It's so important to me to align my work as an artist with the understanding that it's a moral imperative for each and every one of us to work toward anti-racism, social justice and the empowerment of marginalized and racialized folks. There are so many ways to lift up these efforts in our daily lives, and to spread awareness. It's so amazing to know that we CAN make a difference. We CAN create a better world!
I've taken some time to make a thoughtful choice about where I can make an impact this year. There are SO many organizations doing necessary, powerful work.
For 2021, I've chosen to donate 5% of gross sales to an absolutely incredible program called We Wield the Hammer.
"WWTH exists to identify, train, track and support young women of African descent who might not otherwise choose a career as a metalsmith." - Karen Smith, Founder
I've experienced firsthand the healing, empowerment and sense of self worth that comes from working, living & growing as an artist. I believe that anyone who dreams of learning a new creative skill set should have access to that opportunity. I'm so excited to help break down barriers in the jewelry industry for young Black women!
I was so honored to be able to offer over $1500 in support of these *incredible* initiatives & funds in 2020, through donating a percentage of jewelry sales and personal contributions:
- Afros In Tha City (Calgary's first Black-led, artist-run studio & media collective)
- Black People United (mutual aid to assist families in need)
- Black Health Alliance (improving access to health resources for Black communities in Canada)
- Black Youth Helpline (support for Black Youth in distress)
- Colouring it Forward (Indigenous art & storytelling)
- I Love First Peoples (empowerment of Indigenous youth through education and art)
- Skipping Stone (support for Transgender folks in YYC)
- Calgary Community Fridge (free food for those in need)
The highlight of the year was hosting a raffle in support of Afros In Tha City. Through the generous participation of over 70 friends & followers, we raised an additional $1537, which was directed toward the launch of their amazing arts & media collective!