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Juneteenth: A Look In The Past + Present

Juneteenth: A Look In The Past + Present

Juneteenth (short for June 19, 1865) is effectively when slavery ended in the United States. It's a day that's remembered in history when Abraham Lincoln freed the remaining slaves in the South. But did you know that it was January 1, 1863 when Lincoln declared slaves freed? Did you also know the US and US-businesses still participate in modern day slavery? 


At MamaP, we stand for equality and openness and we believe that knowledge is power. That's why we've pulled together information so we may all:

1. Learn the history behind Juneteenth
2. Understand the implications of the 13th Amendment
3. End racial discrimination and modern day slavery in the US

 slavery in the united states - picture of slaves working in a cotton field - juneteenth is when slaves became free

What Is Juneteenth?

According to history.com, "Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate States in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Why did it take two and a half years to enforce this law?
"In reality, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any slaves. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control (like Texas). However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many slaves fled behind Union lines.

from slave to criminal with one amendment - 13th is a documentary on how the united states continues using modern day slaves

From Slave To Criminal With The 13th Amendment

The 13th amendment makes it unconstitutional for a person to be held as a slave, "Except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." Why are we highlighting this amendment if slavery was abolished?

"The United States is home to 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prisoners. Think about that." 13th, a documentary and free to view, opens with President Obama sharing this startling statistic.

1 in 4 people on Earth are locked up in the "Land Of The Free"

Around 2.3 million Americans are currently incarcerated. Of that number, 40.2% are Black men. Consider that Black men make up only about 6.5% of the US population. As Senator Cory Booker states, “Right now, we now have more African-Americans under criminal supervision than all the slaves back in 1850s.” 

We haven't even folded in all people of color.

the 13th amendent

When slavery was abolished, the loophole was exploited and Black men were targeted. 

"They were arrested for extremely minor crimes like loitering and vagrancy. And they had to provide labor to rebuild the economy of the South after the Civil War."

Targeting black and brown communities has continued since slavery was abolished - with racial profiling, "stop and frisk" policies, and police quotas. Another eye opening documentary to watch is Crime & Punishment - it spotlights how a progressive city like NYC still has a police force that targets people of color and their communities. There are police officers who want to help the community but have challenges due to pressure from the department to hit quotas.

Where Does This Leave Us Today? 

Black Lives Matter is a movement, not a moment. It's not saying that all lives don't matter, but that Black and Brown communities need help right NOW. As we remember Juneneeth and how it took 2.5 years for a law to be fully executed (with loopholes), it's time for the human community to fight for equality and justice for our Black family.

Now's the time to take action - it will take a local-level and nationwide approach to start implementing change. We've put together a list of what you can do now and in the near future.

1. Keep Educating Others And Educating Yourself
Read books and articles. Watch documentaries. Discuss with people in your network. There are so many places to start, just start. Find your own path, build your knowledge.

2. Start Making Changes In Your Local Community
Do leaders in your community represent your views? Here's a breakdown of the elected offices that could be on your ballot: City Council, Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorneys, and Judges. Your vote counts.

3. Register To Vote In November - And Rally Others To Register
You can vote for Governors, State Legislator, Senators, Congress, and the President. Every election matters. Make sure your voice is heard. 

4. Check if your favorite companies use prison-labor. If they do, tell them you don't approve. A new report released by New York-based advocacy group Worth Rises detailed some 4,100 corporations that profit from the country’s prisons and jails. It identified corporations that support prison labor directly or through their supply chains. Do you use Zoom Calls? They're listed on the report.

 

There are so many ways to take action - choose one and start somewhere.

#KnowledgeIsPower #ActNow

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Are Racism And Climate Change Connected?

Are Racism And Climate Change Connected?
On May 25th, a 46-year-old black man named George Floyd bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He died at the hands of police brutality. SInce then the world has shown a spotlight on the systemic racial inequality in our culture. Climate change and race are connected. Join us to learn more. Continue reading

5 Ways To Make A Difference: A Resource Guide To Honor The Life Of George Floyd, Support Black Lives Matters, And Protest Police Brutality

5 Ways To Make A Difference: A Resource Guide To Honor The Life Of George Floyd, Support Black Lives Matters, And Protest Police Brutality

To stay silent is to be complicit. We at MamaP believe #BlackLivesMatter and we stand with activists who are demanding change. Equality is what bands us together as a human race. It's clear there is progress yet to be made. To everyone who is hurting, feeling pain, or just angry, we see you, we feel you, we are with you. While some of us are on the ground joining local rallies, not everyone may be able to do that. We've put together a few things you can do to take action. To the black community, we are with you and we support you.

black lives matters art work of three black people with no faces. Art by sacree frangine

Art by Sacree Frangine

5 Ways to To Make A Difference and Demand Change:

1. Find a local rally. Ensure you do your research to make sure it's being credibly organized. There are reports that fake rallies are being organized by the opposition. A Forbes article notes:

"State authorities said they were monitoring alleged criminals online, including posts from suspected white supremacist groups trying to incite violence by promoting looting and mayhem in Minneapolis."

