What is the BLM Movement?
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 as a response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Its mission is to stop white supremacy and the violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and other racist individuals. It believes in creating space for black imagination, innovation and centring Black joy and is all about freedom, equality and justice. If the media tells you otherwise, it’s not true.
The names heavily associated with the BLM movement aren’t its leaders, but more the victims of this injustice that we all need to help to put an end to. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and Micheal Brown but to name a few.
What is the Pull-Up or Shut Up plan of action?
On the 3rd of June 2020 Sharon Chuter, the owner of brand Uoma Beauty, asked for real change and transparency in the beauty industry. She started this by posting a video after Blackout Tuesday asking brands to go further than their performative PR stunts and release the breakdown of Black employees in their companies.
The hashtag #pulluporshutup began on Instagram and slowly brands were contributing to it, pulling up with statistics that everyone wanted to see. Whether these numbers were impressive or not, so many of the brands who got involved have got to do better and ensure there are more black employees in leadership roles. Chuter believes that the only way to drive change is for brands to be transparent and be held accountable for the diversity of their staff.
Beauty brands that have proven their allyship and promised change within their corporations, including but not limited to:
Glossier pulled up with 9% black employees, but no black representation in leadership roles. They were thanked for their transparency. Glossier have work to do but have donated $500K across many organisations that fight racial injustice including Black Lives Matter, We Are The Protesters, The Equal Justice Initiative and The Marsha P. Johnson Institute. They also recently announced a $500K grant to support black-owned businesses.
#2 Milk Makeup
Milk revealed that 9% of their colleagues are black so there is definitely work to be done, but again their honesty and transparency was appreciated. They have held themselves accountable and have shown a clear plan of how they’re going to tackle the lack of diversity in their company. They have also announced that they are going to donate $50,000 per year to non-profit organisations to help tackle racial injustice.
#3 Deva Curl
Devacurl reported 19% of their team members to be black including 8% in their leadership team. They have been open about their plan of action to increase their black leadership roles to 25% by 2021 and donated $50,000 to Black Lives Matter.
#4 e.l.f Cosmetics
e.l.f claimed that they are proud that their talented employees represent the consumers they serve. Their leadership team is 14% black and their diversity figures stand at 45% which is amazing. They pulled up and came through with receipts!
On top of this, e.l.f donated $25,000 to the Colour of Change organisation to help “to help support their efforts to fight injustice and create a more human world for Black people in America.”
#5 PÜR Cosmetics
PÜR stood out with their incredible 30% and their leadership team which is led by a hardworking and fearless black woman named Tisha Thompson. There is no sign of any donations yet, but PÜR has always proven themselves to be an amazing ally to the black community.
Black-owned brands including Beauty Bakerie, Coloured Raine, Mented Cosmetics and Uoma Beauty have proven themselves with incredibly high percentages of black individuals working within their companies and if not ALL black individuals. Uoma, one of the first brands to take it to Instagram, claimed the brand was “incredibly proud to have a diverse team of individuals who each bring a different perspective to the team.”
The conclusion to draw from this article is that we should start to understand the importance of supporting and investing in brands that have ALL their staff and consumer’s in mind at ALL times. The boost of this movement in 2020 has shown shocking statistics which we can only hope will change, and quickly at that. Please donate and speak up about social injustices and help to continue to fight this battle black communities face every single day. We need to keep talking about this in 2021, and every year to come until true equality is achieved.
What you can do to help fight racial injustices:
- Unpack your bias and beliefs
- Do NOT ask black people to educate you
- Protest and speak up
- Listen, learn, research and share
- Donate time and money
Anti-racism charities you can donate to in the UK:
Show Racism the Red Card – https://www.justgiving.com/theredcard
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust – https://www.stephenlawrencetrust.org/support-us/donate/
Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) – https://www.sariweb.org.uk/who-we-are/donate/
Kick It Out – https://www.kickitout.org/donate/donate/5/credit-card
Stop Hate UK – https://www.stophateuk.org/donate-to-stop-hate-uk/
Coalition for Racial Inequality and Rights (CRER) – https://www.crer.scot/about-crer
Discrimination Law Association (DLA) – http://www.discriminationlaw.org.uk/who-we-are
Race Equality First – https://raceequalityfirst.org/about-race-equality-first/
Black Lives Matter UK (UKBLM) – https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund