On Blackout Tuesday June 2, 2020 Abygail Montague questioned why folks were posting Black Squares across social media. Blackout Tuesday was a collective movement that stemmed from the music industry to stop production or releases or content for a day to pay respects and protest the deaths of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of police brutality. This movement spread and Abygail questioned whether this was just a performative action by folks and what could be done to actively engage folks in supporting the black community.
Together with her sisters Alexandria and Ashleigh Montague and members in the community they compiled a list of over 150 Black Owned Businesses in the Greater Hamilton Area. This list was put together to encourage folks to choose to support Black-Owned. Your purchasing power is a key tool to mobilizing a community!
Abygail, Alexandria and Ashleigh grew a social media presence “BLKOWNEDHAMONT” where the goal was to Showcase, Support, Explore and Celebrate Black-Owned Businesses. The Instagram account initially focused on highlighting the businesses on the list.
BLK OWNED is a non-profit organization with a mission is to celebrate, showcase, explore, and support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the Greater Hamilton Area. Our goal through this support is to empower and create a sustainable and thriving economy for Black-owned businesses.
This will be achieved through;
Analyze the successes and limitations Black business owners and entrepreneurs face. Acknowledging and honouring the efforts of black-owned businesses while uncovering what changes that need to happen for continued success.
Actively advocate; for the diversity of culture, creativity of the black-owned businesses, adoption of technology and systemic changes. Providing a platform for black-owned businesses to thrive.
Empower black and racialized owned businesses with the skills, resources, and networks; to grow through offering workshops, courses, and networking opportunities.
Lohifa Acker Pogoson