2. Educate yourself on the injustices the black community faces as an ally. Some powerful documentaries to watch:
  • 13th - There's a loophole in the 13th Amendment. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. 
  • Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement - Chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first-person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists, and others.
  • The House I Live In - the plight that people of colour face in regards to change in social policy.
3. Donate to a bail fund:
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund - Community-based fund set up to pay criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals who have been arrested while protesting police brutality. This has become one of the most prominent bail funds, providing relief to protesters in Minneapolis seeking justice for George Floyd.
  • Crowdsourced Google Doc - See what others have found or add resources from your locality. This list includes bailout funds and attorneys for people who have been arrested in the recent protests against police brutality. 
  • Rolling Stones bail fund list - If you would like to support a local fund, Rolling Stones has compiled an easy to read resource list with links and summary. This is national and state-specific.
  • Twitter bail fund list by Co-Star - Do you prefer tweeting and spreading awareness on their platform? This tweet is an ever growing list of resources to help people who've been arrest in the recent rallies in memory of George Floyd. They include bail-funds and attorneys.  

art work of george floyd in spray paint with the words say our names and a list of the recently dead from the hands of police

 

4. We say their names with you! George Floyd. Ahmaud Aubery. Breonna Taylor. You can honor their deaths by taking a moment to remember their lives and the change their ultimate sacrifice will bring. In their names, may we move towards our vision of a just and equal society. Here's a list of places you can make a difference:
  • The George Floyd Memorial Fund - The official gofundme.org from the family of George Floyd. His brother writes, "On May 25, 2020, my life shattered as I learned of the tragic passing of my dear brother, George...This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund." They also provide an address for cards and gifts.
  • Sign a Change.org Petition: The “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org already has 10.5 million supporters. That sends a big message. 
  • Black Lives Matter - Donate to a local #BLM chapter or find ways to get involved in the movement. You can also create your own local #BLM Chapter.
  • Campaign Zero - A nonprofit dedicated to ending police violence
  • Sign a petition by Color of Change: Civil rights group Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.  
black lives matter artwork with black and brown silhouettes of faces with the words enough is enough
Art by Brandy Chieco
    5. Register to Vote. November is coming! Make sure your voices are heard and your vote counts. You can make a difference in the local, national, and global levels to impact social and environmental justice.
    • Joe Biden Presidential Campaign - Want to make sure the next generation isn't filled with a right-wing Supreme Court? How about justice for the black community? Or maybe you want climate change to be a priority of the USA? We need to energize the vote for Joe Biden. 
    • Swing Left - Let's swing the senate to the left and remove Mitch McConnell. We need a united Oval Office and Congress to pass legislation to further progressive laws. - 
    • Register to vote - Please take time to register to vote in your locality. Make sure your friends and family are also registered to vote and ask them to show up to the poll this November. 

    We stand with you in these times. There's progress to be made. It will take our collective actions and your voice to make a change in our world. Please share this resource guide to your network via social media or email. 

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    Available Now At Erewhon Markets - MamaP Bamboo Toothbrushes

    Available Now At Erewhon Markets - MamaP Bamboo Toothbrushes
    We launched MamaP in the winter of 2018. Our launch party was in Venice, CA. For supplies, we went to this really hip grocery store by the name of Erewhon. Walking in, it just felt like a store that was "Woke." Walking in, we gave each other a glance and both said, "One-day MamaP will be in there stores." That day is today! Continue reading

    The Xerces Society Is Saving The Planet One Bee At A Time

    The Xerces Society Is Saving The Planet One Bee At A Time
    We love bees. But we also love butterflies, humming birds, and moths. What do they have in common? They are all pollinators. Think about it, do you love pizza? Or maybe your jam is strawberry jam on your waffles? Both the tomato sauce on your pizza and the jam is made of fruit. And to make fruit, you need pollinators. Continue reading

    We Love Our New Packaging Update ❤️

    We Love Our New Packaging Update ❤️

    🌎 Earth Day is everyday here at MamaP. That's why since Day 1 we've said goodbye to plastic and hello to Earth-friendly. When we first started a few years ago, many of the other bamboo toothbrush brands used plastic packaging. When seeing this, all we could think was "Doh!" That's exactly what we were trying to get away from - all that PLASTIC.

    homer simpson says doh to plastic packaging for bamboo toothbrushes

     

    Our packaging has always had for undyed, kraft paper with soybean oil ink. It was simple and modern, with curved bristles. We loved how the packaging was compostable. Isn't this a dreamy photo of the bamboo toothbrush packaging on a bed of strawberries 😍 We also ship in a kraft paper mailer that's also compostable (double win!).

