Our businesses are a vehicle for our values.

This works both ways. First, the way our businesses look on the outside reflects which of our values we are prioritizing on the inside. Yikes. Yeah. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it's pretty difficult to refute. Owning up to this is the first step to changing it.

Secondly – and this is where we have the most opportunity! – we can actively choose to use our businesses as a way to promote, share and prioritize the values that we care about.

I am an intersectional feminist, and I am a business owner. These things are not separate from each other!

As an intersectional feminist business owner, I am committed to showing up actively as an ally for Black, Indigenous, Asian, and People of Colour. I am committed to showing up as an ally to the lesbian, gay, bi, and trans communities. I am committed to showing up as an ally to disabled people. I believe that we must act to change the toxic systems and mindsets that are oppressing and harming marginalized people, and those actions start with each of us. I want to commit to working actively on examining my white privilege, educating myself about issues and systems that oppress others, and infusing these values into my work and my business.

This means that I am working to ensure my business is as inclusive, non-appropriative, anti-racist, sex-positive, and accessible as it can be. I am a white, cis, straight woman with a lot of privilege and a lot to unlearn, and I recognize and expect this to be a lifelong journey.

On this page I'll be sharing the resources I'm learning from and the commitments that I am making as a business owner and human being. I am also always open to feedback from you about what I can do better or resources I should check out.

Thank you,

Steph

Last updated March 30, 2021

Social Justice Commitments

This is the framework of the types of actions that I am committed to taking in my business. This list may be added to or edited as I learn more about how to make an impact, but these keywords will remain consistent.

LEARN

  • I will take anti-racist or social justice-related training for myself at least quarterly in my business
  • When I have employees, I will pay for them to take this training also

RECOMMEND

  • When making recommendations of products, software, or service-based business owners, I will strive to always include BIPOC-owned businesses, as well as those owned by LGBTQ+ individuals and folks with disabilities
  • I will be vocal about sharing resources (books, documentaries, products) that share diverse stories and lift up marginalized people

INVEST

  • I will prioritize diversity when I am hiring for any kind of coaching, support, or consulting, or implementing new business systems
  • I will review my current software choices and research what, if any, commitments they have to anti-racism and social justice as a company, and switch from those whose response has been insufficient
  • I will analyze my current business budget and work towards having 30% of it go to businesses owned by BIPOC or other folks with marginalized identities

INTEGRATE

  • At my twice-annual internal business retreats, I will include anti-racism and social justice as an ongoing quadrant of concern
  • I will set aside the equivalent of one day per month for anti-racism & social justice study, review of my actions, and transparency to my community
  • I will make social justice a known part of my business membership & regularly share resources and ideas with my community

DECOLONIZE

  • I will seek out and consume books, articles, Instagram accounts, courses, art, movies, newsletters and more created by BIPOC and other marginalized people that are not specifically about anti-racism or social justice
  • I will pay diverse creators to teach me about things other than anti-racism and diversity training
  • I will keep track of the books I read and the diversity of their authors in an Airtable database

CLARIFY

  • I will make these commitments public and easily accessible on all my platforms & website
  • I will add diversity and inclusion clauses to all of my contracts and my policies page
  • I will put links to this page in my menu bar and feature these values prominently on my social media pages
  • I will re-state my community values at the beginning of every group workshop

DONATE

  • I will set up recurring monthly donations to organizations who are fighting for equality
  • I will also donate monthly to a local cause or organization I believe in

AMPLIFY

  • I will continue to share resources & ideas from diverse leaders & teachers on my Instagram stories, feed, newsletter and blog
  • When I create presentations, newsletters, or resources, I will ensure I am using quotes from women & marginalized people the majority of the time
  • When I recommend books, I will ensure that I am prioritizing all forms of representation in authorship

ADVOCATE

  • If I am asked to speak at an event, or take part in something (course, panel, podcast, etc.) I will ensure that diversity has been prioritized
  • If not, I will encourage the organizers to invest in diversity and/or recommend specific colleagues for the role in my stead
  • I will be discerning about the events, networking groups and trainings I attend to ensure that they are safe spaces for marginalized people
  • I will say something and intervene if I see someone being harassed or hear inappropriate jokes being told

