Frequently Asked Questions
Is this for real?
Yes! This is a real subscription that will send you a REAL box every month. Subscription fees go directly towards supporting real Black women, two of whom are the creators of the Safety Pin Box.
What is an “Ally”?
“Ally” is the term commonly used to refer to someone from a privileged group who supports the efforts of oppressed people. White “allies” support Black people in their pursuit of full liberation from anti-Blackness and white supremacy. This support is given wholly and unabashedly and is demonstrated financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Allies to not define what it is to be an ally, rather allyship is defined by the oppressed people being supported. If Black people choose to have white people a part of their freedom work at all, they reserve the right to fully define what allyship they require.
There are many issues with “allies”, both the term itself and how it manifests practically. We use the term “ally” to broadly identify white people who looking to support Black liberation both with their resource and with their deeds.
Many will claim they are allies, few will do the work necessary to demonstrate their commitment to eradicating white supremacy. Ally work is a privilege and not a right. No white people are entitled to Black revolutionary efforts or Black spaces. Ever.
Why is it called “Safety Pin”?
Soon after the election of Donald Trump, the “safety pin” arose as a symbol of solidarity. The idea was that privileged people (men, white people, cis hetero people, Christians, etc.) would wear a safety pin on their shirt identifying them as “safe people” to marginalized populations as hate crimes rose in the aftermath of the presidential election. Further, it was suggested that those wearing a safety pin would intervene if they saw a hate crime taking place.
But this “safety pin solidarity” was largely just for show. Almost immediately oppressed people, particularly Black women, critiqued the safety pin as a shallow gesture focused more on privileged people feeling like a “good person” rather than actually keeping marginalized people safe. It became clear that safety pin wearers had not thought about how they would actually intervene in the event of a hate crime, nor had many made any meaningful contribution towards the liberation of oppressed people beyond wearing the 10 cent pin. Even more alarmingly, the safety pin solidarity allowed people to self-report their intentions and did not guarantee they would actually be safe spaces for the marginalized. Things came to a head as neo-nazis vowed to wear safety pins as a way to lure in oppressed people so they could harm them. The safety pin show of solidarity was a failure.
To complicate things further, white women took this challenge as an opportunity to make money. Within days safety pin charms and necklaces were selling on etsy (by white women) for upwards of $300 dollars. Overnight the safety pin solidarity became commercialized, with white people raking in most of the profits.
It was out of this context that Leslie and Marissa came up with the Safety Pin Box. Safety Pin Box takes the impulses of the original safety pin show of solidarity and stewards them for good.
Is Safety Pin Box a charity organization?
No. Safety Pin Box is a business that provides a service & product to subscribers. While we have a business model that involves giving back substantially via financial gifts to Black Women/Femmes, this is a business - just call us Safety Pin Box, LLC!
How do the financial gifts work?
Each month, recipients will be chosen at random from our pool of “Black Women Being” applicants based on funds raised from that month's subscriptions. Any and all Black women/femmes doing any work towards the liberation of Black people are encouraged to apply.
Recipients will be notified via email and will receive a one-time financial gift. Number and size of gifts given and will depend on the number of active subscriptions. No gift recipients are required to disclose their gift amount to anyone for any reason. We believe Black women/femmes are the best stewards of their own funds and we do not dictate how recipients use their gifts.
Why a subscription and not just general donations?
Part of doing ally work is being consistent. A monthly subscription not only creates sustainable ongoing capital for Black women, but it makes ally work become a habit instead of a one-time thing. You can always make individual donations to the Safety Pin Box at any time as well, instead of, or in addition to your subscription on our donate page. And besides, who doesn’t love a good subscription box?
Why is the Safety Pin Box focused on Black people and not all marginalized people?
Safety Pin Box was created by Black women for Black women/femmes. Often Black people, and especially Black women/femmes are expected to labor for everyone but themselves. Safety Pin Box is an act of radical collective self-preservation and we openly declare we are #NotYourMule. There are many other organizations and efforts that support other identities and you are welcome to support them as well.
Why don’t you give your money to organizations? Shouldn’t I give to Black organizations as well?
There are many great Black organizations you can and should support monetarily. You can choose to support them instead of Safety Pin Box or in addition to your subscription. We believe giving Black people your money is essential to being a useful ally.
The Safety Pin Box is designed to specifically benefit Black women as individuals. Black women, who may or may not be with an official organization, do a majority of the labor for Black liberation work and are also the least likely to be financially sustained while doing it. Organizations have their own ways of getting money, but we believe supporting individual Black women is important too.
Black women who are a part of organizations are welcome to apply for financial gifts as an individual, and Safety Pin Box promotes the ongoing liberation work of many Black organizations and individuals through our platforms.
Should I keep my ally work a secret?
You read that right. No. Do not keep your ally work a secret.
At Safety Pin Box, we encourage you to share what you are working on with others and to promote ally work and Black liberation work on every platform you have including social media.
Subscribers are encouraged to blog or post about the tasks they are working on on social media using the hashtag #safetypinbox, and subscribers are expected to promote Safety Pin Box and the work of Black women often. Putting your work out in the open is both a way to encourage other white people to join in, and also a way for Black people to hold you accountable.
