MLK Day 2022

On this special day, in which we celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, I want to share a message with you. You are the master of your destiny, just like I’m the master of mine. And in a place like California, ripe with opportunity, you can be whatever you want to be with one caveat; you are able to secure capital. This caveat is one of systemic racism’s favorite hiding places. But in this digital age, we can create new ways of doing things, focusing on the world we want to create, freeing ourselves from the old systems. 

Before I go any further, I want to be clear so readers don’t think that I believe we live in a post-racial society, I have experienced a disgusting amount of overt racism, as well as subtle racism, and still do on a nearly daily basis. But I never let that make my world become small. I’ve never listened to people who told me how or why I “should” go along with the way things have always been done. The net result is, in spite of systemic oppression, I have a dream of a world that can be and the requisite passion to pursue it.

In building 30FIRST, I dream of a day in which millions of people proudly wear our apparel, attend our events, and we’re able to feed millions of food insecure children with our donations. Our employees will be paid great wages with great benefits. Our leadership team will be truly diverse, embodying intersectionality in bold action not empty rhetoric (yes, that’s a dig at almost all corporations). 

But that dream can’t be realized without scale, and scale can’t be achieved without capital. So if we were building 30FIRST according to old ways of doing things, I would need to secure capital that doesn’t traditionally go to people who look like me, from people who don’t look like me. 

Instead of being cynical, I’ve taken a different approach. There’s what the brand can and will be, and there’s what the brand needs to be right now to build momentum in that direction. Those of you who have supported us so far are helping to lay the foundation for us to reach our next plateau. And once we get there, we will continue to grow, increasing our impact and spreading joy in the world. 

I am counting on you to be a part of this journey. I am counting on you to help make our dream come true. I can see it, and will tirelessly work to make it a reality. 

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Live boldly, looking and feeling your best!