June 2, 2020

Black Lives Matter

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.


Giuseppe Hornbottom - June 8, 2020


I was to purchase a bag here, but I came this page to see what you have to say. Your donation is great beginning to make fair the world and make reparations to people of color for enduring whiteness. My question is, as the founder who is a white man and has whiteness which has privilege him to be rich with a company, how else has he made betterment for his whiteness? Also, I notice when I look at the photos of your employee, I see no people of black color. Do you not hire them? This concern me.

I apologize for my English
Thnk you, and live proper lives to each other

Shep Bostin - June 3, 2020

Well said! And thank you for sharing the link to the “Talking About Race” site.

Nadya Hajj - June 2, 2020

Thank you, Tom Bihn and Crew.

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.