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International Women’s Day with Taylore Evans
Social Impact

International Women’s Day with Taylore Evans

We first came across Taylore C.Y. Evans (aka @outlandishblueprint) when looking for an artist to shoot our apparel campaign. We fell in love with her eye and the way she captures people, and we immediately knew she’d be the right person for the job. This International Women’s Day we’re shining a light on her work and what led her up to this point in her career. Keep reading to learn more about Taylore.


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Tell us a little about yourself!

First of all, I’m so grateful for the opportunity Sunday Goods is providing to share my story and share my voice, so thank you!

My name is Taylore C.Y. Evans, a southern-born city lover, born in Louisiana raised in San Diego, now establishing my content marketing agency in Arizona. I have always found myself flirting with my imagination as a way to escape the bounds of the reality that told me that I didn’t fit in. All that flirting and exploring with my imagination (along with many other life lessons) has helped me find myself and has translated into skills that are helping me serve a purpose that I’m very passionate about – helping others identify and turn their vision into reality, with my unique style of photography and my sincere desire to apply structure to people’s creative processes.

How did you get into photography?

It all started within a transitional period of my life. I was 19 going on 20, and was moving away from a reality that wasn’t truly serving me. So I decided to make a big move from San Diego to Phoenix permanently, to acquire a job that would support my independence. I found a new job within a week of moving here to Phoenix that paid me considerably more than working at Sea World back in San Diego. I was finally able to get my own apartment, car and new wardrobe. This was my first major accomplishment, as an adult, and it helped build up the low self esteem that I once had, so much so that it got a bit out of hand. I was also able to invest in my physical presentation more than I ever did before.

I would routinely get my nails & hair done, all types of make up and all other beauty essentials, and this led me down a path of heavy conceit. I was obsessed with my self and my looks. I was constantly taking a snapchats here, taking a selfies there. I was taking pictures everywhere. Until one day, I was looking for a picture of a friend for their birthday, and couldn’t find one because I had maybe 2,000 photos of myself. I had no photos of those that I cared most about, or that I loved. I wanted to change my focus and so I was determined to turn it all around from that day moving forward. I vowed to start intentionally taking pictures of others, and from that promise I discovered a talent that was directly in front of my face, the lens was just turned the other way for a time: a love of photography! It all worked in the end because I feel that photography helps me help other people find and feel confident in front of the camera and that really makes me feel great!

Do you feel like being a woman has had an impact on your work? 

I do feel like being a woman has positively impacted my work, especially in the field of photography. Many women and models have mentioned to me the relief they felt when they found out I was a woman-photographer in the fashion industry. It has come to my attention many times that they’ve dealt with harassment and other inappropriate behaviors from male photographers before in the industry. Not only does that disappoint me, but it also reassures me that I am needed in this field as a safe space for other women to feel confident and safe in-front of the camera.

What’s your relationship with cannabis?

My relationship with cannabis, aka Mama Marijuana, is an on again off again cycle that I deeply respect. I look at cannabis as a healing/medicinal herb, that makes me confront and master my shadow. I personally feel I should use cannabis with a strong intention. Before I light up or even pack my bowl, I like to know what I’d like to take from the experience. I know when it’s time for a break from her and when I am ready to go into another cycle with her, simply through intention. But I do love and appreciate her, Mama Marijuana.

What’s a piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Lil Taye, Lil Outlanda, lol… Those who open their mouth to speak ill about you, to you, in front of you, are simply flattered and enamored by you. The only thing that is wrong with you is you don’t realize that you are supposed to shine bright and stand out. You are a leader, so make sure you talk to yourself more in your alone time, reflect more upon previous situations, ask yourself more questions, and don’t be scared of the answers you say out loud. All the answers lie within you. Life is 90% perspective, so work on your perspective with things and you’ll be just fine! I love you.

Keep up with Taylore on Instagram.

