“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” —Angela Davis, academic and political activist
To our Jelt community,
Jelt was established as a social enterprise. Our purpose is to create environmentally friendly products that everyone needs, manufactured in a way that empowers women, and then donate a portion of all sales to charity. Our sole mission is to give back because we are grateful to be alive and well in the United States of America. Recently, with sad and heavy hearts, we are reminded that our existence is starkly different and unequal than millions our fellow citizens.
Our company sits at a position of being structurally privileged; however, we do not tolerate the continued racism that continues to terrorize People of Color. George Floyd will not die in vain. His tragic death along with many other recent inexcusable deaths including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have re-opened America’s eyes to the continued mistreatment of People of Color, making it clear that the civil rights movement is far from over.
In 2020, we still have Americans who are being persecuted for the color of their skin. Innocent people peacefully gathering are being sprayed with tear gas, knocked down with batons and shot with rubber bullets. What has happened to our pledge of liberty and justice for all?
The peaceful protests are an inalienable right of living in a democracy. Everyone here has the constitutional right to express their freedom of speech. We are all created equal in the United States and are supposed to be protected by our Constitution; however, there is systemic racial inequality prevalent in our country that has never been eradicated. Respect for human rights, and most poignantly, the basic rights of People of Color, has been stunted.
How do we begin to move forward? How do we end racial injustice in our country? We truly believe that there is a ripple effect when you treat others with respect and kindness, just as there is a ripple effect with violence and cruelty. It’s time to end racism and white supremacy and the violence that comes with it. Together we can move to a new era of acceptance and respect, treating all humans with dignity. We need anti-racism and anti-oppression education in our society. It begins with reform and we have a long way to go.
At Jelt, we do NOT want to be complacent. We want to be actively part of the solution guarantees equal rights and empowers everyone. We are making sure our employee handbook includes clear language about addressing inequality and respecting each other. We will work to hire more diverse people because everyone in every color, religion, gender or sexual preference should have the equal opportunity to be represented. We will ensure that our manufacturing processes are not detrimental to the human condition, but instead part of the solution. We are also taking the time to listen, learn and share resources with others on how we can all push this movement forward. This crisis needs all of us.
For the month of June, we are donating 10% of all sales to NAACP.
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
We believe Black Lives Matter and stand in solidarity with you because silence is consent.
The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to end the fundamental racial inequality in our society. Black lives cannot be undervalued.
With hope of peace and change,
Jen Perry and the Jelt Team