Honoring Black History Series: As a part of our commitment to honor black history, Access team members have been sharing about businesses, books, literature, stories, podcasts, films, songs, or pieces of art created by black authors, leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists that have impacted us.
Niki Perkins, Director of Congregation Connections shares about the importance of supporting Women of Color.
Last month Target premiered a new ad, featuring Beatrice Dixon’s company, The Honey Pot. Target shares, ” For Bea Dixon, founder and CEO of The Honey Pot, it’s all about opening doors and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. She’s just one of the many diverse business leaders Target is committed to empowering and investing in to strengthen the communities we call home.” Take a look at their inspiring ad here: Founders We Believe In: Honey Pot.
A couple of weeks after this ad was posted, a backlash steeped in racism to the ad began. In the video, Dixon says, “The reason why it’s so important for The Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a better idea could have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me.” People started leaving negative, horrible reviews such as: “I can’t support a company in good faith that is openly racist about their customers.” Another reviewer wrote, “Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company.” A flood of these types of reviews came through, showing a complete lack of understanding of the challenges women of color face.
Yet. Thankfully, The Honey Pot DOUBLED their sales after these attacks began. People quickly began to come to The Honey Pot’s defense and purchase their products to show their support. When I visited their site online, I saw the image above.
Sisters Who Lead is an organization focused on West Michigan with the mission “to create conditions that center the emotional wellbeing of women of color and support the career mobility of women of color aspiring to executive leadership positions.” In their recently published study, “From Knowing Better to Doing Better: Closing the Opportunity Gap for Women of Color in the Workplace through Transformed Behavior,” they write, “When asked about their career aspirations, over 80% of 2019 Sisters Who Lead study respondents reported that they wanted to be promoted to the next level, and nearly three-quarters of respondents reported wanting to be a top executive during their career. The unfortunate reality is that ambition and hard work alone are not enough. Race still matters. Nearly 60% of the women of color surveyed have a Master’s or Doctorate degree, yet nearly 3 out of 4 of these women cite race– not gender– as a critical contributing factor to the struggles they face in upward career mobility.”
Whenever we have the opportunity, we need to promote and support women of color who are leading the way in our community. One such opportunity is the opening of E’lla’s Art Gallery. Check out their Facebook page for more information and watch this virtual tour and introduction to the gallery. E’lla’s vision has been to hold a space for people of color to display their art and have it get noticed, and sell to the community. E’lla noticed that there was not a space for people of color to utilize for their everyday art (Art Prize is great, but what about after?), so she set out to create it.
You can also check out the Grand Rapids Area Black Business Directory and GROW’s Business Directory to find out what businesses you can be supporting! GROW’s directory includes information on each business letting you know it if it woman owned and/or minority owned.