Anti-Racist Weddings: A Letter to Our Couples

Hi Modern Rebels,

We’re outraged by George Floyd's murder and the countless Black lives that have been lost while America continues to ignore its own white supremacy.

Celebrating love and partnership is impossible if people do not feel safe and celebrated as individuals and even outside the context of partnership - lives are at stake, we cannot be silent.

Modern Rebel has always sought to be a voice for change in the wedding industry but it’s clear there is so much further to go to be an actively anti-racist company and an anti-racist wedding industry. As a white CEO, I have failed to show up on many occasions. Business owners have such opportunity to embed ethical and inclusive policies into the fabric of their businesses - so, we start there:

By publicly proclaiming on our social channels and personal lives: Black lives matter. Period. And we do this long after the hashtag is trending, too.

  • By donating money to bail and memorial funds and local non-profits committed to the Black lives matter movement. Here's a list of some we're actively supporting.
  • No plantation weddings - a policy we've held since our founding and will continue to uphold.
  • Creating more space at the table for diverse vendors and making sure you have vendors to support in marginalized communities - you should not be at a loss of where to turn if you want to put $ towards Black or POC vendors - there are incredible vendors to support and we can point you in that direction.
  • By attending anti-racist workshops and webinars by Black colleagues and learning and listening. We’ve purchased “I’M STILL HERE” by Austin Channing Brown and paid for the accompanying workshop for all our team members. This is the beginning of the work.
  • Promote diverse partnerships - we commit to diverse couples pushed forward in publications submissions + on our platform because representation matters - same goes for panels. We’ve failed at this before and we commit to doing better.
  • Signing petitions, making calls to government leaders - pushing for systemic reform.

Additionally, we want to make sure our non-Black couples feel encouraged to be in an anti-racist partnership and throw anti-racist love parties. To make sure your events are a part of the solution - not the problem, here are some thoughts + actions worth considering:

  • Action: Picking an anti-racist non-profit. We have four non-profit partners in NYC and we’ve added an additional partner, Campaign Zero. Read up on their important work here. Get involved BEFORE your love party and sign up to donate monthly.
  • In addition to recommending pre-marital counseling, we also recommend anti-racist online classes and courses. Some educational leaders to look into: Rachel Cargle, Austin Channing Brown, or Monique Melton.
  • When it comes to vendor selection for your event, make sure you are diversifying your vendors - $ is a powerful tool. If you’re not sure where to start, we have names of fantastic vendors in NYC you can reach out to.
  • “Do a Favor” table - in lieu of forgettable favors, create a “do a favor” table where guests can actively donate to non-profits or bail funds or set-up a “write to your senator” station.
  • Cultural Appropriation: Be sure to read up and understand cultural appropriation so you’re not co-opting traditions from the Black community.

In addition, we want to make sure we are open to feedback from our clients and couples - so, we are here if/when you want to have a dialogue with us about ways we can be better. But we do not ask this of you - we need to do the work. We are reading, listening, and trying each day to be better. This has been a great place to start for resources in the un-learning + learning process behind closed doors - in our homes and our communities.

Let’s keep the revolution going,

Amy Shack Egan, Founder/CEO of Modern Rebel

Image credit: Oh So Graceful

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