About 20% of the pots that we make don’t pass our standards for a pot that can be sold at full retail. You can read all about these imperfect pots—or “Seconds” as they’re called here. For the past several years we sold Seconds at in-person sales once or twice a year, and during an annual, online blowout that put considerable strain and stress on our fulfillment and care teams and created an unpleasant customer experience for the many who didn’t end up getting to take home pots.
Since last fall, we’ve added inventory to our seconds collection that you can shop at 20% off retail. We periodically introduce a non-profit, grassroots organization or individual in our Western North Carolina community working toward racial equity, community reconciliation, and supporting the liberation of folks who’ve been systematically oppressed by white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. Since we began this project in October 2020, we and the organizations we've partnered with have been pleased with the response, and judging from the Seconds we've sold, our customers are, too. So it’s working! We ask you to learn about the work they do and point you to where to donate to sustain that work. Donate any dollar amount, submit your screenshot (we’ll show you how down below) and you’ll get a password to shop the Seconds Collection.
In April, May and June, we're asking you to give to...
YMI Cultural Center
Since 1893, the YMI Cultural Center has served as a safe space for the Black community here in Asheville as well as a conduit for growth and change. Right now, this nonprofit organization has a capital campaign underway, which we invite you to give to and in exchange, you’ll be granted access to East Fork’s Seconds sale until July 1st. We’d like to tell you about the goals your donation will help to accomplish.
First, the maintenance of the 18,000 square foot building that is 127 years old, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a constant challenge, not to mention that with changing needs of the community, the space also needs to evolve. In addition to paying for building maintenance, funds raised will support upkeep of a new co-working space, upgrades to gallery spaces and fund the development of revenue-driving real estate on the building’s ground level.
The capital campaign hopes to expand the capacity of the organization’s executive director, and the offices of programming, economic development and community engagement.
As you’ll read on the donation page, the YMI Cultural Center’s staff writes, “In a world where we are having tough conversations around issues that can’t be fixed in a day or a decade, longevity is our greatest asset, as is security. The knowledge that we can continue this work empowers our team and volunteers to reach higher.” To that end, funds raised will also be allocated to an endowment, which will allow for new programming and investments in the future and give the organization financial stability in difficult times.
We hope that the YMI Cultural Center’s vision for the future resonates with you and that you’ll participate in its current capital campaign.
Let's get started!
1. Donate any dollar amount to YMI Cultural Center’s Capital Campaign.
2. Take a screenshot of your donation receipt or record
3. Send that screenshot to email@example.com with "YMI" as the subject. If you do not put "YMI" as the subject, you will not receive a response.
4. You'll receive a response from our Care Team as soon as digitally possible* with the link and password to the seconds collection! That password will be good until July 1st. Please do not share your password with anyone!
*It may take a moment to receive that email—sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 15 minutes (technology, am I right?). If you do not receive an email after 15 minutes, please check your spam folder or resend!
Our seconds inventory provides a necessary source of revenue. We have to sell them, and we like that folks are able to purchase imperfect pots for a little less money. We’ve been thinking long and hard on how to get seconds out the door in a way that’s less chaotic. And while there's no "perfect" solution, we've landed on something that works for now that also potentially serves as a little learning/teaching moment and helps habitualize personal wealth spreading practices. We and the organization we have partnered in October are so pleased with the response so far, and judging from the Seconds we’ve sold, our customers are, too.
In case you are wondering why we don’t just do all of this on our own, earmarking funds for the organization, our values manager Clarissa Harris said it best: “We want folk to engage with where the funds are going and understand why the funds are going there. Active engagement makes the process more sustainable and relational...It’s a little thing, asking folk to wander off a path for a sec they may not have usually but our hope is that this little thing can lead to a bigger and more beautiful relationship. We are looking for the place where this becomes less about transactional charity for discounted pots and more about the possibility of good work to be done. Hey, it could happen.”
What is wealth redistribution?
Wealth redistribution is the movement of money, property and social clout or access from one population of individuals to another through some sort of social-societal catalyst. That catalyst could be voluntary, like “charitable giving” and “philanthropy,” or it could be mandated by the government in the form of state and federal redistribution programs like taxation, welfare, public services or land reform.
Why is wealth redistribution not the answer?
Most wealth has been acquired, grown, passed down, and hoarded within a framework of supremacy, by siphoning resources away from marginalized populations across the globe. Wealth redistribution keeps the power in the hands of the oppressors and oppressive systems. It asks that people and institutions who have access to stolen wealth and resources use their discretion to sympathetically and incrementally give access to that wealth to others who have less. In short—the oppressor chooses where and how funds are redistributed; often this redistribution still primarily benefits the oppressor. Regardless of good intentions, this process edifies the very supremacy it attempts to circumvent.
What is wealth reclamation? How is it different?
The concept of wealth reclamation acknowledges that the way wealth is distributed, hoarded and grows is dictated by an ethos of supremacy. And that white people, corporations, and nations functioning in a supremacy culture have stolen wealth from Brown and Black people. Wealth reclamation acknowledges that something that has been stolen cannot simply be redistributed without reconciliation. Reclamation is defined by the Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practitioners as “the equitable and just distribution of resources.” This process relies on “resource mobilizers” use of Black feminist values, radical inclusivity and intersectionality, working in tandem with marginalized communities to steward the rechanneling of “the flow of social and material wealth back into social justice movement and community building.”
How can we participate in wealth reclamation?
If we really, truly want to make our world more equitable we must be willing to “move up off of stuff”—as Clarissa’s mom used to say—in order to make space for folk who have historically been excluded and kept from building and living the life that feels best to them. Somewhere in these active processes of “moving up off of,” we allow space for what is just.
What are reparations?
To be clear—stand-alone actions like us asking our audience to donate money in exchange for something is not reparations, and let me tell you why: According to the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Reparations Now Toolkit, in order for the process of reparations to be justly and thoroughly completed, five conditions must be present:
- Cessation, assurances, and guarantees of non-repetition
- Reinstitution and repatriation
Without all of these conditions, an action does not meet the qualifiers to be considered an act of reparations. Those who embark on this process need to know it will be lengthy, that they will need to remain communicative and mindful, and avoid working in silos. Participating in wealth reclamation in the way we’re suggesting here only meets the criteria of compensation. That’s not “wrong” or “bad”— it’s just not the whole deal. But this first step can get us to thinking:
What would it look like for us as a global society to push to see the complete processes of reparations fulfilled in our communities?
Exciting question, right?
Why do I have to donate? Why doesn't East Fork just donate?
“We want folk to engage with where the funds are going and understand why the funds are going there. Active engagement makes the process more sustainable and relational...It’s a little thing, asking folk to wander off a path for a sec they may not have usually but our hope is that this little thing can lead to a bigger and more beautiful relationship. We are looking for the place where this becomes less about transactional charity for discounted pots and more about the possibility of good work to be done. Hey, it could happen.”
— Clarissa Harris, East Fork Values Manager