Where We Go From Here: A Message for the MR Community

Dear readers: Man Repeller will now be sharing updates about how the company is changing via transparency reports published on the site. You can read the first update here or access this information anytime by visiting the “From Team MR” tab on our homepage.

To the MR community:

I want to explicitly state on our site that Man Repeller will not remain silent in the face of police brutality and white supremacy. I have a lot of listening and learning and growing to do before I will truly know how to thoroughly make a sustained impact in the fight to eradicate systemic racism, but that won’t stop my effort. I know that the learning will be uncomfortable at times, but that won’t make it any less urgent.

I started Man Repeller out of a desire to connect through style—to feel less alone and more understood. The mission of MR has been to foster that feeling of connection for our community, but to make this irrevocably true, we must do more. In this moment, we are recommitting to those values—to thinking deeply about how we live our lives and thus use our platform to reflect the tenor of the time we’re in.

Last week, we took to our most immediate forms of communication on social media to help magnify the urgent need to join together to condemn the murder of George Floyd (and so many others) and to say that Black lives matter.

This week, we’re prepared to take a more steady, sustained approach to covering and exploring these complex issues in the ways we’re best equipped to do. Today, you’ll read a piece by Celeste Little that gives an intimate look at what it’s like when a new mother’s anxieties shift from Covid-19 to another kind of American disease. In the coming days, we’ll be publishing a story that explores how bad-faith legislation aimed at banning abortion during the pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income women. I also talked with Aurora James of Brother Vellies for the next installment of our Founders Discuss series and we’ll be amplifying the businesses of other black entrepreneurs in the MR community who you can support.

Internally, we’re creating a plan that will hold us accountable to each other and our community. We will be turning this plan into formal guidelines that we will release to the public and start putting into action next week. This will include prioritizing and committing to:

  • Providing meaningful support to a diverse mix of creative talent at the early stages of their careers
  • Featuring underrepresented voices more consistently on our editorial and commerce platforms and supporting them with our budgets
  • Establishing recurring days of service in which the team can make a positive impact on our local community
  • Empowering more POC-owned businesses in the industry with advertising space and networking opportunities

This work will be ongoing. Fostering an environment in which everyone—employees and readers alike—feel comfortable speaking their mind directly, respectfully, and constructively is my most important work as a founder.

And as for me personally, I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve ordered this book, started this one, and am finding a semblance of resolve in the most actionable and straightforward directives that are being posted on social media. I’m listening to learn—not to fix or to win. I’m feeling ashamed, but also acutely aware of how much more learning I have to do. I’ve been thinking about how I’m raising my kids, what it means to use my privilege responsibly, but mostly, I am trying to figure out how to harness these feelings of ignorance and humility to become part of the solution—and, equally important, to never lose sight of that mission.

What are you doing, thinking, saying, reading, right now?

Photo via Getty Images.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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