A Letter From Our CEO: The Story Behind #ThisMessageMatters Project

#ThisMessageMatters is a project that provides a FREE platform to bring awareness to the fight against the social injustice black people are facing today. We understand that not everyone likes to participate in the same way. You can use this website to educate yourself or others; find ways to get involved; download free materials for protests and social media; and donate to various organizations. Our goal is to be a resource to help people join the conversations about race and racism.

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I know the internet and news outlets are over-saturated with stories about Black experiences, racial injustice, and defunding the police. Why is it essential for you to listen to my story? I’m not anyone famous, I’m not a scholar, and I’m not an influencer. My answer is that telling stories is one of the most powerful means humans have to influence, teach, and inspire one another. My story is the reason why supporting Black Lives MATTERS. We cannot let this conversation lose momentum. My story is why I decided to find a way to do more and start the #ThisMessageeMatters project to better support the fight against the injustice of Black lives.

I was eight years old, and my Dad wanted to take his family to the south for a family trip to meet his brothers and sisters. My brother and I were old enough to make the long trip in the car, and we were excited to experience my Dad’s hometown. That trip changed my perspective on what it means to be brown.

We were in a grocery store shopping. There was a woman who would not stop following me around (my Mom didn’t notice at first). She looked at my white Mom, looked at my Black Dad, and then looked at me, and suddenly, her demeanor changed. She was mean! She kept snarling at me, giving me angry stares, and finally, she started to walk up to me and screamed, “Shame, you are the Devils child…disgusting.” Luckily my Mom interjected at that point and made the woman go away. I would like to think she wouldn’t have hit an eight-year-old child. I will also admit I didn’t do the best job explaining the amount of hate this woman had in her eyes. It’s something I will never be able to put into words.

At eight years old, I knew this woman hated me because I’m brown. She hated that my mom married my dad and created us. Unfortunately, this was not the only time I have been discriminated against. I have been followed around in retail stores in New York because the store owner assumed I would steal something. My college roommate admitted she didn’t want to live with a Black person in the dorms and requested to move out. Her request was accepted. I have been asked to leave a hotel in Italy because my Black friends and I were staying there, but the workers assumed we were not. The list, unfortunately, goes on. This is the fuel behind #ThisMessageMatters project. This is my way of doing more.

#ThisMessageMatters project is meant to provide ANYONE who wants to participate in the fight against inequality a FREE resource they can utilize. Use the platform to educate yourself or others; find ways to get involved; download free materials for protests and social media; and donate to various organizations.

I ask you to join me and keep the conversation going about social injustice and racism that plagues our country today. It needs to stop. It needs to change. We ALL must do better for people of color.

CEO+Founder, Grova Creative

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