I am Aaron Panone, Sole-Proprietor of AARN/AARN DIVERSIFIED ACTIVITY. This is my brand. These are my products. They are not for racists or bigots, and I will happily buy back products from people who are not aligned with me and my brand on that point. I support the Black Lives Matter movement, Black people, my BIPOC friends, family, colleagues, and community members. I also support and stand behind the LGBTQ+ community, women, and all individuals within and outside of the gender spectrum. I believe victims. I condemn the brutality against Black people that has been exhibited by police and other racist individuals and groups here and around the world. I have been donating, sharing information that I feel is relevant and important, and educating myself during the last couple of months, but I can and will do better to support the Black community inside and outside of cycling, eyewear, engineering, and design.
Today I am using the platform (because, let’s be honest, people only look at my feed when I have something to sell) that I have been afforded through opportunities directly connected to my privilege as a white cisgender male to announce that I am making a $2000 donation, split between two non-profit organizations. I have noted an under-representation of black engineers and designers at the schools I have attended, companies I have worked for, and industries in which I participate.
The National Society of Black Engineers’ mission is "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community." Donations to NSBE will be focused on their scholarships fund which stimulate scholastic achievement and enthusiasm in the Black engineering community. @nsbe for more info.
The Black Artists and Designers Guild was created to build a more equitable and inclusive industry for independent Black artists, makers, and designers in creative industries. Donations to BADG will be focused on their education fund which provides scholarships, grants, and residencies for artists and designers at different stages in their careers and to support special pedagogical projects. @badguild for more info.
This donation will be made on Friday 8/14, regardless of sales, independent from any metrics, and if you would like to add to the donation that I am making (no purchase necessary) you can Venmo me at @44rn before Friday and/or use the $10 donation product in my online store and I’ll split your donation between the two groups. Naturally, 100% of the $10 product item will be donated, no service fees will be deducted on my end, bank charges may apply depending on the method of payment that you choose to use.