The tragic death of George Floyd has shaken the United States with protests across the 50 states and online campaigns advocating that #BlackLivesMatter. Many corporations have donated generously and made public declarations supporting the black community. However, this does not absolve companies from the hand they may have in the economic oppression of black people; words can be meaningless when not backed by action.
Sharun Chuter, Owner and Founder of UOMA Beauty has created an initiative directed towards beauty brands and American corporations at large: Pull Up or Shut Up.
#PullUpOrShutUp invites the public to challenge brands to release the number of black people holding corporate and leadership positions in their companies. In the meantime, the public is to hold off on purchases for a period of 72 hours till the brands pull up with the statistics required.
Starting the campaign on Wednesday, Chuter said, “You can’t say black lives matter publicly when you don’t show us black lives matter within your own homes and within your organizations.” She confronts corporate America saying, “You MUST do better and history will judge what you did at this moment when we have the opportunity for real change. Did you pull up for real or did you shut up to continue the oppression. The answer is up-to you.”
Beauty Influencer, Jackie Aina highlighted the campaign further calling on brands to #PullUpOrShutUp.
On #BlackOutTuesday, hundreds of brands made statements in solidarity but the campaign demands more. If brands and corporations truly mean the words said, they should release the figures for us to see and for them to recognise the role they may have in the abysmally low percentage of black people with corporate jobs.
Roughly 48 hours since the launch of the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign, brands such as UOMA Beauty, e.l.f, Milk Makeup, Mented Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, Makeup Addiction, Wet n Wild, The Lip Bar, Ink Box, Ulta Beauty and others have disclosed their figures. (Numbers are reposted on the campaign Instagram account @pullupforchange.) With 24 hours to go, more brands and companies are expected to pull up… or just shut up.
This is for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, every member of the black community, every black life lost that deserved better and every black child yet to be born. How are the numbers from your favorite brands, disappointing or encouraging? Comment below.