To our team,
We stand with the Black community. Black lives matter, and we know that in order to be advocates for change, we must continue to be actively antiracist. Simply put: Racism runs counter to everything Madewell stands for.
Over the past few weeks, we have taken important steps to contribute to the fight to end racial injustice in America through our relationship with the ACLU, but we understand that we still have work to do. We owe it to you, our customers and our communities to condemn acts of violence and to be a force of progress.
In order to create sustainable, lasting change for our community, we have made a series of commitments that will act as the groundwork. This is how we will start a process that will grow and evolve over time.
- We will listen to learn. This will include community forums for all associates, available in group and individual formats, to encourage conversations and share experiences around racial injustice as well as gather feedback. Our goal is to better equip our teams with the right tools and destigmatize these crucial conversations.
- We will educate ourselves and others. To create understanding and awareness around important issues in our workplace, we will build on existing programs like our diversity dialogue training and mandatory unconscious bias workshops for our leadership team.
- We will build our talent pipeline. This will include a partnership with a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx and Native American students and professionals. We will also work with colleges, universities and organizations that promote racial and socioeconomic diversity to invest in how we attract, retain and promote talent from underrepresented and minority backgrounds.
- We will support community engagement. This will include creating associate interest groups for individuals to come together around common interests and continuing our internal donations and employee matching programs to encourage giving back to organizations that we believe in.
- We will amplify Black voices. We remain committed to featuring Black Indigenous People of Color in our content and to ensuring diversity both in front of and behind the camera. We will continue to use our platform to amplify the voices of Black Indigenous People of Color in the stories we tell.
- We will support Black-owned businesses. As a long-standing supporter of small businesses and creatives and knowing the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on Black-owned businesses specifically, we are committing today to increasing their representation as part of our Labels We Love and Hometown Heroes programs. To start, we will be dedicating our next Hometown Heroes Collective class, launching in September, entirely to Black artisans and makers.
- We will advocate for change. To further our partnership with the ACLU, we have pledged to donate at least $750,000, funded by sales of our entire Vote collection, to support their mission to ensure equality in our country and combat issues that disproportionately affect Black Americans, like voting rights.
- We will vote. We believe in the power of voting to enact change so will be closing all stores, our distribution center and our corporate offices on November 3rd to allow our teams ample time to vote.
You can expect more information from us on how you can get involved in this work in the coming days and weeks.
We will continue to look for more opportunities as we grow and learn together. This is an ongoing conversation. Please reach out with feedback, suggestions and any thoughts you have about what else you’d like to see from us. We are listening.
With all the uncertainty in the world, one thing is clear: This work is urgent and nonnegotiable. We’re in this together.