Educational Resources To Support #BlackLivesMatter

With everything that has happened in the last week since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resurfacing of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I wanted to share some educational resources for those who may feel like they don’t know how to support the cause. Personally, I really struggled with my reaction to everything going on. I wasn’t sure how I felt, how I could help or where to start. I knew at the very least, I was completely uneducated about the situation so I figured that made the most sense to start with. Race is an issue I struggle to talk about and I know right now is the time to push myself out of my comfort zone by talking and learning as much as I can. Below are some resources I’ve found to help you get educated about racism in America and how it’s gotten us to where we are now. I’ve also included a few donation links to some organizations who’s missions are to fully support the #BlackLivesMatter movement and push for equality.

Books To Read:

I found an Instagram post last week that shared a ton of books to read if you want to learn more about how racism became so prevalent in the US and how you can work on changing your own thoughts and actions. The post is by Jane Mount and her Instagram is linked here for you and the image is below (you can click on it to be redirected to the original post). She recommends reading the three books right in the middle first if you don’t know where to start. These books are: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, How to Be Antiracist by Abram X. Kendi, and Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. A lot of the hardcover and paperback versions are sold out currently due to such high demand, but the Kindle and Audible versions are always available for digital download. I personally bought a few books to get started on my journey of learning more about racism in America and how my own thoughts and actions can help. I bought the book Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, which is in a similar realm to the ones mentioned above as she discusses racism in Britain. I also bought the book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, which is a nonfiction personal account of a white man in the 1950’s in the deep south who disguises himself as an black man using medication that deepens his skin color to get a first hand account of what it’s like to be black in the south before the civil rights movement. These are just a few books I’ve come across, but there are TONS of resources that you can search through to find the literary works that make the most sense for you.

Karen Faye Style - Educational Resources to Support #BlackLivesMatter; Photo credit to Jane Mount

What To Watch:

As I write this post, I am currently watching the documentary 13th on Netflix which discusses how America went from slavery of African Americans to the mass incarceration of African Americans that you see today. Truthfully, I’m about 20 minutes in and I’ve gotten a ton of information that I never knew before from this documentary. It’s incredible the things they don’t teach you in school. Some other things you can watch on Netflix include: American Son, When They See Us, He Even Has Your Eyes, American History X and Dear White People. On Hulu, you can watch The Hate U Give, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Minding The Gap. On Amazon Prime, you can watch Selma which is an incredible behind the scenes look at the march on Selma by Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. You can also watch and listen to a documentary series directly on the Black Lives Matter website, linked here.

Places to Donate:

I also found a few places that you can donate money to help support their causes. The first is the Minnesota Freedom Fund who is currently using donations to help bail protesters out of jail after the brutal murder of George Floyd. You can click here for more information, as well as to donate to their cause. The next is a GoFundMe that is run by George Floyd’s brother for the George Floyd Fund. This fund is being used to help afford funeral costs as well as legal costs for the family to go to court against the policemen responsible for his death. You can click here to donate to this fund. You can also donate to the NAACP, linked here, whose work has helped people of color get the resources they need as well as supporting political causes to make changes in predominately minority communities. Their focus is equal rights for everyone and this organization has held true to their cause for decades. You can also donate to Campaign Zero who’s goal is to stop violent policing in America or donate directly to the Black Lives Matter Movement, linked here.

Influencers Who Are Doing Their Part:

I’m only mentioning two because I feel emotionally driven by their dedication to support the cause. The first is Rachel Cargle, who I’ve just recently found but have been truly moved by what she has to say. You can follow her Instagram here. She has shared her personal experience about being black in today’s society, as well as plenty of resources and knowledge about how to help and be a better person in general right now. She’s an excellent resource to follow along with to stay informed. Another influcencer that I feel proud to support is Danielle Bernstein. She has been focused on charitable causes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is no different. She shares different resources every day of how to help, how to get educated and where to donate on her Instagram Story. You can follow her Instagram here. I’m also linking a few Instagrams of other influencers and authors that I’ve found in the last few days who are doing their part to spread awareness and knowledge of this situation. In no particular order: Elaine Welteroth author of the book More Than Enough, Layla F Saad who is the author of a book I mentioned earlier in this post called Me and White Supremacy, Chrissy Rutherford who shared a really important IGTV about doing the work to become antiracist, and Ijeoma Oluo who is also the author of one of the books mentioned above So You Want To Talk About Race.

I hope you find this helpful. I am still learning and figuring out what the best resources are so I am absolutely open to any other suggestions. Please feel free to include them in the comments or send me an email via the Contact tab. I’d love to keep updating this post with more resources as I find them. There’s so much work to be done, but the best place to start is with education. It’s hard to feel connected to a cause that you know nothing about, so that’s why I’m focusing there first, so I can do my part later to make a bigger impact.

