ONE ROOM CHALLENGE SPRING 2020 WEEK 5 – SILENT, BUT NOT TONE DEAF

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Hi There!

If this is your first time visiting, welcome! I’m Erika Ward, owner and principal designer of Erika Ward Interiors. Our Atlanta-based firm uses our concierge-level interior design services to help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries. This is my second season participating in the One Room Challenge and I’m glad you are here for the ride!


All of us agree that the SPRING 2020 One Room Challenge (ORC) has been one for the history books. Working through home improvement projects during a global pandemic has presented logistical and health challenges as well as emotional stress due to stringent stay-at-home government restrictions. For some the One Room Challenge has been a welcomed distraction, but not everyone. However, I’ve seen challengers encouraging, counseling, and physically assisting one another towards project completion.

These acts of kindness soared once again last week when our fearless leader and founder Linda Weinstein canceled Week FIVE posting due to the severe attack on civil rights our nation is experiencing right now. From the perspective of an influencer and business owner, I applaud her courage for publicly recognizing the problem and not making the mistake of being socially tone deaf. Media Partner, Better Homes and Gardens, also stood in solidarity.


Other ORC Official Sponsors like Couristan, The Tile Shop, Pacific Designs International, Minted, and Tempaper also public displayed heightened awareness of the moods and sensitivities of their customers and of humanity. The posts and captions were very moving and makes a lasting impression on their existing customer base as well as future consumers.


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United We Stand. #blm #unitedwestand

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Here at the Tile Shop, we are deeply saddened by the pain and unrest happening in our hometown of Minneapolis and across the U.S. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others are reflective of the prejudice and injustice that exists in the world today. Our community is hurting and there is an eruption of pain, anger and demand for change happening around the country. ​⁣ ⁣ For the businesses impacted by the events from this past week, we are here for you. If you are a builder, contractor or installer who is currently helping with a rebuilding project and needs materials, please DM us so we can connect. We recognize these are small contributions in comparison to the sustained support needed to make a change but it is one way we can help right now. ​⁣ ⁣ We believe that discrimination and prejudice have no place in the community or in our workplace. Our company stands for inclusion, love, acceptance and support. We have a responsibility to combat hate, racism and unfair treatment of our fellow humans. To those around us: we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you. Black lives matter.

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Change begins with me. How was I so naive? How did I not know? I keep asking myself these questions over and over. Change begins with me. I have spent the week listening and learning. My journey has just begun. I have so much to unlearn. I see now that it was never enough for me to not be racist. I thought as long as I treated people with kindness and respect that was enough. Posting a black square was the easy part—I am ready to do more, support more, speak up more, and love more. Standing against injustice is a huge part of Jewish values. Jews understand the consequences of silence. As a Jewish woman, it is my duty to take action against the hideous viruses of systemic racism, white supremacy, police brutality, and America’s historic oppression of Black women and men. Change begins with me. Design + artwork @artbyamalyah #leviticus1916

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Black lives matter. These days have been hard– we must stand together strongly, love each other immensely, open our minds fully, and express ourselves freely. And above all, we must remember: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela At Minted, we believe art is a powerful force for expression and influence, and we believe that everyone, no matter the color of their skin, should be able to develop as an artist. We are proud to be a true meritocracy, where anyone can submit art to Minted through a purposely blind vote, designed to prevent bias that we have tracked and studied. Today, we are committing to donate $50,000 to organizations that support Black voices in art and design – whether that is providing scholarships, tools, grants or career development of any kind. We want your help in finding those organizations that will have the greatest impact on Black artists and creatives. Please let us know your ideas below in the comments. In the meantime, we’ll be planning an online showcase of the careers and work of the Black artists in our community. Lastly, we will not be sharing our regularly scheduled content this week. We will be #muted and listening to you all. #MintedArtist @anicolewalker

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In the words of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives end begin to end when we are silent about things that matter.” As we press forward towards the mark and seek to unite together as one nation, I challenge each of us to chose compassion over capitalism. After all, it is PEOPLE that drive this country as inventors, creatives, makers, producers, administrators, marketers, and consumers NOT PRODUCTS or SERVICES.

As a marketer, business, consumer, or influencer of any kind, how will your efforts move the needle to last change in our world? It’s heavy question but find the answer starts with an examination of the HEART as well as LOVE and COMPASSION for all.

Until the next time, “Take good care of yourself, and each other.” – J. Springer

A Glass of Bovino | Beginning in the Middle | Beth Diana Smith | Clark + Aldine | Coco & JackDeeply Southern HomeDesign Maze | Dwell by Cheryl | Erika Ward Interiors | Home Made by CarmonaHouse of Hipsters | Hunted Interior | Kandrac & Kole | Kate Pearce | Katrina Blair | Liz KamarulVeneer DesignsRambling Renovators | Renovation Husbands | Studio Plumb | Media BH&G

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