What Can Publications Like Us Do to Promote Anti-Racism?
"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - C.S. Lewis
A long standing topic of conversation within the wedding industry has been surrounding a lack of diversity and inclusivity, and the continued relevance of this subject shows, sadly, how little progress has been made. A renewed sense of introspection has been sparked by the tragedies coming out of the US and as many take time to educate themselves, build a greater understanding and analyse the part they themselves play in systematic racism we wanted to revisit this conversation and try to influence a change within the industry. With active changes. We have a responsibility to take action. We all do. However, we are not experts. There are many complexities and we are working through this alongside everyone else in this period of reflection, learning, reading and discussing. But it is clear that we are upholding privilege in our industry if we aren’t actively challenging it, so it's time to use our platform to become part of the solution.
Publications within wedding media often face critique about the lack of diversity featured and rightly so. Whilst Wedding Sparrow as a platform has a very specific niche, we value diversity, and want to communicate with EVERYONE within our niche. We acknowledge there are hugely under represented couples, both on our platform, and within the industry as a whole. Therefore, the next step for us after being aware and critical of our own brand is imploring inclusivity and valued diversity amongst all those we work with.
ACTIVE CHANGES WITHIN WEDDING SPARROW
- Amplify Others - In order to make a lasting change we pledge to continue celebrating diversity and inclusion. But how can we actively make changes as this is clearly not enough? We will be more aware and mindful of the submissions that are sent to us and if they utilize Black owned businesses and POC within the imagery itself. We currently only accept submissions from our members but we are confident that they will step forward with some incredibly stunning work that will showcase this.
- Teach - Educate and encourage our partners to market their products and services with diversity in mind. It is our responsibility as a leader within the industry to ensure we are leading the way. We currently host Facebook Live's every week within our private group - this is used to teach everything from social media to what we like to see via our submissions. We will use this platform to teach about the lack of diversity within the wedding industry and white-washing of editorials.
- Inspire - Hold industry peers to account. If an application of membership shows a lack of diversity within their portfolio, we will encourage them to improve their portfolio with practical ways on how to do this prior to being accepted as a member. If they are unwilling to produce more diverse work, they will not be a part of our community here at Wedding Sparrow.
- Learn - Work with experts to enable better processes and procedures internally. I am a White woman and have White Privilege. I will prioritize my time to learn through books and online resources about White Privilege and what I can personally do change our attitudes and actions. We are also in talks with a business educator who can take a custom look at our business model to ensure we are actively Anti-Racist too. I hope to have more on this very soon!
- Provide - Ensure under represented couples can find inspiration they can relate to, and make this content searchable. If this content does not find it's way to us organically, we will create it. We will make sure we have inspiration content (such as Hair & Make Up ideas etc) that is relevant to Black brides and diverse ethnic groups.
Overall, we wish to move forward with positive changes, for us and for you. We welcome feedback from our peers and brides so please take advantage of this open forum about the wedding industry specifically.
We will not go back to normal, but instead work toward creating something better.