P.S. Keep up with me on Instagram: @karenmauritzenn

What’s on My Summer Reading List

What’s on My Summer Reading List

Summer is a great time to get into reading I think. It stays light out for longer, so maybe you need something to help you relax a little bit more before bed. Or maybe you like to sit outside in the backyard or on the beach and relax with a good book. Or maybe you enjoy reading first thing in the morning after you wake up to get you feeling creative for the day. Whatever the case is, I find that I enjoy reading a lot more during the summer. There seems to be more opportunity to take 30 minutes to read a chapter of a book. Today, I wanted to share with you a few books that I have sitting on my reading list for Summer 2020!

This Is Not A Fashion Story by Danielle Bernstein

If you follow any influencer on Instagram, you may have seen one of them talking about this book. Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat on Instagram) is a Long Island native turned international fashion influencer and CEO. This is an incredible story of how she got to where she is today, running a clothing line, brand deals, a tech company and so many other projects. She shares the intimate details of her life including relationships, sex, business, life in New York City as a 20-something and all the juicy stories you could ask for. Based on reviews, it’s also incredibly inspiring to read her story because it’s so relatable. She has the same problems that you and I have, but she was extremely motivated and brave and created a life she could have never imagined. I’m a huge fan of Danielle Bernstein, so this book is at the top of my summer reading list!

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a super famous author and has written tons of books on success. This book is specifically about people who have become incredibly successful because of more than just a little motivation and effort. This book discusses the absolute biggest and brightest stars, and how they became ultra successful. He’s exploring the question of, “What makes them different?” Why do these people become ultra successful while someone else is working in a grocery store? In this book, he dives a little bit deeper into not just the habits and personalities that can contribute to success, but also things like their upbringing, where they’re from, and what their parents were like. There are so many other factors that can play into success so I thought this summer was a great time to explore them through this book.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I’ve got another Malcolm Gladwell book topping my summer reading list! This one discusses how when it comes to success, there is usually a “tipping point” where the idea becomes more than just an idea. It’s the moment when you realize that the video you posted is about to go viral, or your new product is going to be a best seller. It’s after the innovators and early adopters have already approved of your new idea and it starts catching on the masses. The reason why one person started making whipped coffee and now I can’t go one morning without making myself one. This book discusses viral trends in business, marketing and human behavior, how they got there, and what reaching the tipping point can mean for your business. I read this book in college but really didn’t understand it back then, so now that I have a different focus, I think this book would be such an interesting read now that I can relate it to the future of my blog.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This one was actually recommended to me by 2 friends who had recently read/heard about it and I thought I would include it on my list. This one is memoir about a woman on her journey to be her absolute truest self. It’s about letting go of all your expectations and who you think you’re supposed to be so that you can be the person you always were underneath all the pressure that was weighing you down. It’s about letting go of “being good” and just being who you are. I think this one could be a really interesting read because it’s a memoir and not your typical self help book. It’s about getting to read the intimate details of someone’s life and saying to yourself, “I know exactly what you mean” because you’ve struggled with the same thoughts. This sounds like the kind of book that I wouldn’t be able to put down and I’m looking forward to reading it!

Educated by Tara Westover

This one is another memoir and it was actually very popular last year! This one is the story of girl who grew up in a family of survivalists who after seeing her brother go to college, decides to get educated herself. It’s a story of discovering that there’s more out than than what she thought, as well as a story of family and growth. It’s a NY Times Best Seller and with good reason. This is a book that I’ve passed in book stores for about a year, reading the summary, picking it up and eventually putting it down before leaving. It’s a book that I never felt I was quite ready to read but I’ve decided that this summer I’m going to read it. It sounds like such an incredible book and I’m excited to add it to my summer reading list.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Now I’m not normally one to read fiction books, but this year I’ve decided to give it a chance. This book was actually turned into a show on Hulu that just came out, so I thought it would be a good time to read this one! This one is about a boy and a girl who are about as opposite as it gets, but they are constantly drawn to each other and build a really strong connection. It’s called a story of “mutual fascination, friendship and love” which I think could be really intriguing so I’m looking forward to giving this one a shot!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I have heard tons of great reviews about this book from bloggers I follow on Instagram so I wanted to include it on my list. This one is also a NY Times Best Seller, it’s another fiction book and was even recommended by Reese Witherspoon! It’s a story about a small town, the “Marsh Girl” who lives alone in a marsh near by, and a possible murder. It’s described as a coming of age story and an “ode to the natural world”. It sounds like it could be a really riveting tale so I’m excited to pick this one up also!

This blog post contains affiliate links to various retailers who may pay me a commission for any purchases made via the links above at no additional cost to you.

P.S. Keep up with me on Instagram: @karenmauritzenn