ACCESSIBILITY

  • I will develop a sliding scale model for my 1:1 and group coaching offerings
  • I will implement and offer more flexible PWYC options for my courses and products
  • I will find ways to offer my business coaching services pro-bono to marginalized groups
  • I will aim to always include Alt Text and Closed Captioning on my videos & photos
  • I will prioritize learning about and implementing strategies to make my business more accessible

LISTEN

  • I will remain open to feedback, critique and suggestions on how I can improve and do more to become a more equitable business owner
  • I will create an anonymous suggestion box to collect ideas from my community
  • If I mess up and cause harm, I will apologize fully and quickly, and take concrete steps to make it right
  • I will remain open to learning and changing my ways in light of new information

UPDATE

  • I will update & edit these commitments as I learn
  • I will update this page monthly to create a sense of transparency
  • I will talk publicly about my education & action steps

Monthly Updates

Every month I do "Transparency Tuesday" here and on Instagram to update my audience on the steps I've been taking to become a more equitable and anti-racist business. Below you'll find my monthly updates.

June 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Hosted a Social Justice Productivity Party for my community members & am planning to run more of them

Created a totally free Productivity Workshop as part of my goal to make my work accessible at varying price points

Attended SURJ's White Supremacy Characteristics webinar which was moving & thought-provoking

Watched sessions on event inclusivity & accessibility from the RECONVENE Summit

Finished studying How to Be an Anti-Racist; started reading Just Mercy.

May 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Installed the Userway WordPress plugin on my website to automatically improve my site accessibility across the board

Continued reading through my anti-racism book list, including I'm Still Here & Minor Feelings (which I also discussed in my book club)

Signed up for the Parkdale Food Bank's Curbside Food Drive this weekend

Wrote to the Premier directly about paid sick leave & signed another petition about it

Donated to the Canadian Red Cross India COVID-19 Response Appeal initiative

April 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Took Hollaback's Bystander Intervention Training to stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment & Xenophobia

Finished editing & adding accurate Closed Captioning information to all the YouTube videos on my channel

Updated this page to further clarify my social justice stance as inclusive of Asian people and folks with disabilities

Started watching the PBS documentary Asian Americans to learn more about the history of anti-Asian discrimination in the United States (with parallels to Canada)

Signed this petition in support of paid sick days & emergency leave for all workers and this petition in support of income support and rights for Asian & migrant sex workers

Donated to Butterfly in support of Asian and Migrant Sex Workers and the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice in support of their Stop the Spread of Racism campaign

March 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

 I am continuing to actively study the book How to Be An Anti-Racist

Started adding accurate Closed Captioning for the #AskSteph YouTube videos on my channel

Signed this petition to demand that temporary tiny shelters can remain on city land

Watching the PBS documentary Reconstruction to learn more about Black history after the Civil War

Participated in group calls with We Are the Culture Makers discussing anti-Asian racism and seeing time as a feminist issue.

Loaned to a woman entrepreneur on Kiva.org for International Women's Day and donated to the Period Pop-Ups GoFundMe

February 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Finished the last four lessons from the Indigenous Canada course offered through the University of Alberta

Joined We Are the Culture Makers to learn about self-development and personal power from a feminist, intersectional lens

I am actively studying and discussing the book How to Be An Anti-Racist for Black History Month

Committed to always adding Alt Text to my Instagram posts from now on (h/t Creating Inclusive Content)

Started The Profoundery Business Book Club to promote learning from alternative voices in the business world

Donated to the Ontario Black History Society to champion the inclusion of Black history in Ontario curricula

January 2021

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Worked through another four weeks of lessons for my Indigenous Canada course through the University of Alberta.

