Pledging Anti-Racism in the Wedding Industry: Step Up Pledge & Action Plan
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
I came to Jordan A. Maney's Instagram page through colleagues of mine in a small network of wedding vendors I have met over the past two years through networking events, like Altared, that have been trying to make the wedding industry less gross. In her post that I caught, Jordan shared a video of herself making a passionate insistence that the wedding industry step up and bring diversity and equity into the forefront of the work they do by pledging to be anti-racist and center the stories of Black people, specifically queer Black people and other people of color. She formally requested some really big names in the industry take the pledge. What, do they think it is going to hurt their business?
I am a super small business owner and have always tried to make it clear that I value all clients who come to me seeking a Celebrant's help with their ceremony. Like anyone, I have my blindspots. Thankfully, with feedback and self-regulation, any of us can continue to do better. That is why I signed Jordan's pledge of anti-racism, made a pledge in my own words, and made an action plan for uplifting Black professionals and Black couples, especially queer Black couples, with my business.
I pledge, in my life and in my work, to notice all forms of bias prejudice and discrimination in which I participate. I will use my voice, my writing, or my social media to speak out against racist words or actions I see. Now that I know better, I pledge to do better, taking my lead from people who know better than myself. Knowing this pledge alone will not end the struggle to eliminate racism, I will continue to make small and slow changes to myself and to larger institutions that are genuine and meaningful. To do nothing, to not take some active steps would be to consciously ignore the system at work that was keeping me ignorant for so long. I accept feedback on my work, making adjustments and taking further steps when necessary.
The Action Plan
Step 1: Post this action plan on my website blog with a link to find it on Instagram. The blog posting will be open to comments for feedback. Tag the companies mentioned in Jordan's video to further encourage them to take the pledge. (Deadline: July 7, 2020)
Step 2: Invite Black professionals who I have a personal connection with into a professional Slack where they can network with other wedding vendors who are trying to change the wedding industry. (Deadline: June 28 - Completed June 28)
Step 3: Highlight at least one Black professional’s [either wedding vendors or closely related to the wedding industry] account each month. These highlights will come from accounts I follow when I connect with either with a story or post of theirs on Instagram. (Deadline: July 31st). I will continue to highlight Black professionals that I have a personal connection to, by tagging them in Instagram posts about them, writing about them on my website’s blog, and by seeking out new connections with Black professionals in my area. I will continue to seek out Black professionals on Instagram and through my vendor networks so I can meet them in their spaces and be prepared to support them in their work. (Deadline: Ongoing)
Step 4: Download the POC vendor list that has been created by a member of the professional Slack group I am a part of. Have it on hand to make referrals. (Deadline: July 5 - Completed June 28)
Step 5: Revisit this action plan and make adjustments as needed. (Deadline: September, 2020, then ongoing quarterly)