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The M Dash

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A Note to Our Community from Sarah LaFleur

By Sarah LaFleur

On Sunday, May 31, our CEO and Founder, Sarah LaFleur, sent this email to the M.M.LaFleur community. We’re reposting it here to continue the conversation. We welcome feedback at sml@mmlafleur.com. 

To our dearest M.M. community,

I wanted to reach out personally this afternoon. Today, like every other Sunday, we had planned on sending you our weekly M Dash newsletter, but it just didn’t feel right to talk about clothes or styling tips this weekend. We are in a period of mourning.

I am heartbroken and outraged by this week’s horrific events. In my twenties, I had the opportunity to live in South Africa, another country that has struggled with systemic racism for centuries. This quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been with me ever since, so much so that a paraphrased version is laminated in our headquarters: My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. Today, we stand in solidarity in the fight against systemic racism and oppression in our country, and say that Black Lives Matter.

Our customers are an amazing, powerful, diverse community of women—and I know many of you experience racism on a daily basis. This is nothing new for you. As a brand, we don’t purport that we can single-handedly change the system, but we are open-minded, empathetic, and staunchly believe that you are the change we need.

In this incredibly difficult moment, remember that activism takes many forms. Through our Ready to Run program, we have had the privilege of meeting and working with hundreds of candidates, many of them women of color, who are breaking barriers in their communities. Other customers of ours work outside of government, but their service—as lawyers fighting for equal rights, or educators aspiring to dismantle systemic racism—is equally important. Similarly, I hope you will use your skills to channel your anger into thoughtful action.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about how to activate effectively, and we welcome your thoughts on topics to cover, women to speak with, and resources to share. Feel free to reach out to us at bonjour@mmlafleur.com. More than ever, your input is the most valuable tool we have as we work to support you in all that you do.

It’s easy—and understandable—to feel angry, sad, or helpless right now. But it is my greatest hope that we can channel those feelings to effect meaningful change in ourselves and our communities. As our former Woman of the Week Blair Imani said:

If you want to pursue activism, your first order of business is to pick a lane. If you have spent your whole career doing marketing for corporate entities, don’t drop everything and become a grassroots activist. Maybe look at how you can use that marketing experience to get those corporations to do more social justice work.

Below are some resources we found helpful. We’d love to hear from you about how you’re working toward change in your own way. We’re here to listen.

Yours,
Sarah LaFleur
Founder & CEO


Resources for Immediate Action

  • This article highlighting a range of local organizations to donate to in every city.
  • This comprehensive list of anti-racism books from Jane Mount.
  • This guide from Sarah Sophie Flicker on anti-racism educational resources for white people and parents.
  • This round-up from Alexander Hodge of organizations to support and resources to learn from, focused on how Asian Americans can show up for the Black community right now.
  • This guide on to how to protest safely from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Sarah LaFleur

Written By

Sarah LaFleur

Sarah LaFleur is the founder and CEO of professional womenswear brand MM.LaFleur . Her mission: to take the work out of dressing for work.

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