A Guild Statement Regarding Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter.

As writers, we are acutely aware of the power that words possess. When crafted well, words bring with them the ability to affect hearts and minds in the most profound ways possible. Words can inspire us to move mountains – or cow us into submission. Words can challenge us with new thoughts and ideas – or scare us into complacency. Words can invoke the noblest and loving aspects of our nature – or encourage quite the opposite. It’s why the words used – or not used – in saying something often reveals as much about its speaker as the point they are trying to make.

Like most, we have pondered what words can convey our reaction to the recent events in the United States surrounding the murder of George Floyd, the resulting (now global) protests against the systemic racism and police brutality that have plagued black communities for generations, and the heavy-handed response to those protests in kind. In a country already reeling from a catastrophic global pandemic, massive economic hardship, and seemingly lurching from one existential crisis to the next, we genuinely struggled to find the right words to express our support without it coming off as an empty platitude.

Anxiety. Angst. Guilt. Grief. Despair. Anger. Frustration. Despondency. Disbelief. Sadness. But also hope.

Ultimately, however, at this point in time, at this moment in history, we could find no better, more meaningful, or more succinct statement than to repeat:

Black Lives Matter.

Taking a stand about the lives of our fellow human beings who have been long marginalized speaks to the larger societal construct for which we all belong, transcending any political party or ideology. And to stay silent over mere concerns on how such a stance would be construed only felt like a moral abdication.

Still, while words do matter, so do actions.

For our part, The TWG neither tolerates nor condones hatred of any kind and will continue our efforts to be a unifying force of written content creators. At the same time, we vow to always be working to be better allies to voices in content creation – as well as the larger hobby itself. Most importantly, we are committed to listening to and amplifying black voices.

We are also taking specific steps towards these goals, including:

  1. Increasing our outreach to BIPOC writers & content creators. 
  2. Adding a Diversity Committee to focus on fostering growth and engagement with existing BIPOC writers, while also addressing potential barriers preventing new content writers of these communities from entering the hobby. 
  3. Earlier this year we decided to host a 2020 Diverse Writers Initiative. We are fully committed to this project, which will be marking its formal kickoff on August 11th.      

Moreover, for resources on ways to help the black community further or organizations to donate to, we recommend checking out this Ways To Help page as a good launching point.

Take care of yourselves and each other in these times. Because it matters.

Sincerely,

-The Tabletop Writers Guild Board