“We can’t heal what we don’t acknowledge, but acknowledgement can be painful and takes work.” –Lama Rod Owens
In the midst of this collective change and reckoning, many questions have surfaced for Laurel Skin. What anti-racist actions will we be taking as a company? Where will we or have we been donating money towards equality? How can we move the wellness industry towards inclusion?
To respond to the most common concern immediately: we value, honor and uphold Black lives without question.
The wellness industry has much work to do to be more diverse and inclusive. We are learning how messy and uncomfortable the process of genuine change truly is. These feelings cannot be skipped over or bypassed.
For those who are saying the topic of race is divisive, political, negative or not associated with skin care, wellness, or spiritual growth: I disagree. As a human, I am here to embody love, compassion and oneness. I am unable to do that if I do not understand or empathize the tragedy and hardships that others endure. I believe in equal human rights for all people, sovereignty, and love. I believe we are here to take care of one another.
Listening to Black voices has given me a broader perspective, awareness and compassion. Two years ago, I signed up for Layla Saad’s course on white supremacy. I had no idea what anti-racism was or of the deeply ingrained beliefs I had simply from growing up white, watching the news, or hearing the words of those around me. Dismantling subconscious beliefs I wasn’t even aware I had and bringing them to the surface is something that I believe we all need to do in order to move forward in unity, inclusion and equality.
Below, I have listed the action steps our company has committed to. If you know of nonprofits, educators, or additional action steps that we can take, please leave a comment!
“Love and justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.” –Rev. angel Kyodo williams
Who does Laurel Skin donate to as a company?
As an individual and as a business, those we donate to are centered around wellness and health – for both people and planet – and that does have strong emphasis on BIPOC. Wellness is a broad term, and therefore encompasses many things including anti-racism education, mental health and therapy for BIPOC, clean water, and strengthening food systems for BIPOC. Some of these individuals and nonprofits we have already been giving to for years, while some listed below are newer to us. We have donated to each of them in the past, as well as making a new donation to them in June 2020.
BIPOC Anti-Racism Educators:
“Unfortunately other than keeping up a faux sense of safety, comfort or belonging, avoiding doing harm (or being accused of doing harm !!) also often comes with the consequences of avoiding living or speaking your truth, missing opportunities to truly know yourself and others, and bypassing your own power amongst other things.” –Andréa Ranae
What anti-racist actions will we be taking as a company?
We are committed to the following love-rooted action steps and holding ourselves accountable for continued change in our industry:
Industry Diversity + Inclusion:
- I will be participating in Dive In Well‘s online course Pivot into Equity.
- Our next Laurel Skin Retreat will include classes and panels on diversity and inclusion in the wellness space and cultural appropriation in the wellness space. We will bring in BIPOC educators for these topics.
- Our next Laurel Skin Retreat will offer one full scholarship for attendance to BIPOC.
- We will be offering a yearly $500 product credit to a BIPOC esthetician just opening his/her business.
- We will more actively seek out affiliate partnerships with BIPOC to expand diversity in the wellness space.
- I commit to be more sensitive, aware and inclusive in my language, education and imagery on our social media feeds.
Internal Company Shifts:
- Both Eric and Kelly, our Director of Operations, are taking an immediate workplace anti-racism course by Desiree Adaway to ensure our company is as inclusive and supportive as possible to the current and future BIPOC on our team. They will also be participating in the Spiritual Activism course by Rachel Ricketts, and will be working through the wellness industry related workbooks by Dive in Well.
- Our entire team will be offered paid anti-racism education and variety of resource materials to choose from to participate in. In addition to that immediate action, we will be investing in ongoing internal diversity and inclusivity training.
- We have invested in an Employee Assistance Program which focuses on additional support for mental health issues, family services, personal health and caregiving, substance abuse, counseling referrals, and financial services. We realize BIPOC often face more challenges in these areas. In addition to that, we are developing a yearly self care budget for our employees which can go to anything from education, to mental health support or yoga classes.
I am so grateful for our team, for our audience, and for our esthetician partners who are all on this journey with us as we all take more action steps towards equality. I am also hopeful and looking forward to the these initiatives- especially the ones regarding our next retreat! I really look forward to collaborating with our community to create something that is of service to everyone!
In love and unity,
2 responses to “DIVERSITY + INCLUSION IN THE WELLNESS SPACE”
Hi, did you know Biodynamics is steeped in racism? I was hoping to order a product from you as it sounds perfect for my skin but the use of the word biodynamics on your website has made me uncomfortable. I would appreciate if you could look into the matter and ditch the terminology and association with any biodynamic societies.
Hello Nic! First, let us say that we appreciate you bringing this issue into our awareness, and we appreciate your patience in our reply. We hadn’t heard this before, and we thoroughly took our time as a team to look into this serious matter with the care it deserves.
In our research, we discovered that the man behind biodynamic farming methods, Rudolf Steiner, has made unequivocally racist statements. We whole heartedly agree that there is no place for that, and we do not tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind at Laurel Skin. Our brand holds no affiliation with or allegiance to Stiener, and we explicitly denounce any statement he has made that judges human beings as superior or inferior based on race, gender, or ethnicity.
We have no official affiliation with biodynamic societies, but what we do appreciate about biodynamic farming methods are how the Earth is treated as a living organism, in which a fully sustainable enclosed healthy ecosystem can be achieved. These methods, as well as the practices of many Indigenous cultures and Agroecology, go well beyond the requirements of organic farming. We are grateful for all farming practices that go above and beyond for the health of planet Earth.
The Biodynamics Association appears to be making efforts towards more inclusion, diversity and equity as it moves into current times. We will hold them accountable to ensure they are upholding their own statements and promises to the BIPOC community, as we at Laurel Skin continue to move forward creating a more equitable future in any way that we can as well.