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Dove pledges $5 million to fight against systemic racism

The money will go to organizations and programs supporting the Black community, especially women and girls.
Dove produces a variety of personal care products, including soaps, deodorants, shampoos and lotions.Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Amid ongoing protests and public conversation on systemic racial oppression, Dove is one of the brands answering the call to “Pull Up or Shut Up” from Sharon Chuter, CEO of Uoma Beauty.

The “Pull Up for Shut Up” initiative started on Instagram in an effort to encourage brands to disclose the percentage of Black employees in companies. It has since led to pledges from brands to take action.

Dove announced it would commit to eliminate race-based discrimination against Black people through four new initiatives, including an expansion of the CROWN Coalition and a pledge of $5 million.

The skin care brand co-founded the CROWN Coalition in 2019 with the National Urban League, Color of Change, and the Center for Western Law and Poverty to end race-based hair discrimination.

Dove is expanding CROWN and launching the CROWN Fund, pledging $5 million to work with existing organizations and create new programs to support the Black community, especially women and girls, over the next five years. It will also help fund the Dove Self-Esteem Project, aimed to address race-based issues and teach the next generation about racial equity.

“For years, Dove has committed to making the beauty industry more equitable through diverse and authentic representations of women,” the brand explained in a statement. “As a founding member of The CROWN Coalition and advocate for The CROWN Act, we understand that the fight against systemic racism needs action, not just words. We also know that The CROWN Act alone will not stop the racial injustices currently sweeping our nation, which is why Dove is deepening its commitment to this vital issue with ongoing support and new initiatives to drive real and actionable change.”

Another way Dove intends to make a difference is by increasing and amplifying Black voices on their platforms by committing 25% of its influencer budget in the United States to Black creators.

In the past, Dove has faced controversy for racially insensitive ads but in an apology from 2017, the company said they "missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully."

Much like Chuter’s movement, Aurora James, the founder of sustainable fashion brand Brother Vellies, began an initiative to ask large retailers to take the Fifteen Percent Pledge. Since Black people make up 15% of the U.S. population, the movement calls for the same amount of representation on the shelves of beauty stores.

Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald's, Starbucks and Wendy’s are also among the other major brands that have spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, pledging large donations between $500,000 and $1 million and using their platforms to spread awareness and education about systemic racism.