5 Ways Erin Condren Designs Is Making Positive Change
Teachers - we love our planners - am I right?
Whether they are plain and straightforward or detailed and fancy - we are here for it.
And if it’s personalized - BONUS!
There are many companies that make planners for teachers. One of those companies - and perhaps one of the most popular among educators - is Erin Condren Designs.
This company became popular with teachers because of their high quality, customizable planners.
But a controversial event in the summer of 2020 - amidst the height of the pandemic - has affected this company.
Many disappointed loyal fans and customers spoke out and boycotted Erin Condren.
So what exactly happened? And what is the company doing now to rectify? Let’s dive in and take a look.
What Happened With Erin Condren?
While the nation was under lockdown, high school graduations got canceled. This left many seniors - and their parents - saddened to be missing this milestone event.
In June of 2020, it was reported by the media that, Condren and her kids, organized a Black-Lives-Matter-style march to celebrate their high school graduation.1
And if that wasn’t bad enough, none of the students practiced social distancing, and many didn't wear masks.2
People were outraged and angered.
Many said she used her “white privilege” and took advantage of the Black Lives Matter movement.3
The backlash that followed led Erin Condren to issue an apology on Instagram.4
She stated that the event was supposed to be a safe, socially distant walk. But it quickly got out of hand.
Condren said the idea to walk came after her daughter attended a Black Lives Matter march. It was in no way guised as a BLM event.
Despite her apology, many beloved fans have taken their business elsewhere.
And many others want to know what the company is going to do moving forward to make up for the damage done.
What Is Erin Condren Designs Doing Now?
What exactly has Erin Condren Designs done since the controversy? We spoke with a representative of the company who shared updates and clarity on their status.
After some more research, here are some updates worth taking note of.
Current Status of Erin Condren, the Person
In June of 2020, the CEO of Erin Condren Designs -Tonia Misvaer - released a statement addressing the controversy and the status of Erin Condren.5
As of June 2020, the founder, Erin Condren, has taken a leave of absence. She will not serve as the company spokesperson and isn't involved in daily operations.
What about re-branding?
The company is continuing to evaluate whether to re-brand. There is no immediate plan due to the significant, high-cost process that it would entail.
What Other Changes Has the Brand Done?
Besides Erin Condren stepping down, the brand has been working to enact change and action within the company.
While the organization is proudly diverse - inclusive representation is vital to them.6
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Council
Keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront, Erin Condren Designs has developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.
Many team members have volunteered to take on the council’s responsibilities.7 Their focus will be on:
Tracking & Accountability
The DE&I Council will also review all possible partnerships before proceeding.
You can check out DE&I updates on their blog.8
Social Justice Education and Donations
For real change to happen, you must first look within. That is why they instituted mandatory implicit bias training within the brand.5
To make this happen, the company brought on a Social Justice Educator. This person facilitated online workshops made accessible to all team members.9
Besides educating themselves, the company made plans to:
Education and reflection are powerful tools to make consistent progress and effective change.
Another area that focused on positive change was through donations to the community.
Based on an end of year statement by the CEO, the brand donated over $200,000 in financial contributions and $250,000 in product donations.10
Donations went to various non-profit organizations. These focus on education, social justice, support of first responders, and breast cancer research.
Collaboration and Support of BIPOC Artists
In October of 2020, the brand announced its new collection in support of social justice. They partnered with talented Black artists to amplify their voices and showcase their inspiring works of art.11
100% of the profits were split between the artists and the social justice charity of their choice.12
The brand also featured five Black artists in the Black History Month collection.13 These dynamic collections gave back to the Black Girl Code organization.
Hispanic Heritage Month also brought on a new voice - the Spanish LifePlanner.14 And shared a spotlight on their Art Director, Aby Cortes, who designed the new planner.15.
With all these exciting, new, and diverse collections, you may be asking yourself:
“What about the Dr. Seuss Collection”
The company representative made it clear that the Dr. Seuss collection is no longer sold. All the products got disposed of and recycled.
The collection was not released on their website or retail stores. They did have legal, contractual obligations to fulfill. Those items went through their Amazon channel.
Once met, the rest got recycled.
There is no question that the events that happened last summer were careless and inexcusable. But Erin Condren Designs has been working hard to make positive change. They are taking steps toward diversity, equity, and inclusion starting from within.
The brand has shown their dedication and commitment to showcasing BIPOC artists. And have generously given back to their community.
Their products are still the high-quality planners you fell in love with once before. If you’re ready to give them another try, check out their new collections. You can also read about the changes they are making in their EC For Change blog.
1 Planner Designer Erin Condren Under Fire After Graduating Teens Walk With Friends In Black Lives Matter-Style March In Manhattan Beach https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/planner-designer-erin-condren-under-fire-after-graduating-teens-walk-with-friends-in-black-lives-matter-style-march-in-manhattan-beach/ar-BB15SUXH
2 Mira Costa High Class of 2020 forges new tradition from pandemic https://easyreadernews.com/mira-costa-high-class-of-2020-forges-new-tradition-from-pandemic/
3 Fans Are Canceling Erin Condren for Seemingly Exploiting the Black Lives Matter Movement https://www.distractify.com/p/erin-condren-controversy
4 Erin Condren Apologizes for Planning Unsanctioned Grad March During Pandemic and amid BLM Protests https://people.com/human-interest/erin-condren-apologized-for-planning-grad-march-during-pandemic/
5 Statement from Tonia Misvaer, CEO, Erin Condren: June 18, 2020 https://www.erincondren.com/blog/statement-from-tonia-misvaer-ceo-erin-condren-june-18-2020
6 Erin Condren - Our Story https://www.erincondren.com/our-story
7EC for Change - July 20, 2020 Updates https://www.erincondren.com/blog/ec-for-change-updates-july-20-2020
8Life Made EC - Tag D&I https://www.erincondren.com/blog/tag/di
9 Erin Condren for Black Lives Matter https://www.erincondren.com/blog/erin-condren-for-black-lives-matter/
10 EC for Change - December 29, 2020 Update: Message from Erin Condren CEO https://www.erincondren.com/blog/december-29-2020-update
11 Black Artist Spotlight: New to the Erin Condren Collection Supporting Social Justice https://www.erincondren.com/blog/latest-collection-supporting-black-artists-and-social-justice
12 EC Gives Back - Social Justice https://www.erincondren.com/ec-gives-back#Featured-artists
13Featured Artists: Black History Month https://www.erincondren.com/featured-artists
14 Spanish LifePlanner https://www.erincondren.com/spanish-lifeplanner
15Spotlight on Erin Condren Art Director Aby Cortes and the New Spanish LifePlanner https://www.erincondren.com/blog/erin-condren-art-director-aby-cortes-and-new-spanish-lifeplanner