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Dark & Lovely Launches New Initiative: Building Beautiful Futures

Dark & Lovely Launches New Initiative: Building Beautiful Futures
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on January 19, 2022

During National Mentoring Month this January, Dark & Lovely, a pioneer and leader in Black beauty is launching Building Beautiful Futures: Closing the Opportunity Gap, a multi-year commitment that will help bring educational and career equity to Black, female college students and young professionals. “Opportunity gap” refers to the fact that the arbitrary circumstances in which people are born—such as their race, ethnicity, ZIP code, and socioeconomic status—impact their opportunities in life, rather than all people having the same chance to achieve to the best of their potential. Recognizing the growing opportunity gap for young Black women, particularly post-pandemic, Dark & Lovely is partnering with The NAACP Youth & College Division to provide scholarships, mentorship and career coaching opportunities to recent graduates and those pursuing four-year degrees. Actress, producer, “artivist” and Dark & Lovely brand ambassador, Storm Reid will lend her voice to help inspire and uplift young women throughout the program.

“As a working actress, college student and Black woman, I know first-hand how important it is to have access to resources and mentors to help you achieve your goals. You can’t do it alone,” stated Storm Reid. “That’s why I am excited to partner with Dark & Lovely to help impact the lives of so many young women like myself, who hope to break barriers and shatter glass ceilings.”

Higher student debt coupled with lower pay and workplace discrimination have placed Black women at a disadvantage. In fact, according to The Education Trust, more than half of White women (51.4%) have a college degree, compared to 36.1% of Black women, while Black women owe 22% more in student debt. Additionally, 50% of Black women are thinking of leaving their job in the next 2 years citing lack of support and mentors (Working Mother).

“Now more than ever, young Black women are in need of actionable support that can propel them forward,” said Erica Culpepper, General Manager, Dark & Lovely. “Through this program, we hope to help close the educational and career equity gap by providing tangible resources that help young Black women embrace their limitless potential and shape their legacy.”

“Efforts to create meaningful and tangible change start with investment in communities and people who can benefit from it greatly," said Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer at NAACP. "Removing the financial roadblocks college can often present while providing mentorships will leave an indelible mark on countless young Black women. We look forward to the outcome partnerships like this will have on our community.”

Dark & Lovely and the NAACP have had a long history of supporting women of color via scholarships and mentorship. Together through Building Beautiful Futures, they aim to create paths to success for 16,000 Black women while reaching them at a pivotal time in their development —during their college careers AND as they enter the workforce.



This robust initiative will include:

Mentorship
• Quarterly Masterclasses with key executives and thought leaders
• 1-on-1 mentorship commitments from key executives at Dark & Lovely and parent company, L’Oréal USA
• Grassroots activations and forums for Black women to network and share inspiring mentorship experiences

Scholarships
• Building Beautiful Futures scholarships—$10,000 per year, for up to four years, granted to Black female students enrolled in a 4-year institution

Career Opportunities
• Internships - Hands-on internship opportunities at L’Oréal USA
• Career Coaching - Access to online resources, tools and experts to inspire, provide career coaching and educate around the opportunity gap and how to close it

Care Packages
• Building Beautiful Futures care packages to include products from Dark & Lovely, along with college and early career essentials to bring moments of surprise and delight to recipients

Be The Change
Join Dark & Lovely in the fight to Close the Opportunity Gap by visiting https://softsheen-carson.com/buildingbeaut...

Also, follow @darkandlovely and @NAACP on Instagram for real-time program announcements and information.

About Dark & Lovely
Dark & Lovely, founded in 1972, was created to help Black women express and embrace their individual styles. As one of the first brands to celebrate the Black consumer, for 50 years Dark & Lovely has been known for offering innovative products and technology made exclusively for Black Women to address their specific beauty needs. As a subsidiary of L'Oréal USA, Dark & Lovely continues to unveil breakthrough hair innovations for women of color. For more information, visit www.darkandlovely.com.

About NAACP
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing **** against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Learn More: https://naacp.org/

About Storm Reid
With numerous credits to her name, Storm Reid has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young actors. She is best known for starring as ‘Meg’ in A WRINKLE IN TIME, directed by multi-award winner Ava DuVernay. She has also appeared in memorable roles for THE **** SQUAD, INVISIBLE MAN, DON’T LET GO, and TWELVE YEARS A ****. On the small screen, Reid stars alongside Zendaya in HBO’s EUPHORIA, and can also be seen in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series WHEN THEY SEE US, based on the Central Park Five. Earlier this year, Reid partnered with Facebook Watch on “Chop it Up,” a conversation series by way of cooking. The series was created and produced by Reid and her mother, Robyn Simpson, through their production company “A Seed & Wings.” The independent multimedia production house, which was founded in 2013, is rooted in narratives that forge multi-cultural conversations, entertain, educate, and uplift. Reid recently wrapped production for the film ONE WAY where she acted alongside Travis Fimmel, Kevin Bacon and Drea de Matteo, and SEARCHING 2, starring opposite Nia Long.


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