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Veterans Day Appreciation
Social Impact

Veterans Day Appreciation

With Veterans Day fast approaching we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect back on how thankful we are for those who’ve served for us. As a very small token of our appreciation, we’re offering 25% off for all Veterans this Veterans Day. Additionally, we chatted with one of our own Veteran patients, Dan, to learn more about his service and how he uses cannabis for relief. 

Hi Dan! Mind telling us about your experience as a Veteran?

My experience as a Veteran has been mostly positive. I wear U.S. Navy Veteran clothing often and many people have shown their appreciation with their kind words and actions. I never thought that four years of anything would have influenced my life the way that the Navy has. Nor did I know how many brothers and sisters have served their country. I find it comforting. 

 

When did you start using cannabis?

About three years ago. I had been using opiates for over thirty years and suddenly it became a problem. I couldn’t get the dosage that I needed even with records showing exactly what I was taking. Cannabis doesn’t remove my pain but it does relax me enough to allow my body to heal.

 

What’s your preferred consumption method? 

My preferred method of consumption is edibles. I can get 4-6 hours of relief which I support with smoking flower as needed. I was introduced to a butter/oil infuser and now make my own oil which is quite potent and easily used. 

 

What do you wish more people knew about the medical benefits of cannabis? 

I wish that more people understood the medical benefits of Cannabis. The ability to control my own dosage is one thing that really helps me. I don’t have to convince a doctor that my pain is bad enough to need treatment before I can get help. I think that education is the key to understanding and understanding is the key to acceptance. 

 

Do you feel like there’s still stigma around cannabis in the Veteran community, or is it becoming more accepted?

I don’t know about acceptance within the Veteran community as a whole. I am seeing more Veterans using cannabis medically. In some cases it’s the only viable option for the treatment of pain that they can use. It seems as if pain has suddenly become illegal. I have thirty years of documented treatment but it was discontinued with the opiate crisis. Many Veterans are facing the same problem.

We hear stories like Dan’s on almost a daily basis. Below we’ve outlined resources for Veterans interested in learning more about the medicinal benefits of cannabis consumption. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please consider sending this to them.

Veterans Cannabis Project: This organization is dedicated to improving U.S. military veterans’ quality of life through the opportunity of cannabis. They believe medical cannabis saves lives and that veterans deserve full, legal access.

Weed for Warriors: A social justice lifestyle brand supporting holistic rehabilitation for veterans through community-based projects, proactive care advocacy, cannabis education and compassion WFWP urges change for the empowerment of the people.

Veterans Cannabis Group: An advocacy group of Veterans for Veterans who use medical cannabis. They provide education, safe access, information on VA resources and benefits, and an opportunity for veterans to work with other veterans within the cannabis industry.

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Feel Good Update
Social Impact

Feel Good Update

Highlighting injustice and discrimination is crucial. It serves as a reminder that we have so far still to go, it stirs movement, change, and action that we desperately need. But when we only focus on the negative, things can begin to feel hopeless. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the success stories that Last Prisoner Project has achieved, with the help of its supporters and donors. A friendly reminder to never stop fighting for cannabis justice, and that positive change is being made. Below are three stories of people who’ve been released and are participating in Last Prisoner Project’s Reentry Program.

EVELYN LACHAPELLE

Evelyn grew up in Oakland, CA  after graduating from high school in 2003 she moved to Los Angeles for college.  She completed the courses required to receive a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University. In 2009 she gave birth to a daughter and in 2012 decided to move back to Oakland to be closer to friends and family. In 2013 she was convicted on three charges related to her minor role in a marijuana distribution operation. She was sentenced to 87 months in prison. She had no prior record and in fact had no indicators that she was a repeat offender.

On February 1, 2019 she was released from federal custody and began her 4 year probation sentence. She immediately found employment in a prominent hotel as a sales and catering coordinator. She had held this position prior to being taken into custody and was very grateful to return to the work she enjoyed.  After a co-worker searched her name and found her convictions she was fired. Since then , Evelyn has  become the owner and operator of Fresh Out Car Wash, her own mobile car detailing business. She is dedicated to offering jobs to people who have recently been incarcerated. She understands what it’s like to serve your time and still come home to an environment that would deny you employment because of your past.

