After prompting the beauty industry and corporate America to "#PullUpOrShutUp," in the midst of June 2020's nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, Uoma Beauty founder and activist Sharon Chuter wants to go a step further and redefine the word "black."
Chuter's new Make It Black Campaign aims to reverse the systemic racism perpetuated by the negative and outdated references to race found in official dictionaries' definitions of the word. The activist wants the definition of "black" to be changed to reflect what the word really means: bold, beautiful, timeless, and chic.
"Language plays a critical role in how we perceive the world," Chuter said in a statement. "The function of language goes beyond expressing ideas and concepts, it shapes thought and defines our collective consciousness. Language should be neutral, unbiased, and reflective of our current realities. It is in this regard that the dictionary has work to do."
In effort to get the Oxford Dictionary and Miriam Webster to update their definitions, Make It Black has created a petition that the public can sign to show their support.
In conjunction with Chuter's Pull Up For Change, Make It Black will partner with nine top beauty brands, including Briogeo, ColourPop, Flower Beauty, Dragun Beauty, NYX Professional Makeup, Maybelline, and Chuter's own Uoma Beauty, to repackage their popular products in black packaging. The limited-edition products will be sold throughout the month of February exclusively at Ulta Beauty, Make It Black's website and the brands' personal channels. MILK Agency and MILK studios are creative partners for the campaign.
The following products are being repackaged for Make It Black:
- Briogeo Superfoods Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Hair Mask
- Colourpop Make It Fearless Palette and Make It Unstoppable Duo
- Dragun Beauty DragunGlass Liquid Lipstick
- Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops
- Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Thrill Seeker
- Morphe Continuous Setting Mist
- NYX Professional Makeup Warm Neutrals Ultimate Shadow Palette
- PUR Fully Charged Mascara
- UOMA Beauty Afro.Dis.Iac Liquid Eyeliner
A survey of 650 Black and Latinx female founders by ProjectDiane finds that combined, these entrepreneurs received just 0.64% of total venture capital investment between 2018 and 2019. 100% of the gross profits of the limited-edition products will go to the Pull Up For Change Impact fund, aimed to address the lack of funding accessible to Black entrepreneurs.
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Chuter's Impact Fund aims to change this by providing Black-owned startups with grants to create prototypes and ultimately build and grow their businesses. Brands will be selected via online pitch contests intended to fully democratize the process. The public can also directly donate to the fund and Make It Black's website will feature a live tracker of funds deployment for complete transparency.
To get more information on the Make It Black Campaign, visit makeitblack.org.
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