At Design Milk, we post pretty pictures + products but behind all those pictures, there are human beings. People are always, always more important than stuff. We are heartbroken and saddened at the continued unfair and unjust treatment of the black community.
We use our platform to inspire and challenge people to look at things in a new way. It’s time to turn that lens on ourselves. We care deeply about this issue and need to be the change. There is a lot of work to do in the design + architecture community. We stand in solidarity against racism, oppression, violence and injustice. We encourage you to do what you can to help, whether it’s donating, protesting, joining organizations, reading books, listening to podcasts on race and diversity, or having difficult conversations. Now is the time to take action.
We will not sit back and watch or be silent. We are an anti-racist company and we must fight against hate and discrimination. No brand and no person is perfect, but our intention is to reflect, learn, help and DO.
Below is a list of resources that may be helpful and some answers to questions you might have about us and what we are doing.
Organizations to donate to and/or get involved in:
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund has received a lot of donations and has asked that people donate to “other local organizations, especially those which are Black and BIPOC led, and which are working to lift up communities, end police brutality, and build a more just future.”
- Black Lives Matter (find a local chapter here and start a chapter here)
- Black Visions Collective
- Black Women’s Blueprint
- Antiracist Research and Policy Center
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- National Bailout
- Anti-Racism Project
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Innocence Project
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- North Star Health
- The Bail Project
- Showing Up for Racial Justice
- We the Protesters
- We also were made aware of a multitude of Twitter threads and Google docs with specific local funds and organizations here, here and here.
- About Race podcast
- All of It / How to be an Antiracist
- Code Switch
- Intersectionality Matters!
- The Stoop
Talking to kids:
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners
- Teaching your children about Black History Month
Design + Architecture resources:
- Beyond the Built Environment
- Black Artists + Designers Guild
- Blacks Who Design
- Black in Design conference
- Black Interior Designers Network
- Black Design Collective
- Black Females in Architecture
- Creative Action Lab
- Creative Equals
- Deem Journal
- Design Can
- Design Core Detroit
- Design Diversity
- Design Indaba
- Female Design Council
- National Association of Black Women in Construction
- National Organization of Minority Architects
- Now What?! + ArchiteXX
- Organization of Black Designers
- People of Craft
- The Designer’s Workshop
More general resources:
What have we been doing + what are we going to do now?
In the past, we have made donations to a variety of organizations promoting social justice and reform. We have reached out to various organizations that promote black designers, architects and creatives to see how we can partner and collaborate and/or support their efforts. We have actively been involved in and supported live talks in the design community addressing diversity and activism during design trade shows and events. We have covered design and architecture by black designers and other POC and underrepresented communities and people. But, since we have been so dedicated to the work, the products, the architecture, the interiors, we haven’t spent enough time highlighting the people behind those things, and given them the visibility they deserve. Our past efforts weren’t enough and our current efforts aren’t enough. We will do better.
As a company, we pledge to donate 1% percentage of the Design Milk Shop sales June-September 2020 to The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (our other brands, Kaufmann Mercantile and AHAlife will be doing the same), and then we will continue to donate thereafter to other organizations that promote social justice and reform. We will continue to share these organizations on a regular basis and keep you posted on these efforts. We are also actively seeking to add more BIPOC-owned brands to the shop.
As for editorial, we are compiling profiles and projects by Black designers and architects that we have already featured on the site. We will continue to seek out BIPOC-owned businesses and creatives to highlight on our platform and create a way to bring more attention to these articles and Instagram posts.
We are also creating a permanent reference list of architecture, design, and creative organizations and websites that are doing excellent work to make space and visibility for underrepresented communities and will support these organizations through media partnerships and collaborative efforts. We will share that reference list soon and situate it prominently on our website soon, and will consistently do editorial to highlight these organizations.
We are also looking into dedicating advertising space to these initiatives.
We have declared Juneteenth an official company holiday.
Racial justice and reform require a long-term commitment, and therefore, we will continue to check and re-commit ourselves to anti-racist actions. Sharing a list of resources is easy, using a hashtag is easy, but dismantling and rebuilding a system takes time and effort and energy and we will do our part in that. We will be a resource for anyone that is looking for help and hope that others in the design and architecture community will join us in supporting our efforts to combat racism.
We hope that this has been useful to you and we will update this list and share a link on our platforms. Please leave any resources we may have overlooked in the comments and you can always contact us or any of our team members with your thoughts, or to pitch stories, designers, and share ideas.