February Changemaker Series | Black History Month
We are excited to launch our CHANGEMAKERS series that spotlights the innovative + inspiring non-profits, businesses, creators and thinkers who are pioneering thought leadership and POSITIVE CHANGE DAILY.
What is a changemaker? A changemaker is an innovator who takes creative action to solve a problem and has the motivation and courage to see and do things differently. Changemakers are focused on making positive, transformative differences with a genuine goal of making the world a better place. They inspire others to evolve their thought processes by sparking conversations that are necessary for unity, healing and advocacy. It is now more important than ever to amplify our voices and be open to evolving our mindsets and behaviors for the greater good of our communities.
“Find the courage to have hard conversations and also find the courage to listen to hard conversations.” -Minaa B.
For those of us ready to find a path to advocacy and change-making, we support you. Advocacy begins with being mindful of investing time to seeking out new connections, listening to experiences without judgement, and understanding the challenges of others with empathy. Only by bringing your most authentic self to your discovery work will you be able to take the actions necessary to becoming an advocate.
Lasting change does not happen alone, it requires teams of people, strong institutions, and support from every part of society. Below are some resources from our own advocacy work at ALEX AND ANI to help get you started. There are many, many more notable organizations, creators and businesses in addition to what we spotlight below. Remember, we all have the potential to be changemaker's.
“It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” -Ella Fitzgerald
NON-PROFITS TO KNOW
Each February, the United States observes Black History Month. This month is dedicated to honoring the history, struggles, and triumphs of Black people in America and around the world.
Today and everyday, consider supporting to these noteworthy, highly-rated organizations that are working diligently to promote black health, education, rights and community development in the United States. There are of course many, many more organizations and causes outside of the below and as we continue our own advocate work here at ALEX AND ANI, we will continuously update this list.
The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is dedicated to improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and their families across America.
The vision of NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
The National Urban League is dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in underserved urban communities.
Campaign Zero encourages policymakers to focus on solutions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness at reducing police violence.
Color of Change designs campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
CHANGEMAKERS TO LEARN FROM
February may be Black History Month, but the celebration to honor, listen and support Black individuals who are transforming the world should be supported year round. Discover a selection of a few noteworthy changemakers we would like to spotlight, and of course there are many, many more.
2. Morgan Harper Nichols (@morganharpernichols): Artist, Poet and Musician
4. Rachel Ricketts (@iamrachelricketts): Spiritual Activist, Racial Justice Educator, Healer, Speaker, and Author
9. Blair Imani (@blairimani): Writer and Educator
10. Layla F. Saad (@laylafsaad): Author, Speaker, Teacher and Podcast Host of @goodancestorpodcast
11. Luvvie Ajayi Jones (@luvvie): Author, Speaker, Podcast Host
13. Minaa B. (@minaa_b): Therapist, Wellness Coach
14. Lindsay Peoples Wagner (@lpeopleswagner): Editor-In-Chief of The Cut
ARTISTS TO SUPPORT
Supporting the Black creative community is vital right now and always. Art is a powerful tool that inspires, heals and unites. Supporting Black artists by purchasing their work as well as following their social media is a small, tangible way to show your commitment to support the community.
Below we spotlight a selection of Black creators who are bringing light to the social injustices of our times through their powerful creative works of art. This is a small selection of a much larger community that is creating powerful works that spark change.
BLACK-OWNED BRANDS TO SUPPORT
Shopping and supporting Black-owned business not only helps to strengthen Black economies, it also helps foster more jobs in local communities, and contributes to reducing the racial wealth gap. Below is a selection of black-owned brands we suggest you follow on social media and consider shopping from.
HARPERIMAN DOLLS / Handmade Linen Dolls
TREE FAIRFAX / Leather Goods
EFFIES PAPER / Stationery & Lifestyle Accessories
ALIYA WANEK / Sustainable Women's Fashion
BROTHER VELLIES / Artisan Lifestyle, Shoes & Accessories
HONEYCHILD BOOKS / Children’s books that help build big confidence in little people