Jackie Aina is encouraging the beauty industry to "Pull Up or Shut Up!"
The 32-year-old YouTube star announced a new initiative with UOMA Beauty founder Sharon Chuter via Instagram last week, in which they asked all beauty brands that posted about the Black Lives Matter movement to publicly reveal, within 72 hours, "the number of black employees they have at a corporate and executive level within their organizations."
"Dear brands and corporations, thank you for your public statements of support for the black community," Aina said in a video. "Be conscious that to ignore the role you have played and continue to play in depriving black people access to economic participation, demonstrates a lack of genuine desire for lasting change."
"We call on EVERYBODY to stand in solidarity with us in holding brands and corporations accountable," she continued. "So for the next 72 hours, DO NOT PURCHASE from any brand and demand they release these figures. Ask them to PULL UP for real change or SHUT UP and retract their statements of support."
Aina stressed that the 72-hour time period is all it would take to "drive long lasting economic change for black people."
"Stand for change. Ask these brands to PULL UP OR SHUT UP," she advised. "ALL BRANDS that have had partnerships with me, I challenge and highly encourage all of you to participate."
The 72-hour deadline recently passed, and some of the most popular beauty brands -- including Sephora, Glossier, Tarte, Huda Beauty and L'OREAL USA -- have taken part in the initiative. With low numbers, which you can view on the Pull Up for Change Instagram page, many of these companies have already made a vow to be more inclusive.
"Brands sure did pull the hell up!" Aina said in an update shared to Instagram Stories on Monday. "I just feel like at this point everybody's canceled. I think it highlighted a lot of things that we knew about the beauty community but we couldn't really confirm. And beauty is my job, so some of these brands have definitely done some eyebrow-worthy things..."
"What does that mean for influencers like myself?" she asked. "It basically means at this point you just have to decide for yourself what's worth supporting and what isn't because... they're all problematic at this point."
A 2019 study, titled Being Black in Corporate America: An Intersectional Exploration (that was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago) found that leadership roles in corporate America have been largely compromised of whites. NBC News reported key findings from the study at the time, which included discovery that blacks represent less than 1 percentage point (0.8 percent) of Fortune 500 CEOs, and only 3.2 percent of executives and senior manager-level employees are black.
View the full report here, and watch the video below for more on how Hollywood is standing up to racial injustice following the fatal arrest of George Floyd last month.