But be warned, while Safety Pin Box takes the impulses of performative allyship and stewards them for good—we do not recommend using your ally work as leverage or as a demand for recognition from Black people. Such actions will not only get you dragged across Black Twitter (probably by Marissa), but are also a manifestation of white supremacy. You don’t become an ally for “cookies”, you do it because you believe in it.
Can I get a sample task to see what I'm signing up for?
Who is behind Safety Pin Box?
Black Femme Organizers Marissa Jenae Johnson & Leslie Mac are the co-creators of Safety Pin Box. There are no "investors" in Safety Pin Box. Leslie used her own resources to get this project off the ground.
Are you Black Lives Matter?
No. Safety Pin Box is not a part of the official Black Lives Matter National Network, though the founders (Leslie and Marissa) have ties to the network and have done work in the larger movement labeled “Black Lives Matter”.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement or the “Movement for Black Lives” are both a part of the larger struggle for Black liberation. There are many different organizations and individuals who are a part of this work and we support the efforts of the larger movement as a whole as it aligns with our political beliefs.
Marissa doesn't seem very respectable. Neither of them bite their tongue when talking to white people. That makes me nervous.
Marissa does not ascribe to respectability politics and will resist any labels of “Angry Black Woman”. Neither is she concerned with appealing to white sensibilities or being unnecessarily “polite”. Rather, she is wholly focused on the liberation of Black people by any means necessary, and that might sometimes rub you the wrong way.
Many in the movement for Black lives support the work of Marissa and you can chose to follow their lead or not. Marissa will not be softening up her stances to provide this service. These times are dire and the need for Black liberation is urgent.
When should I sign up for a Safety Pin Box subscription?
Sign up before the end of the month to get next month’s box!
I want to support, but I don’t think I can afford a subscription.
Safety Pin Box offers three different subscription levels (Safety Pin, Pin Pals, and E-Ally) in an effort to be accessible to as many people as possible. We encourage you to think about what you could cut back on or additional work you could take on to make the $100/$50/$25 fee a regular part of your reparations giving.
If a monthly subscription fee isn’t feasible, you can also give a one-time donation on our donation page. We also produce a lot of free content including our Ally Q&A’s via our Facebook page and the content you can find on #SPBFree.
But regardless of whether you support Safety Pin Box financially or not, spreading the word is an important way to support this project. Share Safety Pin Box on all of your social media networks and promote all of our #safetypinbox challenges. Even if you can’t subscribe, you can tweet or share our page on Facebook. Also, be sure to invite all your friends to like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and consider sending an email to your friends or making an announcement at your church or book club.
These small actions help support Safety Pin Box and translate into real money for Black women freedom fighters.
I live outside the United States, can I subscribe to Safety Pin Box?
Yes and No. Our physical Boxes (the original Safety Pin Box, Pin Pals Box & any One-Off boxes) are not available outside the USA. But our E-Ally Subscription is perfect for non US residents!
Do you have a Safety Pin Box subscription for groups?
We do! Click below to learn more about Safety Pin Box Bootcamp.
How does the Pin Pal Box work?
Both Pin Pals should purchase the Pin Pal Box subscription and enter each others names in the "Partner" box on the form. Each month their joint box is shipped to ONE address (we alternate each month) and comes complete with tasks designed for you to do together.
Can Pin Pals be long distance?
Yes! Your Pin Pal only needs to be in the United States to participate. Long distance Pin Pals are DOPE!
Can I change my subscription level?
Yes. To change your subscription level use the “Contact Us” form on the site and select “Question About Your Subscription.” Fill out the preset information and in the “Message” area tell us what subscription level you would like to switch to.
When will my box ship?
Boxes ship the third Monday of every month (if Monday is a Federal Holiday boxes ship the following day). E-Ally Tasks are emailed the third Wednesday of each month. You will receive an email with a tracking number once it has shipped.
You must purchase by the end of each month in order to receive the NEXT month’s box. For example, if you subscribe on June 10th, your first box/task will arrive in July. You do however get access immediately to our Starter Kit that includes work for you to get started on right away.
Ally Backpacks are mailed out every Friday for the previous 7 days of sales. You will receive an email with a tracking number once your box has shipped.
SPB Kids 2017 Summer Series has two run schedules:
If you purchased
by May 22, your box will ship on June 5
after May 22 your box will shop on July 10
You will receive an email with a tracking number once your box has been shipped.
SPB Bootcamp’s Fall 2017 Cohort is underway right now. The next Cohort begins in January 2018. Be sure to join our mailing list for updates. SPB Bootcamp Team Leaders will receive a single box with content for the full series for all participants. Team Leaders will receive an email with a tracking number once the box has been shipped.
ADDITIONAL ONE-OFF ITEMS (Overstock Content & Ultimate Ally Glossary)
These items are mailed out every Friday for the previous 7 days of sales. You will receive an email with a tracking number once your box has shipped.
When will my card be charged for my subscription?
Your card will be charged each month on the day that you originally subscribed to Safety Pin Box.
Is my subscription tax-deductible?
Safety Pin Box is a business, not a charity. Subscriptions are NOT tax deductible. You are purchasing a service & product.
