A new campaign is making waves on social media – and with good reason. #PullUpOrShutUp is the brainchild of Uoma Beauty founder, Sharon Chuter, and its aim is to hold beauty brands to account on their commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black community.
Over the past few days we’ve seen an outpouring of beauty brands donating to various Black Lives Matter causes, however Chuter – who, before starting her own beauty brand, was the head of Corporations for Benefit at LVMH – is concerned that some of these donations may simply be PR stunts. “You can’t say Black lives matter publicly when you don’t show us Black lives matter within your homes and your organizations,” Chuter said in a series of videos posted to her Instagram account, before asking her followers to pause their spending for 72 hours until these brands released the number of Black people they have in corporate and leadership positions.
In the clips, Chuter explained that in the US, Black people make up just eight per cent of corporate roles, a little over three per cent in management positions and that there are only four Fortune 500 companies with Black CEOs. “These corporations, who are the gatekeepers of jobs, have starved us for the longest time. They’ve pushed us out, and they’ve marginalized us and they’ve oppressed us by doing nothing and staying silent which is exactly what is happening even in this moment,” she says.
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#pulluporshutup Please join me in holding corporations accountable. We are asking all corporations/brands who went black yesterday to release the number of black employees they have at a corporate and executive level. Show us you really mean it and you are ready to stop being a part of the system of oppression and marginalization. It’s simple No jobs or support for businesses = poverty Poverty = crime Crime = 33% of prison population = They shoot us when they see us Help us dismantle this system of oppression once and for all. @pullupforchange #pulluporshutup #blacklivesmatter
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar US, Chuter – who in her videos noted that this issue isn’t specific to the beauty industry alone – revealed she was inspired to start the campaign after receiving messages from employees at some of these companies who shared that the employee lineup didn’t reflect their public messaging. “I had people from these organizations reaching out in tears. You know how much this breaks my heart? I have people calling me saying, ‘My company donated a million dollars to Black Lives Matter.’ They’re doing all of this and all of that. Meanwhile, there are only two of us who work there.”
In addition to the social media campaign, Chuter is pushing for the creation of an independent advisory board for beauty companies comprised of people from every marginalized group, according to Bazaar.
Follow and get involved with the #PullUpOrShutUp movement here.
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