A change in the wedding industry is needed and never more so than now.
Here at the Wedding Academy, my team and I, like everyone around the world, have watched in horror as events have unfolded.
Until this point, I’ve remained quiet, not because I don’t care or am not committed to making a change, but because I wanted to do my due diligence first.
As one of the educators in the wedding industry I feel it’s my duty to lead by example and provide the resources to help us all be more inclusive and diverse.
At the Wedding Academy we have students from around the world that include different cultures, colours, creeds and beliefs and it’s a wonderfully inclusive community.
We also have a diverse Advisory Board of wedding experts who we turn to regularly for advice on the best way to approach a variety of topics and subjects.
As a non-BIPOC I invite you to join me in understanding how our non-action has a bigger affect than we realise. But first, we need to recognise there is a problem, and a very big one.
Knowing how to be inclusive is complicated and I’ve seen so many people rush to give their support, and without meaning too, going about it all the wrong way.
Tokenism is not the same as inclusivity.
This isn’t about doing a styled shoot with POC models to add diversity to your portfolio. It isn’t about sending a heartfelt email once and then not really doing much else.
It’s about a continued effort not a blackout on Instagram for one day and then continuing with life as normal.
Don’t bury this issue as it isn’t a trend or fad that’s great to jump on and shout about. This isn’t something we forget about in a month or two as we’re carried away by something new.
This is ongoing and needs us to be making an ongoing concerted effort to make a change.
We just have to take a look at the social media feeds in the wedding industry to see how biased it is.
There’s a serious lack of representation and real inclusivity of BIPOC.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix. It’s a continued battle that needs to be fought. I’m asking you to make that effort on a daily basis not just now when it’s a big topic of conversation globally.
Nothing in business is easy and I’m certainly no expert in this matter and I have a lot of improvement to make myself, and I’m committed to doing that.
My job in the wedding industry is to help you be a better wedding professional and that’s my commitment to you as together we educate ourselves on how we can do our part to support BIPOC continually.
So the question is how do we start to dismantle a system as non-BIPOC people?
In one word, education.
In the same way as we’d take time to educate ourselves on how to use Facebook Ads, write great emails or design amazing pins on Pinterest, we educate ourselves.
For me when I’m learning anything, I like to understand the foundations of where something comes from and why.
So like always I took to Google to find out exactly what BIPOC stood for and where it came from. I found this great article which I’d love you to read as a starting point.
What Is BIPOC and Why You Should Use It
Well the best part about this is there are already some amazing resources out there for the wedding industry and I’m committed to bringing them to you.
Nova Reid is a long time Diversity & Anti Racism campaigner, as well as the founder of Nu Bride, a multi award-winning modern wedding blog dedicated to adding a splash of diversity to the UK wedding industry.
She has a great page on her blog that provides links to all sorts of articles on how you can begin your education on diversity and inclusivity. CLICK HERE TO READ…
She also has several online courses including an Online Diversity in Business Course, which I will be taking myself.
Just a couple of days ago, Terrica Skaggs who is one of our Advisory Board members, hosted an amazing live:
Healing Wounds & Bridging Gaps: An Honest Conversation About Race & Allyship in the Wedding Industry.
She challenged everyone to make the commitment to hold themselves, each other, as well as media and educational platforms accountable to eradicate racism and bias in the wedding industry and work harder to increase diversity across the board in our networking base, clientele and content.
You can watch the replay below and on the page beneath the replay are some fantastic resources to continue your education.
Let’s continue the movement on these two hashtags #changetheweddingindustry & #unitythroughcommunity
Together we are stronger and together we can effect a bigger change.
“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou