For the past six months, the global pandemic has appeared to be the most poignant crisis many of us will face in our lifetime. However, on May 25th, the brutal murder of George Floyd unleashed a wave of anguish which brought the world’s attention to a second and equally poignant crisis, albeit one that is centuries old.
America is at a crossroads. We have spent months closed in our homes. With the basic noise of everyday life silenced, the gross inequities of our economy and institutions have risen painfully to the forefront. Without distractions, we’ve found ourselves unable to look away. The brutal realities of who our institutions serve and who not has been laid bare. Confronting the enormity of these inequities is almost paralyzing.
Kalon is a design studio. We are not activists, politicians nor journalists. But, Kalon is also an inherently political company. Kalon was founded with the intent of changing an industry from within so that it better reflects the world we want to live in. We chose the word Kalon for our studio because of its meaning, which is that for something to be beautiful it must also have moral worth. For us, this means creating meaningful jobs where there is pride in work. It means fair pay, sustaining trades and our communities. It means local production, chemically neutral materials, and restorative manufacturing practices. We have an expansive understanding of sustainability that touches on our society and economies as much as the environment. We have always believed that this way of working was the best way to create a more equitable society. For those of you who have followed our journey, you know that this ethos shapes everything we do.
We do not see the fight to resolve the climate crisis as being at odds with the fight for racial justice. In fact, we believe that at their heart is a shared vision for the future that secures the health and wellbeing of all people, not just a select few. As long as social and economic inequities such as systemic racism exist, it is impossible to live sustainably.
We stand in solidarity with the protesters and all of humanity who are doing what they can to shape a new experience, one of social, economic and environmental justice. Alongside them, we seek to build a sense of community that is not bound by race but rather by a vision for what it means to live on earth in balance with one another and the planet. We stand against systemic violence in all of its forms, against white supremacy and institutionalized racism. We stand against the brutality of endemic poverty, and unequal access to education, healthcare and justice. We stand against the psychological brutality that these systemic inequities inflict on our population.
Now is not a time for silence. It is a time to listen and to demand that those around us do better. That our leadership does better. That we ourselves do better.
We acknowledge that the work is slow and hard. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go. We each have a role to play in this and it is our responsibility to ask ourselves what our roles have been and will be. There is much to do and this journey requires all of us.
Kalon is donating to the legal fees for Black Lives Matter of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Community Action Network’s federal class action lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department for excessive force and civil rights violations against George Floyd Solidarity protestors. We are also dedicating time and resources to working with White People 4 Black Lives, a white anti-racist collective and activist project. Our staff is on the street protesting and have the liberty to continue doing so regardless of time and place.