    100% bamboo toothbrush compostable packaging

     

    Starting out as a new brand doing things differently, it was a hard sell to retail buyers, "But you can't SEE the toothbrush in its packaging," was a common phrase. Here's the thing - even when our packaging was different, we told our story and give back message. After a few months, people starting catching on. Stores were selling out and kept reordering. We learned that people care about the planet and wanted to give back. Thank you to our early store buyers who believed in our mission. 💚

     

    After hearing how much fun and colorful the brushes were, we wanted to bring that same excitement onto the packaging. Each package now tells you which cause the color supports. Guess which color yellow stands for 😉

    yellow bamboo toothbrushes in new york

     

    Here's a list of ways our packaging enriches the planet and soil:

    🌿 Fully compostable (throw it in the compost bin with your banana peels and use it in the garden, hello regenerative agriculture and circular economy!)
    🌿 No plastic or faux plastic
    🌿 Made of recycled kraft cardboard paper (hello again circular economy)
    🌿 Soy ink is a natural dye that doesn't hurt the soil
    🌿 Information on how you brush with purpose with each purchase

     

    kids bamboo toothbrushes in new york

     

    Check out a few other blogs:

    fight climate change with bamboo toothbrushes

    listen how MamaP bamboo toothbrushes fight climate change

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    Why Companies Should Play A Bigger Role In Saving The Planet

    Why Companies Should Play A Bigger Role In Saving The Planet

    I got to sit down with the lovely team at Hey Social Good! to talk MamaP's beginnings, brands' responsibilities in consumer education, and tips for living a greener life.

    Hey Social Good! Is a company that connects people to companies who are proactively making a positive impact. They rank companies based on give back and sustainability efforts, and include badges on each profile denoting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Couple that with the Founder Cindy Lin's vision to use data and analytics to rank, it's no wonder this ex-EPA lawyer turned founder is leading the charge in brand transparency.

    Cindy and I met last year in 2019 - we met on social media and had an instant connection. "You're tackling brand transparency too? Awesome!" Was our first words to each other. Both female founders and entrepreneurs, trying to make this world a better place. When Cindy was visiting NYC, we just had to meet in person. It was refreshing speaking with Cindy - we had many shared values and interests. Hey Social Good was still in the building-phase and MamaP had only launched in Fall 2018. It was cool sharing building-stories.

     

    rainbow bamboo toothbrush at the alchemist's kitchen

     

    Earlier this year, Hey Social Good's platform launched and Cindy invited me on her podcast - The Good Smack. Listen to the episode here.

    Here's an excerpt from the podcast:
    "MamaP founder, Suz, got sick of plastic waste all around us and decided to do something about it. She's on a mission to eliminate over 1 billion disposable plastic toothbrushes in one year. Listen to how Suz spats out toothbrush stats like you've never heard and how it's on businesses to better educate consumers. She previously worked at the athletic company, Nike, and used her skills to create a brand that offers better designed eco-friendly and ergonomic products, such as authentically sustainable bamboo toothbrushes. Each toothbrush tip is uniquely colored and gives to a specific cause, such as ocean protection, bee hives, and more."

    why companies should play a bigger role in saving the planet

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    What Is Leo DiCaprio Doing For Climate Change?

    What Is Leo DiCaprio Doing For Climate Change?

    It's Earth Week and we want to give props to all the advocacy work that @leonardodicaprio has done for climate change. Our world is ever evolving and challenges arise constantly.

    What Is Leo DiCaprio Doing For Climate Change?

     

    First thing, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is an environmental foundation that is dedicated to the protection and wellbeing of all Earth's inhabitants. It's also been around for 20 years as they've "celebrated nature". That's right, we've watched Leo on the big screen and in the meantime he's worked behind the scenes to support the planet.

     Leo demonstrates a great balanced approach to saving the planet. While most people know him as a celebrity (professional), many climate activists know him for his Foundation's work (personal). He's struck the right balance here and it's something for us to all consider: How can we live a balanced life that blends different parts of our selves into one? Without going too extreme or letting the pendulum swing too far.

     

     

    Let's keep working on building a more sustainable future filled with a world that we can all thrive in. Humans, the sea creatures, land animals, the forests and oceans. What we have realized lately is that we have the capacity to change and adapt, and to do it with speed. There are silver linings to each hardship, we hope that during this time we see that change is possible. Thank you @leonardodicaprio for keeping the light lit 🌿🌎

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