Maybe you’ve noticed Providence Mom’s silence on the topic of social justice, racism, and the current racial unrest across our country. We hope you’ve noticed because we hope you are looking closely at the media you consume, the businesses you support, and the social media you follow. We hope you are holding them (and us) to high expectations. And we have not, thus far, risen to meet our own expectations.
The truth of the matter, the reason we’ve said virtually nothing up to this point, is we’ve been struggling with not knowing what to say or how to say it. What to do, or how to do it. We want to make sure that we are centering Black voices, and not ourselves. In the world of social media, that can be hard to do.
Admitting that we are forging ahead the best we know how without being sure we’re not getting it wrong is a tad terrifying. Being authentic has always been our goal, but it comes with a vulnerability that can feel scary..
Since day one, we have asked ourselves “How can we ensure Providence Mom is a resource that speaks to and represents all moms?” But, true story folks, Providence Mom is headed up by two white women, and our executive and writing teams do not reflect the diversity found in our state. We have not been as committed to social justice and anti-racist work as we could have been. We have begun 100 conversations about how to do better, but we go around in circles until someone’s child is peeing on the floor.
Today, we are acknowledging that our silence, our fear of vulnerability, and our excuses are not valid.
So, in the interest of transparency, this is what we are doing to address racism right now:
- Reading and listening and talking and thinking.
- Amplifying Black voices and Black media.
- As a team, sharing strategies for talking with our children and families about current events related to racism and social justice, history, and becoming anti-racist.
- Developing ways to better highlight Black-owned businesses in our community.
- Developing a plan to seek out a more diverse writing team, particularly in terms of race and socioeconomic status. We have come to the conclusion that the ability to join a volunteer writing team may be an aspect of privilege and we do not want only voices of privilege on our team. As such, we have made the decision to actively work towards a model in which we transition from volunteer writers to paid writers. We will also be paying for guest posts. These changes will not be immediate, but we are making the funding of this endeavor a top priority.
- Thinking carefully about our editing process. As we begin publishing a greater volume of diverse voices, we want to make sure we are careful during the editing process to not to edit out syntax, idioms, and tone that are unique to other cultures.
- Following Black writers and media to better understand how racism impacts our business peers.
- Carefully considering the intent and impact behind the things we are doing to ensure we are not falling into performative activism.
Providence Mom is a valuable resource for local families. Not only as a place to find recommendations, advice, and camaraderie but also as a platform for social change. As parents, we are raising the future generation and while there is a place for humor and how-to’s in parenthood, there is just as large of a place for learning to be better together, as parents and as neighbors.
We hope you’ll join us as we work towards achieving greater social justice and supporting all families in our community. We have not been the resource we intended to be for Black families, and we are committed to improving this.
Please know that we are open to feedback. We welcome it, as a part of the work we, as a business, as a resource, and as parents, need to do for our community.