The following is an open letter to the Jamaica Plain community written by Ginger Brown, Executive Director of JP Centre/South Main Streets on behalf of the Board of Directors, JP Centre/South Main Streets.
Dear neighbors, allies, friends, and family:
JP Centre/South Main Streets stands with Black communities nationwide. We join, support, and amplify efforts against injustice and racism.
In particular, we stand with the people of color who live, work, and/or own businesses in our community of Jamaica Plain. Join us on Saturday, March 19, 2022, from noon to 2 pm at 7 Burroughs Street as part of our “JP Business Uplift” to show your support.
It has come to our attention that people in our community have harassed and discriminated against Cada Dia Mini Café and owner Nicole Gunn. Nicole is a Black woman business owner in our district. Purported reasons for this harassment range from opposition to her products and business model, which she has since changed and adapted based on customer feedback, to accusations that she does not support Black Lives Matter because she serves police officers in her business. We condemn the actions of those who have accosted and harassed Nicole, both in-person and online, including attempts to discredit and intimidate her and her business by intentionally pushing false presentations and threats throughout social media, and attribute those actions to racism.
As a community, we have intentionally engaged in creating more harm than good by enacting on white supremacy. Upon learning of Nicole’s products, we did not collaboratively address concerns in a manner that would create partnership with this Black owner. Instead the community decided to practice a sense of urgency based on an agenda that pushed deliverables that sacrificed Nicole’s talent.
Our actions have silenced, marginalized, and demonized a Black woman. Rather than navigating a space where we could have practiced compassionate curiosity, members of our community used the subject of Nicole’s products to scapegoat the rooted anti-Blackness. In a predominantly white community of business owners, we evaded the discomfort anchored in racial dynamics in order to sustain the white supremacy characteristic of right to comfort, which directly outcasted Nicole and other BIPOC business owners before her.
A careful look at racial disparity and inequity within our community and organization teaches us that we need to provide added support and actively seek justice for people of color. Racism exists within our business district, and we want to undertake work to prevent racism and harassment from happening.
Please join us on Saturday, March 19, 2022, from noon to 2 pm at Cada Dia Mini Cafe at 7 Burroughs Street, Jamaica Plain, for a show of support. We seek to lift up our businesses with positivity, love, inclusion, equity, and justice. We invite the entire Jamaica Plain community to support, to talk, to ask questions, to learn more, and to voice your opinions. JP Centre/South Main Streets encourages you to join us and contribute to racial justice in Jamaica Plain.
Ginger Brown, Executive Director
On behalf of the Board of Directors, JP Centre/South Main Streets