She has experienced the War on Drugs personally, her family has now experienced it, and her daughter was left without her mother because of it. The Second Chance Act has failed her and she has made it her goal to create a real second chance for men and women being released from prison. Evelyn is an LPP board member and one of the first participants in our reentry program.

NATALIA WADE

In 2013 Natalia Wade was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in North Carolina although she had never left her home state of California. Her only involvement in this conspiracy was depositing profits from cannabis sales into her bank account. From our “justice system” she received a sentence of 87 months in federal prison and four years probation as a first-time, nonviolent offender.

Natalia is now released and living in Northern California, but while incarcerated she was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She suffered immensely under the failing healthcare system of the prisons. Natalia is still struggling to recover from the negligence of prison healthcare and the trauma of being incarcerated in the conditions of our prison system. Natalie is currently participating in LPP’s reentry program.

STEPHANIE SHEPARD

In 2011 Stephanie Shepard was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in New York. Beyond selling just 4 ounces of cannabis, her only involvement in distribution was simply acting as caretaker to a man who had sold marijuana and was struggling with a life threatening illness.

For her kindness, she was rewarded by our “justice system” with a sentence of 120 months in federal prison and five years probation as a first-time, nonviolent offender. Stephanie is now released and living in Northern California, but while incarcerated her beloved father passed away. Stephanie will never recover the time she lost or the moments with her family that were cruelly taken from her by the federal government. Stephanie is now participating in LPP’s reentry program.

If you’d like to learn more, we’d recommend watching this webinar that features the stories of these three strong and resilient women. The fight isn’t over yet, but with each release we get one step closer to cannabis equality and racial justice. 

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Cannabis injustice: How you can help
Social Impact

Cannabis injustice: How you can help

Earlier this year we partnered with Last Prisoner project as part of our High Priorities initiative, and one of the most common questions we’ve been asked is “how can I get involved?”. We chatted with the people behind LPP and they recommended becoming a part of their letter writing program. By writing to a person incarcerated for cannabis crimes, you have an opportunity to brighten their day and let them know that you are thinking of them and fighting for them. Below is more information on what, how and who to write to, brought to you by Last Prisoner Project and Deedee Kirkwood.

What to write

It’s up to you! You could include an introduction with a short bio, explanation about how you heard of the program, hobbies, pets, music, activism, etc. Let them know that cannabis justice activists like yourself are fighting for their freedom!

Mailing instructions

  • Plain white envelopes

  • No stickers, tape, glue, glitter, staples, crayon, ribbon, etc. on envelopes or letters

  • No popups

  • No address labels

  • All ingoing mail is subject to inspections

  • No markings that could be misconstructed as code or inappropriate content

  • Mail may be returned

Addressing the envelope

Always include your pen pal’s full name, six-digit prison ID #, institution name, address, and your full name and return address.

Below are some of the profiles of people you can write to. For a downloadable PDF with the names, addresses, and stories of thirty currently incarcerated cannabis prisoners head to Last Prisoner Project.


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Interview with Last Prisoner Project
Social Impact

Interview with Last Prisoner Project

As you may have heard, we recently partnered with Last Prisoner Project as part of our ongoing High Priorities donation initiative. Today, we chat with Mary Bailey, Managing Director at Last Prisoner Project, on what the future of cannabis justice looks like and how we can each do our part to make a difference.

Hi Mary! Let’s jump right into it, is there injustice in the current judicial system towards cannabis crimes? 

Last Prisoner Project’s work is inherently interconnected with racial justice. Not only is there a disparity in who is targeted for cannabis arrests, but those disparities continue in sentencing so that communities of color are more likely to be convicted and serve longer prison sentences for nonviolent cannabis offenses. We also know that suspected cannabis possession has been used to justify some of the most egregious examples of police violence and murder of Black Americans. 

What is the Last Prisoner Project?

The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. LPP is dedicated to releasing cannabis prisoners and helping them rebuild their lives. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy and awareness campaigns, the forces behind the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies and are dedicated to making sure that every last victimless cannabis prisoner walks free.

