78% of customers believe it’s important for companies to stand up for social justice issues according to Cone Communication.
This statistic should speak to us all as business owners. There was a time I believed in the notion of keeping my beliefs on the social justice challenges separate from business. Keep Silent.
“If you listen carefully there is always a message in silence” – Krystal Nelson
Silence speaks volumes to customers, especially in the world we live in today. We must listen to our customers and respond accordingly. We must be customer centric.
To be customer centric we must know our customers. We cannot risks attempting to accommodate
every audience, we must focus on our target audience. Our target audience will align with our beliefs; hence when we stand up for our beliefs on social justice challenges our audience/customers will support us.
Our beliefs are responsible for shaping our businesses core values. It’s the foundation of our life’s mission and vision which should translate into the foundation of our business.
My beliefs center around my life mission – “to empower and create opportunities for others.” My business is built on this foundation.
Some of the key people I aim to empower and create opportunity for are youth. I have the opportunity to do this by mentoring youth through the Hay Center, an organization I’m linked to.
So, when I hear of school shootings my heart breaks. My heart breaks for the youth, parents, teachers and our country as a whole.
When I was a kid I had an uncle who I adored. He took me to the community center made me giggle and always had time to talk with me. He was awesome. He was also about 19 years old and left this world with a bullet in him. He was murdered. Yes, I can say that I’ve felt the impakt of gun violence.
At the same time, I don’t believe that guns are inherently bad. I believe people make bad decisions.
Our country is at an impasse because we can’t control the decisions people make. Control comes in to play as a consequence and by then it’s too late. Too late for the slain person, too late for the families and friends.
As I continued to hear about school shootings/ mass shootings, it’s increased my desire to get a better understanding of gun control. I’ve taken gun classes and practiced at the range, but I was still ignorant in reference to a lot of the conversations around gun control.
I am not an expert in any way, shape or form on guns or gun control, but I am no longer as ignorant .
I started my research by finding out what type of guns were used in the school mass shootings. The specific type of guns involved in the school mass shooting are assault rifles.
Assault Rifle – def. a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle
Fully Automatic Rifle – def. a gun that fires multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled ex. M4A1 can fire 950 rounds in one minute
Semi-Automatic Rifle- def. a gun that fires one round each time the trigger is pulled ex. AR-15 (can fire between (45-60_ rounds per minute
Bump Fire Stock- def. allows semi-automatic guns to mimic fully automatic weapons
In 1986 Congress banned the ownership and sale of any new fully automatic weapon. Guns manufactured before that were grandfathered in and are still able to be bought and sold. Fully automatic weapons must be registered with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Source
– The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population but holds 31% of global mass shooters.”
What’s happening Now:
The last mass school shooting seemed to be the turning point for many and they are saying we’ve had enough. Citizens have said we’ve had enough through events like the “National School Walkout” and “March for Our Lives”. Companies are communicating they’ve had enough through separating partnerships with the NRA and changing their companies gun policies. (Access the list of companies)
– We believe that Military grade guns should not be sold or given to civilians
– We do not believe that all guns should be outlawed
– We believe that stricter laws should be made in regards to the purchase of guns
– We believe that guns are not inherently bad just like drugs are not inherently bad but there is a need control both in a responsible way to protect society
– We believe that companies, citizens and government play in part in creating the solution for gun control.
– We believe that companies like the three we’re going to tell you about should be supported as they work to not nearly talk about solutions but do their part in creating solutions.
3 Jewelry Companies CREATING Solutions for Gun Violence
- Liberty United Founder: Peter Thum
Their mission is to get illegal guns off the streets and remake them into handcrafted jewelry. Twenty to twenty-five percent of profit from each sale is donated to fund programs that protect at-risk youth from gun violence.
- Gina Raphael Jewelry Founder: Gina Raphael
Gina Raphael is taking a stand on violence with her “No More” jewelry collection and by donating a percentage of profits from her jewelry sales to non-profits that raise the quality of life for people and bring awareness to the stance she’s taking for No More Violence. Each piece of jewelry is made out of deconstructed, transformed bullets.
- Caliber Collection Founder: Jessica Mindich
Caliber Collection melts down illegal reclaimed guns and shell casings to remove illegal guns from the street and to create beautiful jewelry. Part of the money from the sales goes to support programs like the gun buyback program that gives $200 to anyone turning in an illegal gun with no questions asked and to support victim’s families and communities affected by gun violence. Each customer gets a piece of jewelry with the original engraved serial number.
Leave a comment below and tell us what social justice issues is important to you.