of the trans experience and gender-nonconformity, along with the work of gender non-conforming creators like Alok Vaid-Menon.

A few steps we’ve taken just in the way we run WAIM as a coaching program:

  • Encouraging our WAIMers (if comfortable) to add their pronouns to their Slack usernames and including language about this in our Slack welcome guide
  • Doing our best to remove binary-gendered language from our lexicon when possible (old habits are hard to break but we are committed to correcting ourselves)
  • Making sure LGBTQIA+ WAIMers are represented in our case studies and teaching materials

We also know that the main way our queer, trans and non-binary friends continue to be most marginalized and oppressed is through discriminatory legislation, so we also only support politicians and legislators who are LGBTQIA+-affirming and fight against such dehumanizing laws.

We ensure that our yearly wealth redistribution is giving to organizations that offer resources and support LGBTQIA+ people, like our local San Diego LGBT Community Center.


🌎 We believe we’re living in a time of climate emergency, we need to prioritize environmental justice, and we aim to be mindful about preserving the health of our planet

We trust the scientists when they say climate change is having devastating effects on the environment.

Unfortunately, the deadly consequences of climate change disproportionately harm people who are already at an economic disadvantage, which means protecting the environment isn’t just about protecting our one and only home, but it’s also about fighting for justice and protecting our fellow human beings.

Here are a few things we think about and try to do in our daily lives:

  • We avoid single-use plastic (reusable water bottles, collapsible totes for the win!)
  • We own(ed!) an electric vehicle (we sold it when we decided to become nomads for a year, but if we ever buy a vehicle again it will be electric)
  • We try to limit our Amazon purchases
  • We try and completely avoid fast fashion when possible
  • We limit our meat consumption and are mindful of what farming practices are being used on the food we consume (we avoid palm oil when possible for example)
  • Pick up trash and pollution on the street when we see it (the little things add up!)

We aren’t perfect. Like most people, convenience sometimes wins out in our hectic daily lives, but we believe making a substantial, whole-hearted effort that isn’t perfect is better than not trying at all.

Again, we support lawmakers that believe in climate change and prioritize climate justice.

If you would like to reach out to us to share your thoughts on these issues, issue a correction, or have a thoughtful discussion, feel free to email us.