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Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. We see the hurt and pain of our country. We recognize the many demonstrations and protests that have taken place. And we’ve been asking ourselves: what can we as a company do?

We will be closed on Friday, June 12th in honor of the silent marches and Washington State general strike organized by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. The TOM BIHN crew will receive 06/12 as an additional paid day off.

After the 2016 presidential election, we had open discussions (with translators for each language group) with our employees about their experiences. More recently, we have discussed and grappled with the possibility that some of the TOM BIHN crew may be experiencing increased racism, as Seattle police have reported a rise in crimes against Asian-Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through those experiences, we have learned that one of the most important actions we can take is to listen. Three additional actions that come to mind: donate, learn, and communicate.

We’ve made a donation to The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture — whose new online exhibit Talking About Race is available to all of us. Link is in our profile. It’s an interactive learning exhibit that uses videos, self-reflection exercises, and role playing to help us learn more about bias, being antiracist, community building, self-care, race and racial identity, social identities and systems of oppression, whiteness and the historical foundations of race.

“History is a guide to a better future and demonstrates that we can become a better society — but only if we collectively demand it from each other and from the institutions responsible for administering justice,” Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum’s founding director and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as quoted by The Washington Post.

9 comments

Darcy

Darcy's the CEO at TOM BIHN. She really likes working. When she's not working, she's probably hiking, reading, making tacos, gardening with native plants or hanging out with human and canine friends.

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9 comments

  • john McGregor on

    I missed this posting but I wanted to add my two cents to the discussion. As a longtime customer and person of color of TB products I have to confess I was surprised when you came out so strongly on this issue. I’ve noted TB has studiously avoided voicing any opinions or taking positions on any raging or talked about issues of the day. It seemed to studiously avoid giving offense by decidly sticking to a focus on its bags and their usage. That seemed to carry over to the advertising – which always struck me by its almost determined lack of diversity.

    That said I applaud their decision to break their silence. Insofar as there is nothing inherently political about issues these protests have raised but they are rather human questions, now seems the perfect time for a company that has always struck me as centered around a very humanistic ethos: how do we best treat ourselves, each other, the environment, the animals and nature that make up our world, our customers, etc etc in ways that respect and value their humanity.

    In short, BLM speaks to, at its core, the essence of what TB stands for. And I’m glad at a time when many are voiceless and silence would have been more easy and comfortable that they are saying that.

  • Lee Morris on

    Keep up the pandering! I agree with Ronald, I’ll find an American made backpack somewhere else.

  • Curt from Seattle on

    Thank you Tom Bihn… For every bag someone from Chicago didn’t buy, I’ll buy two :-). Happy to support a company that makes the effort.

  • Ronald from Chicago on

    I will no longer purchase ANY Tom Bihn products until you remove, from your website, the politically pandering slogans supporting a group that encourages the defunding and wholesale abuse of law-enforcement personnel in the United States. (BLM).

    ALL LIVES MATTER, and spare me the lecture… you know exactly what that means, as does everyone who understands the English language.

    An extremely poor and transparent marketing ploy.

  • Darcy - CEO on

    @Nadya Hajj @Shep Bostin Thank you for your support.

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