We need to talk.
Today we reopen Finao’s Michigan administrative offices—now the whole company is up and running again! After the past three months, that is something to celebrate. But before we move forward in rebuilding 2020, there is something we need to talk about.
Black Lives Matter. Like many things happening in our country, this issue isn’t pretty, but the movement is real, it’s essential, and it’s now. Systemic racism is a centuries-old, complex problem of awful proportions. It cannot go on.
We strive to be sincere, informal, and open. In this space, I usually write about the company—products and people—and our wonderfully talented family of photographers. We don’t often get into social issues or opinions and have a live and let live philosophy. This is different.
For such an incredibly important issue, I’ve worried about unintentionally saying the wrong thing or offending people. We could choose the safe option of a watered-down corporate-spin statement, but that feels disingenuous. Yesterday I was reminded by a wise woman that nobody wants to say the wrong thing, but it’s better to try than to remain silent.
As individuals, many of us do what we can in our communities. We are a small company that is very much a family, however corny that may sound. Our family has a mix of genders, sexual orientations, languages, and cultures, and a mosaic of skin tones. As part of our extended family of Finaons, you contribute to our spectrum.
Tony Randhawa, Finao’s CEO and owner, cares very much about our family and their lives. About equality and equity, justice and opportunity. Our late founder, a photographer, was inclusive of customers and their art. We try to live her values, and together we dream of reducing destructive intolerance, bigotry, fear, and hatred.
What can we do?
As the foundation for all else, together we are stronger.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; to suggest that would be a contradiction. And rarely is there a single solution to a problem, but there may be one hundred 1% solutions or even a million everyday contributions. Not everyone is in the place to become a game-changer, but mindfully doing what you can makes you part of the solution.
We’re not going to recommend any specific action, but if you believe, please do something. Listening is the first step. I’m happy that more people are speaking out and sharing a range of experiences, opinions, and nuances of the issue. I am a card-carrying humanitarian but have learned so much more recently by listening and reading.
Be open-minded and brave. Don’t worry about being right; care about understanding. Everything begins with understanding. You’ll find the best personal ways to help or show support.
We believe that Black Lives Matter, and in this hugely significant and needed movement. There truly is strength in numbers. Together we can make a difference.
Leave us your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you — Janet