Dear Friends and Family,
Well Aware stands firmly against inequities that divide us as a country and a world. The founding of this organization was inspired by the need for social justice and equity, and we aspire to ensure that these tenets run deeply through and guide our actions and mission each and every day.
The Well Aware model for community-led programming in East Africa has been very successful. From the beginning, we have known that our role is to listen to and be guided by our partner communities to provide only what is lacking toward their success.
We want this community-driven model to be more embodied in our work here in the U.S. We want the Black community to be a larger part of our state-side operations and leadership. As we grow, we commit to continue improving to meet the goals outlined below.
We recognize we have work to do, and we commit ourselves to action.
As an organization, we exist in both the U.S. and East Africa. We are still small, but we are mighty, and we feel we can play a role in bringing cultures, beliefs, and hearts together.
The work we do – the work you fund and support – is a collection of efforts to foster and promote equal opportunity. Thank you for elevating the values of our work with us within every community. And, thank you to our friends and colleagues in the Black community who have educated and guided us along the way.
Black Lives Matter.
OUR PLAN FOR CHANGE
The teams at Well Aware will continue to listen and evolve.
We have created a three-part plan to start:
- We will highlight U.S.-based, black-owned business that have supported Well Aware over the years. We hope you will consider supporting these companies that have not only amplified the work of Well Aware but have also fought to give the marginalized a voice. You can find information about these businesses below, and we will continue to highlight their businesses and others in the coming weeks.
- We are improving our hiring practices. Since the majority of Well Aware staff are previous interns, going forward, we will ensure that we are posting positions and hiring from universities and schools that are majority people of color to elevate BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students through executive-level internships, as well as provide a path to possible employment opportunities within our organization. Meet our current team.
- We have new goals for our Board of Directors. From this year on, we will improve our board recruitment process and ensure that, at minimum, 20% of our board of directors are BIPOC and continue requiring at least 50% female board membership.
BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS
Shavanthe is a multicultural ethical brand that creates clothes and accessories for men, women and kids. Shavanthe is 100% woman-owned and empowers and supports women in different communities in Africa, Southern America and the USA. Shavanthe’s brand loves prints and vibrant colors and their clothes dare people to bring the world to their closet. shavanthe.com
CivicSolve is a consulting firm with a focus on civic engagement, and a mission of “building better communities through civic engagement.” They believe in connecting people with their own power as citizens and the power that exists in communities. civicsolve.com
The Survive2Thrive Foundation (S2T) provides life-changing resources and support to displaced victims of domestic violence and abuse, to assist them in creating their own sustainable path to recovery, self-sufficiency and success. survive2thrivefoundation.org
Bantu Entertainment is an independent Afrobeats record label based in Austin, Texas, working with range of artists that define and influence the genre of Afrobeats. They also host Club Bantu, an Austin-based Afrobeats party and a community of people who love to dance. rsvp.clubbantu.com/label
Word of Mouth is a catering company and bakery located in Austin, TX. For over 30 years, Word of Mouth has continued to set the standard for excellence through their “sophisticated event design to creative culinary feats, stellar presentation and service.” wordofmouthcatering.com
Notley Tide is a monthly giving community that supports and amplifies the work of 5 Austin and Texas-based racial justice partners: University of Texas Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Grassroots Leadership, Texas Civil Rights Project, MOVE Texas, and the Austin Justice Coalition. wearenotley.com/notley-tide
GivingTuesday is partnering with Young, Black, and Giving Back (YBGB) Institute to help get the word out about the only nationwide giving day for Black-led and Black-benefitting nonprofits. Although the giving day takes place on August 28, 2020, giving is live now to help participating organizations stay funded during this crucial moment. give828.org