How did you get involved with LPP?

I have been involved with the cannabis industry for most of my adult life. I think that it is an absolute travesty that cannabis is now a booming legal industry yet there are still over 40,000 people incarcerated for a plant medicine that is practically legal in most states and has been deemed an essential business during a global crisis.  I have worked with our co-founders to create Last Prisoner Project from the ground up and it has been incredibly inspiring to see the cannabis industry show up to support our efforts. 

How can cannabis consumers make a difference?

Cannabis consumers can educate the extended cannabis community about the injustice of there still being over 40,000 people incarcerated for cannabis in America.  Some of these people are serving life sentences for cannabis. You can learn about their stories on our website

How can people get involved with LPP?

You can learn more about our work on our website, and by following us on social media.  You can support our work by donating to our organization by texting FREEDOM to 24365 to donate or by visiting our website.

With the upcoming election in November, many states will see adult-use and medical-use cannabis legislation. What should voters be aware of as it relates to the justice system should adult or medical use pass?

As new policy is created to allow adult-use legislation in new states, it is imperative that this new legislation allows for the release of cannabis offenders who are incarcerated.  This should be built into the policy, but unfortunately that has not been the case in any of the states that have passed adult use legislation.  We must do better. Our organization is creating a new 501C4 arm of our organization so that we can legally do legislative outreach and have a seat at the table to advocate for cannabis prisoners as new policy is developed. 

As a final note, are there any pressing cases you’re currently working on?

Yes, unfortunately our worst fears have been realized. Michael Thompson has been hospitalized with COVID-19. At 69 years old and diabetic, we are terrified that Michael will not make it. It is clear that those in power in Michigan do not believe in the humanity of our incarcerated community members but we need you to show them that we value Michael’s life, and that he doesn’t deserve to die in detention.

We would like to ask your audience to PLEASE help Michael by calling the Parole Board and Governor Whitmer to urge them not to return Michael to prison from the hospital. He has already served 25 years for only 3 lbs. of cannabis. Don’t let a nonviolent cannabis sentence become a death sentence for Michael Thompson.

Thank you for joining us Mary, and for all the important work you do at LPP. Please consider reaching out to the people listed below to make your voice heard and prevent cannabis being a death sentence for Michael Thompson.

Michigan Parole Board (517) 373-0270, Governor Whitmer’s office (517) 373-3400, Michael’s MDOC number is 176309.

Email Members of the MI Parole Board: mo[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]

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High Priorities
Social Impact

High Priorities

At Sunday Goods, we believe everyone should have access to the magic of cannabis in a way that’s right for them. The reality is that people have had restricted access or been punished for exploring the benefits of the plant for decades, and the legal cannabis industry that so many of us benefit from today is still laden with discrimination, inequality, and social injustice. 

To help do our part and turn our values into action, we are proud to announce our new donation based initiative, High Priorities, and the launch of our official partnership with Last Prisoner Project. 

What’s the problem?

Imagine sitting in a cell for years, decades, or even for life, convicted of a crime that is no longer considered a crime, while thousands of other people build intergenerational wealth doing exactly the same thing that landed you prison.

This is the sad reality over 40,000 cannabis prisoners face today in the United States, while countless others languish in jails and prisons worldwide. 

The problem is not going away by itself. In 2017 alone, nearly 600,000 people were arrested for cannabis crimes, and despite widespread legal cannabis reforms, cannabis arrests are increasing in several states across the country.  

What’s the solution?

Please meet Last Prisoner Project (LPP). This organization focuses on three key criminal justice reform initiatives related to cannabis crimes: prisoner release, record clearing through clemency and expungement, and reentry programs.

 

The current justice system isn’t working. Last Prisoner Project works to release individuals still incarcerated for victimless cannabis offenses, provides record relief, helps those released from prison rebuild their lives through vocational training programs and building pathways to employment.