Taking Jenny Jay's Creating Inclusive Content training to learn more about communicating in an anti-racist way

Updated my Reading Life spreadsheet to analyze the diversity of the authors I read in 2020

Joined Storygraph to get a better sense of my reading diversity in an ongoing kind of way and support a Black woman founder

Scheduled all of my anti-racism monthly check-ins tasks for 2021 into my Notion (I had fallen behind and this wasn't automated)

Donated to SURJ Toronto's Birthday Campaign to support BIPOC-led initiatives and organizations

December 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Worked through four weeks of lessons for my Indigenous Canada course through the University of Alberta.

Adjusted my retreat pricing to make it more equitable (ie. the same price for instalments as when paid in full).

Edited The Profoundery welcome message to encourage folks to add their pronouns to their Slack account.

Downloaded The Ultimate Shop & Support List of inclusive businesses owned by BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks, from Jenny Jay.

Signed this petition in support of allowing temporary shelters in Toronto and not clearing encampments.

November 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Created a new #anti-racism Slack channel in The Profoundery to share anti-racism resources & changes we're making

Added journaling & reflection questions to my bimonthly anti-racism check-ins to encourage deeper intention & accountability

Enrolled in the Indigenous Canada course from the University of Alberta though have not yet started to study the materials

Donated to The Loveland Foundation's Therapy Fund, which provides Black Women access to therapy for free

Added an Anti-Racism project and interest area in my Notion database to track resources and tasks

Signed this petition and contacted my representatives via this website regarding the Mi'kmaq people's rights to fish on their land

October 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Joined We Should All Be Millionaires for four months to learn about business from Black coaches

Fixed the language around accessibility for disabled folks on my sales page for The Profoundery.

Took two incredible webinars run by SURJ Toronto: one on talking to racist family members, one on the Indian Act.

Honoured Orange Shirt Day by sharing resources that have helped me learn more about Indigenous History.

Moved money through SURJ to be distributed to eleven local Toronto organizations led by BIPOC doing anti-racism work.

On our first Profoundery call, I reiterated our community values of inclusion and zero tolerance for discriminatory language.

September 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Got my Mental Health Crisis Response Certificate, so I have skills to respond in emergency situations without calling police.

Finalized my Accessible Pricing option and set up a pay-what-you-can system for The Profoundery.

Added clauses about my commitment to anti-racist business & non-tolerance for discrimination to all my contracts.

Updated my policies page to include information about my commitments to anti-racism and social justice in my business.

Added more podcasts hosted by BIPOC to my regular rotation, including Sandy & Nora and What A Day.

Updated my reading spreadsheet, reviewed the diversity of the books I've been reading lately, and recommitted to reading broadly.

August 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Took the Spiritual Activism 101 Workshop, led by Rachel Ricketts, as my quarterly anti-racism training.

Set up recurring donations to the Afri-Can Food Basket, Up With Women and Black Lives Matter Toronto.

Talked to software service providers (including Memberful & Drip) about their commitment to anti-racism.

Started designing a tiered pricing structure for marginalized folks for my new offering, The Profoundery.

Setting up more regular calendar reminders to keep me on track with making time for anti-racism work & research.

Listened to two podcast series on the history of racism, Uncivil from Gimlet and 1619 from The New York Times.

July 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Implemented an ongoing anti-racism component to my biweekly peer mastermind group.

Researched organizations aligned with my business mission to donate to on a recurring basis.

Talked to Up With Women about donating my time & services to their clients.

Created Transparency Tuesdays, a monthly community update about anti-racism work on Instagram.

Created an anonymous Suggestion Box to collect feedback on my business.

Fully updated my reading spreadsheet to track the diversity of the authors I'm reading.

June 2020

Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism & social justice journey:

Participated in Reimagining Small Business: a town hall from Hello Seven.

Donated 25% of Productivity Party sales to Black Lives Matter. See the receipt here.

Read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo & The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Participated in the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices Challenge on Instagram.

Subscribed to the Anti-Racism Daily Newsletter from Nicole Cardoza

Signed several petitions related to racial justice & emailed my representatives

Resources