Updated: Mar 30
This topic came up because FairShare had just undergone a branding process for the Partner Shares program, which included developing a logo (seen below.) The logo was an iteration of an old sweatshirt design that we had used in various programming. Staff noticed that the design was very similar to the Hamsa and expressed the question of whether or not to use the new Partner Shares logo moving forward.
In having this conversation, we explored what cultural appropriation is, and also looked at the meanings and background of Hamsa. "Cultural appropriation refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group." **
In the end, we decided to redesign the new logo and avoid any possible cultural appropriation. The ease with which we made this decision surprised me. I thought that those who had just invested time and resources in creating the new logo would be very hesitant to ditch all that work. In actuality, we were in complete agreement that we had to do a redesign.
Because noticing who benefits financially is an important piece of cultural appropriation, we also discussed using our money and contracts to support people and organizations that reflect our values. Who we choose for BTB vendors is one example of where we can financially support businesses that embody our values.
We used the following resources to help guide our conversation:
“And still I Question Myself”