Walking the Walk

I’m sure a lot (or I hope a lot, if not all!) of you spent the last week or so reflecting. I muted myself on Instagram to better amplify Black voices, but I think it’s important to “unmute.” I had this vase of peonies on my counter and every day the tight balls started to open up a little bit more and a little bit more. It made me think about how important it is to “tend to the garden” after a seed is planted. You can’t just plant the seed and expect a flower. It takes nurturing and tending and constant evaluation.

I learned a lot over the past week but the biggest personal thing that I learned was HOW MUCH I DON’T KNOW. Every time I learned one thing, an entire area of ignorance popped up. I was also overwhelmed by just how much there is to do, which is why I’m writing this particular post. I don’t think the world needs another white lady rambling on about ~how much she learned in one week~. Instead, I wanted to share a post I saw on Twitter about how to start to become an activist. I personally found it extremely helpful in finding my center and figuring out what the best way to use my voice is. And I also want to share what I’m personally doing in case it inspires you AND so you know what I’m committing to. I am not going to just talk the talk, I’m committing to walking the walk for the long haul.

The Twitter Thread by Erica Williams Simon

(Highly, highly encourage you to read the whole thread!)

First and foremost, I’m committing to using my voice, publicly and privately. And then I was thinking, what’s important to me and how can I best “move the needle.” I came up with a two-fold/two-fold approach. Two specific areas I’m committing to each in two specific ways.


– Books are so important to me. In fact, I’d say books are my love language. I will continue to educate myself through books and reading. Both in terms of what I’m reading from an educational anti-racist standpoint, but also supporting and reading stories by Black authors.

– I will also be volunteering in a hands-on way for tutoring/literacy in a mentorship type role. I am still working on this one– COVID is making it more challenging but I know there are great schools and organizations in my community that I want to get involved with. (If you’re in northern NJ and know of a great one, I’m all ears.)


– For my personal business (my blog/Instagram), I am committing to better supporting Black businesses and influencers and working with companies that are committed to this as well. As an “influencer,” I am in a unique position where I can help lift up businesses and help Black influencers publicly and behind the scenes.

– Last week, when I was trying to figure out which organizations to donate money to, I found Black Girl Ventures and really fell in love with their mission of providing support for Black and Brown female entrepreneurs!! I have since connected with the founder Shelly Bell and I’m looking forward to donating more and getting more involved with the organization.

Coming up with this “Books and Business” plan of action helped me hone in on how I can be as effective as possible in my personal and public life. I hope you’ll join me in not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, too. 

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Thanks for this Carly! I’ve also experienced a lot of introspection in the last two weeks and seeing your posts about what you’re doing always encourages me to keep going rather than feeling overwhelmed and retreating. Really glad that you’re using your platform to encourage others to be better x


Hi Carly! I’m so happy to see this post – thank you for using your voice to help others new to navigating this scene. I was wondering if you could share what books you are planning on reading next to become more educated on the topic – I am also committing to reading more and would love to hear your reccommendations. Thank you so much


yes! So I’m trying to do one book at a time, instead of compiling a list to “check through” if that makes sense. I just read I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. Currently reading The Vanishing Half (fictional novel) by Britt Bennett, and then right now my plan is to read How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Katie M

I’d recommend mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters. They match you with a kid who needs a positive role model and “fits” with your personality and interests. I’ve been volunteering with them for 5 years and I love it. My “little” and I go to the movies, do art projects, cook together and I help her with school work and go to her plays to support her. It’s a fun, easy and really important way to make a difference.

Rebecca Fudge

Thank you for sharing this post. I’m glad to see that you’re making a sustained effort to continue anti-racism work and education. I encourage you to keep sharing your journey!


I’m not in New Jersey, but my mom volunteered as a literacy tutor through our county’s literacy council. This is the organization in New Jersey and it looks like they could help connect you to programs close to you. Hope this helps!


Hey Carly,
Thanks for getting involved with the BLM movement publicly. I’ve been reading your blog for at least 10 years now and it’s been really refreshing to see the transformation of your blog and social media recently. I wanted to direct your attention to SHE Wins Inc., a non-profit based out of Newark, NJ. They are a leadership and social action organization focused on empowering middle and high school girls, with a special focus on girls affected by inner city violence. They provide summer and after-school programs and community workshop and organize youth-led community service projects. Their founder is an alum of my high school is is currently the youngest elected member of the Newark Board of Education! This is their website, which has a link to get involved through volunteering!


Hello Carly,

This post is incredible. I’ve been reading for years and this is my first time commenting. This post means so much. Thank you so much. I feel so proud of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Can you give more explanation on businesses that do support BLM? Does it mean they posted a black square or one or two stories about it? We all saw your rampage on Lilly who may have had a tone deaf post at first trying to keep aesthetic but is actually a very progressive company for including POC as models and customers (especially more than it’s counterparts like VV and others)….Meanwhile one of your beloved’s, Pencil & Paper posted a quote and moved on two seconds later showcasing tons of brands and deals with no regard for Black businesses or what was happening in the world. What is your line and definition here? What if a company issues an apology, like Lilly?


To be completely transparent, I am still trying to figure out what it means and how I will approach it moving forward. I do know off the bat it will include working with companies that are committed to working with a diverse group of influencers on campaigns and with equitable pay. That is something I can absolutely control for as I move forward as a blogger!


I think it’s important to point out that it doesn’t have to be one single response that is deemed socially acceptable, and if that “one right response” isn’t duplicated by every brand or business, then their efforts aren’t legitimate. In fact, seeing almost every influencer and business use almost identical words and hashtags, feels a lot less organic in my opinion. Freedom of thought and expression makes this country great.Carly, I love that you want to mentor or tutor someone. I think this can make a big difference.

Lucy W

So great! I’d love to learn about more Black and Brown authors through your blog, and am so glad you’re committing in these two areas. The work we need to do is so overwhelming, and focusing is a great way to actually move the needle and make a difference!


Thank you for this!! Please continue to mix in this context with crafts, dogs, fiction, food, etc. While I like the enthusiasm it seems like a lot of the blogs I read (mostly by white women) are now totally dedicated to their own BLM journey. I want this to be a long term thing which to mean means mixing in how we’re learning and acting for black people with the rest of our normal lives. While I like seeing what other white women are reading and what actions they’re taking (it’s a good reminder we need to do the work on our own!), I think amplifying the voices of black people, like you do here, is far more important and should be the focus.


This is great, Carly… as a fellow white woman, the more resources I can find to wade through and start to understand, the better. For me personally, my ‘online’ self has really just been about me. But I’ve decided to dedicate myself to lifting up Black-owned businesses by women and putting my money where my mouth is by purchasing from those stores.

I’m planning to highlight one shop a week in order to better foster my own relationship with Black-owned businesses and products. It’s so easy to snag a candle or a pair of earrings from about a million white businesses… but I’m becoming more thoughtful in my shopping right now.

I’ve also been donating money to various causes, paying attention more to Black voices around me, and diversifying my Instagram feed to help educate myself. Appreciate this post and excited to see where your own journey takes you.


I’m so appreciative of this! This is how you know you’re following somebody who is doing important work and will help you yourself do better too. I look forward to how your business continues to evolve with these important matters in mind.


Love the commitment both personally and professionally. I’m trying to make sure I read books by more Black (and diverse in general) authors, too – I think it’s such a great way to expand my horizons.