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Planner Designer Erin Condren Under Fire After Graduating Teens Walk With Friends In Black Lives Matter-Style March In Manhattan Beach

CBS Los Angeles logo CBS Los Angeles 6/23/2020 Syndicated Local – CBS Los Angeles
a screenshot of Erin Condren © Provided by CBS Los Angeles

MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA) — A Manhattan Beach designer of planners has apologized after news emerged that she helped her children walk with their fellow high school graduates under the guise of a Black Lives Matter march.

a screenshot of a social media post © Provided by CBS Los Angeles

(credit: erincondren.com)

Erin Condren, whose colorful planners are available for purchase in Staples and have been featured on national talk shows and magazines, has issued two apologies on Instagram in the wake of Mira Costa High School’s graduation event.

“I helped plan what was supposed to be a safe, socially distanced walk,” her first apology read in part. “The event quickly got out of control.”

View this post on Instagram

I want to acknowledge and apologize for my role in an event that happened after my kids’ high school graduation last week. This was a private event for which I accept responsibility for my role. It was in no way sanctioned by my company, and I apologize to not only my community, but also my team. I helped plan what was supposed to be a safe, socially distanced walk. All seniors were provided masks at the graduation ceremony, and the intention was to allow them a special moment to safely recognize this milestone. The event quickly got out of control. Most did not wear masks nor practice social distancing, which is unacceptable during a pandemic. I recognize that this was a major error of judgement on my part. I want to clarify that this graduation walk was in no way registered, associated with, or guised as a BLM protest. The idea for this walk happened when my daughter took part in a Black Lives Matter protest a few weeks ago (a protest which saw almost all participants wearing masks) and saw it as a deeply-moving event that made a lasting impact. The Black Lives Matter movement is of the utmost importance to me and my family and has no relation whatsoever to my own irresponsible behavior. In no way was this event meant to minimize or diminish the powerful, just, and necessary movement of Black Lives Matter. I understand that many are rightfully offended by this event and I am deeply sorry. I am dedicated to learning and growing through my mistakes and educating my kids along the way. We have so much to learn, but we are learning, and we WILL do better. A post shared by Erin Reach Condren (@iamerincondren) on Jun 17, 2020 at 3:27pm PDT

Like high schools across the country, Mira Costa was shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Condren, who was a member of the school’s parents graduation committee, had been looking forward to a traditional ceremony with her twins, Kate — the school’s student body president — and Finn, the school’s senior class president.

The school first attempted a plan where students could get their diplomas in smaller groups of 50 at Waller Stadium, but it was rejected by the county health department. The recent Black Lives Matter marches in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis inspired another plan where graduates would walk down the Strand in their graduation gowns and mortarboards.

“I want to clarify that this graduation walk was in no way registered, associated with, or guised as a BLM protest,” Condren said in her Instagram post. “The idea for this walk happened when my daughter took part in a Black Lives Matter protest a few weeks ago (a protest which saw almost all participants wearing masks) and saw it as a deeply-moving event that made a lasting impact.”

Some fans of her planners are now abandoning her brand and calling on the small, but extremely loyal and vocal, community to do the same in favor of black-owned brands.

In another apology posted to Instagram, Condren said she realizes the event was a mistake.

“My decisions and my words related to my children’s recent graduation event were careless and dangerous,” she said in the apology. “While our intention was to recognize graduates who have had much of their senior year taken away by COVID, I fully realize the event I planned with some other parents was a mistake.”

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