THIS IS A MOVEMENT, NOT A MOMENT.
As business owners, industry leaders, and individuals in our community, we recognize that consistently working towards anti-racism is not only the right thing to do, it's necessary.
A Letter from CEO Melissa Leclair
This year has put all of us to the test in so many ways. While highlighting our strength as individuals and communities, 2020 has also brought to the forefront our weaknesses, vulnerability, and cultural blind spots. On top of a global health crisis and widespread economic hardship, this year brought us a watershed movement around the issues of systemic racism and police brutality. This is still going, and we are still hearing new stories weekly about horrific incidents of police violence in the US, here in Canada, and around the world.
As a person and as a small business owner, this was an eye-opening and challenging time. We received some tough but important feedback from members of our deeply valued community and I have confronted in a very real way the impact of my white privilege and the blind spots it had caused. We felt shocked and horror at the murder of George Floyd, while others felt anger, hopelessness, and exhaustion. To me, it was a horrible, gut-wrenching story on the news, however, for many others, it was just one more instance that proves what Black people already know to be true: systemic racism and its ugly impacts are alive and well in modern society.
I was never one to think much about skin colour - including my own. I was very unaware of my privilege as a white person, and I incorrectly believed that “not seeing colour” was what we should all aspire to. But the fact is that race is real, racism is real, and it’s simply not enough to be a ‘nice white person.’ It’s never been enough. The idea of active anti-racism was admittedly new to me a few months ago, and I’m very much still learning, imperfectly, but I feel like I have a renewed understanding of how important it is to be an active and ongoing ally to marginalized people. As a business owner and employer in my community, the responsibility feels even more significant.
In June, Sacha and I sat down with our senior staff and had a long discussion about some of the feedback we’d received, the ongoing movement, and what we could do as a company to be more actively anti-racist and to encourage every one of our team members to do the same. It’s been a few months since then and while the work is still very much ongoing (this type of work is never done), we wanted to update you on some of the steps we’ve taken so far.
Click the items below to explore some of the tangible actions we have taken so far in our community, and beyond.
We have initiated partnerships with multiple recruitment agencies to hire talented candidates from a diverse array of backgrounds. We feel strongly that our team should reflect the community we serve.
In addition to a one-time donation to the Black Visions Collective and Black Designers of Canada. We have established recurring monthly donations to the Black Health Alliance.
One thing that has become clear over the past few months is that BIPOC designers are underrepresented in our industry. To have a greater impact on the design field in our local community, we are excited to launch the Leclair Decor Design Education Scholarship!