Can I get a refund on my box?
Boxes are non-refundable, but you can cancel your subscription anytime before the date your card is charged. If you receive a box you no longer want, feel free to gift it to someone else.
Can I pause my subscription?
Unfortunately, we don’t have an option to pause subscriptions, so you will need to use the contact form on the site to request your subscription be cancelled and resubscribe again when you are ready.
How do I join the closed Facebook group for subscribers?
You can find the Facebook group for subscribers here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SPBPinCollective/
When requesting to join, remember to answer the prompt that asks you for the email you used to subscribe. This allows us to make sure only subscribers can join the group and keep the SPB Pin Collective as safe and productive as possible.
E-Ally Subscription Questions
I’m an E-Ally but I haven’t been receiving my tasks. What should I do?
Have you checked your Spam/Junk folders? Do you have any filters set up on your email account? If you find your E-Ally tasks here, make sure to mark firstname.lastname@example.org as a trusted sender. If not, fill out the contact form found on the website and we will get this sorted out as quickly as possible.
I can’t remember my password to access E-Ally content.
You can reset your password using the following link: https://app.moonclerk.com/portal/kkmqejkw05q/signin
When are new tasks sent out each month?
E-Ally tasks are sent on the third monday of each month.
I’m an E-Ally but want to become a Pin Pal, how can I find one?
Since you have access to the Safety Pin Collective Facebook group you can reach out to other E-Ally subscribers who would like to become Pin Pals.
Premium Subscription Questions
How can I change my address for delivery?
Visit the payer portal and login using the email address associated with your Safety Pin Box subscription.
When will I get my box each month?
Boxes are shipped out the third Monday of each month. When the boxes are received is dependent on shipping time to your location.
Can I use the materials in the Premium Box for educational purposes/in my classes?
The Premium boxes are formatted to be used by individuals or those in the same household. Please read our terms and conditions. However, we are now offering our SPB Bootcamp series which has been crafted in order to facilitate group work and offers additional support to educators and/or team leaders.
Pin Pal Subscription Questions
My Pin Pal cancelled their subscription. What do I do?
When one Pin Pal cancels a subscription, the other’s subscription is subsequently cancelled as well. To continue the work towards being a better ally you can subscribe to a Premium Box or as an E-Ally, or you can utilize the SPB Collective Facebook group and ask if there are any E-Allies that would like to move up to a Pin Pal subscription with you.
When will I get my Pin Pal materials?
Boxes are shipped out the third Monday of each month. When the boxes are received is dependent on shipping time to your location.
How do I access The Pincast podcast and how often does it come out?
Marissa records The Pincast every other week. Access to The Pincast is sent via email to Premium & Pin Pal subscribers every other Friday via a link and password.
SPB Kids Questions
What ages are the SPB Kids boxes geared towards?
SPB Kids Summer series is appropriate for all elementary to middle school aged children of all races and ethnic backgrounds and their parents.
Is this box only for white children?
No. We believe that all children, no matter their race, can and will benefit from having an early introduction to social justice work and a general understanding of race and racism. Children and parents will get different responses based on their identity and some curriculum may need to be slightly adapted to speak to specific POC identities. For white children this series is primarily about discovery and peeling back the layers of privilege and supremacy. For Black and Brown children it is about safety and healing while they develop in understanding their identities and how those identities impact them in the world.
I have more than one child. Can I order more workbooks?
You can select the option to order more workbooks through the drop down menu when ordering.
Is this a subscription or a one time purchase?
This is a one time purchase with enough materials to last 8 weeks or longer depending on how quickly you tackle the material.
Ally Backpack Questions
When will I receive my Ally Backpack?
Ally Backpacks are shipped out the third Monday of each month. When the boxes are received is dependent on shipping time to your location.
Is this a subscription?
No. The Ally Backpack is a one time purchase on the foundations of race, racism, and allyship in the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
SPB Bootcamp Questions
If I ordered the Clique package but have additional members that want to join, can I change my package?
As long as you contact us before the sales cutoff date, we can change your order to accommodate more members.
Will people in the groups have access to the Pin Collective, or only if they subscribe regularly?
The Pin Collective is only for individual Safety Pin Box Subscribers. If you become and individual subscriber, though, you are welcome to use the Pin Collective group to get feedback about what you are learning.
Do I need an already existing group or to start a new group?
Either one will work. This series is good for getting a new group of people a jump start, as well as helping established groups get a solid foundation to increase the effectiveness of their work.
How many hours a week should the leader be able to give? The participants?
In addition to the 2-3 hours of individual work in between sessions that all participants commit to, Team Leaders should be prepared to do an additional 30 min of meeting prep and to run a 90 minute meeting for all sessions.
How many leaders are needed?
Each group must have at least two co-leaders, and at least one team leader must be a regular Safety Pin Box subscriber. We feel it is important that each SPB Bootcamp have a connection to the larger mission and work of Safety Pin Box. If your leaders are not already subscribers, they can join as an E-Ally for as little as $25 a month.
Is there a confidentiality and community guidelines agreement included?
Is the boot camp Facebook group only for leaders and mods?