In light of the heartrending violence we've seen in the last few weeks, I've found myself lost in thought about discussions on racism, especially on social media. 

During the Dallas shootings I was wrapping up an event for Lululemon, where we spent the night celebrating their brand. After hearing the news, I decided deleting my Instagram post of the party was the most respectful thing to do. I felt guilty for feeling like celebrating happy events from my personal life during such a dark time. But what I've come to realize over the past few days is not only the importance of showing solidarity for our fellow Americans, but also that we can't let the hate and fear and violence corner us into being afraid to fight for and celebrate life. If we shut down, pretend like nothing is wrong, or even hide, then we've let fear win. 

Right now is one of the most important times to educate ourselves, remain open minded, and get involved in discussions. I believe one platform where we can listen and share is through art. My ultimate goal is to show compassion and support to those who are suffering due to racism in this country, and I believe art can be a starting point. Hannah, my studio assistant, wrote some thought-provoking ideas and opinions on this topic that we would both like to share with you. 

Hannah: Last week in the studio we had a long discussion about the relationship between activism and social media as a result of the recent events. While this journal entry might seem out of the ordinary, we feel that we have a responsibility to use this unique platform to address issues that we care about.

A brilliant friend recently made the point that any conversation about racial justice is always art-related. In her words, "Art is the perfect place for narrative space and unbound imagination to think differently about race and society...because art forms the bedrock of our capacity to believe in another world." Forming emotional connections – especially through the arts – will better enable an open mind for knowledge, awareness, and productive conversation.

I've been compiling a 'working' list of resources and readings. I know that as a white woman, I will never be able to truly understand the depth of how the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile affect the black community. Yet I believe that the best thing I can do is to educate myself, to listen as much as possible, to empathize to the best of my ability, and then - yes- to get involved.

We could read indefinitely about the complex history of race in America and how it impacts our current society and events. This is by no means a comprehensive or complete list, but it's a start.



And Finally:

This post was written by Hannah P. Mode in collaboration with Heather Day. Edited by Kate Holthouser