Additionally, LPP works on a Federal and state by state basis to advocate for social justice measures for cannabis offenders as well as conducting research and analysis on current legislative and regulatory policies. 

Collectively these programs help cannabis prisoners become “fully free.”

How can we do our part?

At Sunday Goods we believe our core values need to mean more than just words on a page. To help do our part and turn our values into action, we are proud to announce our new donation based initiative High Priorities, and the launch of our official partnership with Last Prisoner Project. 

Every Sunday from July through September, Sunday Goods will donate 5% of proceeds from our dispensary to The Last Prisoner Project. We are proud to partner with LPP as we take our first step as an organization to support the fight for cannabis equality. 

The road to justice is long and this is just the beginning. Looking forward, we will be rotating non-profit partners on a quarterly basis as an ongoing commitment to our community. 

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Juneteenth and the History of Cannabis
Cannabis
Social Impact

Juneteenth and the History of Cannabis

It was on this day, June 19th, in 1865 that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure that all enslaved people be freed, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Given the history of racism and inequality within cannabis, we wanted to take today to reflect on the history of cannabis in America, and how we can help pave a way forward. 

Pre-Prohibition: 1600s – 1800s

The Jamestown settlers brought hemp to North America in 1611, and throughout the colonial period, hemp fiber was an important export. During the 17th century, all American colonies were required to grow hemp as it was one of the most predominant industrious materials in the world, even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were known to have grown hemp.

By 1850, cannabis made its way into the US Pharmacopeia, which listed the plant as a treatment for numerous ailments including tetanus, rabies, alcoholism and opiate addiction, just to name a few. The hemp industry was undoubtedly flourishing, although it’s important to remember it was built through slave labor.

Propaganda and Prohibition: 1900 – 1940s

In the early 1900s, the public perception of cannabis began to shift as politicians joined forces with the cotton, steel, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries. Propaganda was rife and shaped American’s views on cannabis forevermore. By 1931, 29 states passed anti-cannabis prohibition laws. 

In 1936 the deceptive propaganda film Reefer Madness was released, depicting cannabis users as violent and deadly fiends. Other forms of media were quick to follow, selling falsehoods as truths and further heightening racial tensions. The word marijuana was used to make the plant sound “more Mexican”, supporting the anti-immigrant attitudes of the time. 

The Black community was also targeted, fueling damaging stereotypes and racism linked to cannabis use. Propaganda instigated research that linked the use of cannabis with violence and crime, primarily committed by “racially inferior” or underclass communities. 

The War on Drugs: 1960s – 1980s

President Nixon took office in 1969 and began withdrawing troops from Vietnam in his first term, which brought with it a new opioid crisis. This development led to Nixon reevaluating the drug policy in the United States, declaring drug abuse “public enemy number one”. Cannabis was quickly roped into categories with other drugs and was claimed to be more dangerous than cocaine, and on par with heroin.

After the Shafer commission filed a report in 1972 stating that cannabis should be decriminalized after determining that cannabis was far safer than other drugs. The report was rejected by Nixon. Strict prohibition laws continued to maintain power over disenfranchised communities. 

The War on Drugs continued beyond Nixon’s resignation. In 1986, Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act and in 1988 it was amended to be harsher and on a wider scale, including mandatory minimum sentencing for “a conspiracy to distribute drugs” and non-violent drug crimes. While vowing to protect children, the Reagan Administration was disproportionately throwing Black and Brown children into jail for cannabis-related crimes.

Cannabis propaganda continued, and the plant was now positioned as a gateway drug to crack and heroin, justifying harsh laws. There was a boom in the number of incarcerations. To this day, some are still serving life in prison without parole for a drug that is now legal in states throughout the US. 

The Turn of the Century: 1990s – Today

In the 1990s pop culture brought cannabis to mainstream media for the first time thanks to music and film. We began to understand the wonders of the plant, and the medicinal uses for cannabis were further studied. The HIV Aids crisis is the reason we have medicinally legal cannabis today, as treatment options were limited and cannabis could provide relief to those suffering. In 1992 the nation’s first public dispensary opened in San Francisco, making history. The momentum from California made its way across to Arizona next, becoming legal for medicinal uses on a state-by-state basis. 

