June 20, 2018

HU·MAN·I·TY | n. humaneness

Over the last week I have watched in horror as my country has chosen to disregard humanity and made active choices to cause trauma and scars to innocent children. As the owner of a fashion brand, I feel that it is not my place to push my personal political agenda. I respect that we all have different views and I strongly believe that our differences make us better people. What is happening right now on the southern border of our country is not political. This is a crime against humanity and it’s something that I cannot sit quiet about.

The events that have unfolded over the past weeks have hit a very personal place in my heart.

First, as a Christian woman, I have watched the God I love be scapegoated by government officials and His word used to justify the cruelty they are inflicting upon these families. Second, the fear and uncertainty of being ripped from a parent is a terrifying reality. Two years ago, my dad passed away suddenly. In the first weeks after losing my dad, it wasn’t the finality of his death that traumatized me, but it was the fact that he was just there and then suddenly gone. In no way am I relating my experience to these children's reality. My intent is to show that as an adult with plenty of resources and support helping me through my tragedy, I'm still struggling with it today. Unlike my experience, these are CHILDREN and this terror is actively being inflicted on them. We are consciously exposing these children to the lasting effects of a trauma that they will have to deal with their whole lives. They don’t have the capacity to process this. They are terrified. Alone.

This is unimaginably cruel and we have to put an end to it.

Like many of you, I have felt helpless as I watch what we are doing collectively to these families. I understand this is not the typical email you get from my brand, but along with the success of our company comes an obligation to use our voice for good. As a product based company, we spend thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns to spread awareness about our brand.

As a company, we have decided to stop all of our campaigns and instead use our marketing platform to spread awareness of this issue and to raise money directly for RAICES and KIND both non-profit organizations that are on the ground at the borders fighting to reunite these families.

Every dollar will go to post bonds to reunite parents with their children, and to assign a legal and administration team to make sure that every child is accounted for and reunited with their family. Even with the new administrative order, there are still thousands of families that need help reconnecting. If you see these social media campaigns, please share, like, comment or engage in some way so we can ensure the maximum audience will see and help. I am hopeful this email and marketing campaign will reach hundreds of thousands of people and with that reach, real change is possible.

As a republic, the choices made by our elected officials fall back on us. It’s our moral obligation to ensure they are representing our beliefs and core values. Please let your voice be heard by your representatives.

Regardless of our different political views, we have to remember we are all human and we can’t lose our humanness as collateral in a political war.

With a sincere heart,

Janessa Leone


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