The conversation around cannabis continued to grow and gain attention, with it becoming clear that the majority of Americans were eager for a path towards legalization. Currently, cannabis is legal in 11 states for recreational use and 33 states for medical use.

While the cannabis industry is seemingly making progress, we still have a long way to go. In 2018, 40% of drug arrests were for cannabis, most of which were only possession. That’s one cannabis arrest every 48 seconds. On average Black person is 3.73 times more likely than a white person to be arrested for cannabis, with some states being 6 times more likely, despite equal usage rates. A cannabis conviction doesn’t just mean jail time, it means creating serious ongoing psychological risks, breaking families apart, and losing the right to vote. Looking at the statistics, it’s clear that Black people are disproportionately targeted for cannabis-related charges. So, what can we do? 

Hold Brands Accountable.

Initiatives such as Cannaclusive’s Accountability List have gained traction as ways to check if the brands you are supporting with your wallet are actively practicing corporate social responsibility.

Diversify.

If you are in a position to, make a commitment to hire and train more members of the BIPOC community. If you are not in a hiring position, make it known that you believe companies should be actively promoting more inclusive work environments. 

Donate.

By backing your beliefs with cash, organizations can incite real change. No amount is too small to make a difference.  

Champion Change

Educate yourself and your community. Read books. Have difficult conversations with your family and friends. Most importantly, make sure your voice is heard by ensuring that you are registered to vote

Here at Sunday Goods, our core values are respectful inclusivity, leadership by example, and integrity, all of which are linked to demanding justice for the BIPOC community. This is why we’ve chosen to support the Last Prisoner Project and their missions to release and expunge the records of those convicted of cannabis-related crimes. This is not the last that you’ve heard from us on this matter. As we continue to do the work internally, we will be sure to update our community on the actionable steps that we are personally taking as a brand to make cannabis a more inclusive industry. 

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Celebrating Pride Month
Social Impact

Celebrating Pride Month

June marks Pride month and amongst a global pandemic and ongoing protests, it didn’t feel right for us to post our usual #FeelGood content. Instead, we’ve chosen to use this opportunity and our platform to highlight the history behind the gay rights movement, as these events are as relevant now as ever. 

In 1969, bars and restaurants could still be closed for serving gay patrons as homosexual acts were illegal in every state except Illinois. The mafia operated most gays bars at the time, as they were able to pay off police officers to turn a blind eye. Even so, New York was known for its strict enforcement anti-homosexual laws, and police raids were common occurrence at these bars, such as the Stonewall Inn

On June 28th, 1969 eight undercover police officers stormed Stonewall Inn, arresting staff and drag queens, as “masquerading” was illegal at the time. But this time, the police encountered resistance. Crowds gathered outside Stonewall Inn and watched on as people resisted arrest. Two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, are often credited with instigating the uprising. In the six days that followed word of the riots spread throughout the city, and thousands of people began to gather, chanting “gay power,” “we want freedom now” and “Christopher Street belongs to the queens.”

Harnessing the energy and momentum from Stonewall, several rights activist groups were born, such as the the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance. These groups defied the stronghold the Mafia previously had on them and to forge their financial independence they held dances and fundraisers. Proceeds were used to fund an underground newspaper, a bail fund, and lunches for the poor. They began questioning mayoral candidates at forums about their views on homosexuality and took their voices to the voting polls.

On June 28, 1970, one year on from the Stonewall riots, thousands gathered in Greenwich Village for the first Christopher Street Liberation Day march. This went on to become an annual event known as the Pride parade, celebrated every year in cities across the globe.

This year several organizations, such as Reclaim Pride, have come together to stand in solidarity with the Black community by fighting for equal rights for all. As we look back at the events that unfolded during the Stonewall uprising, we’re reminded of the ongoing impact that can be made by the people. Continue to fight for what is right and hold brands and businesses accountable. Together we can make a change.