Beauty does not care about age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Beauty is inclusive, and it’s this spirit of inclusivity upon which Anastasia Beverly Hills was founded. It has been a cornerstone of our brand since the beginning, embedded into our approach in everything from representation to shade range, encouraging an unwavering resolve that beauty is for everyone.
Yes, we are in the business of beauty. But I have always said that what makes you feel beautiful can also make you powerful. I am so proud to be using the power of our brand in this way.
On June 1, we pledged one million dollars towards the fight against social injustice. We began with a combined donation of $100,000 to The Innocence Project, The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Visions Collective, The Marshall Project, and Black Lives Matter. We vowed to remain constant and vocal supporters of equality, and we vowed to use our platform and our privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups that deserve to be heard.
We knew we wanted to continue by making a meaningful difference at the community level, and so we have allocated the remainder of the funds across three important categories: support for Black-owned businesses, mental health, and social initiatives.
According to the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective,“Black people are 7 times more likely to live in areas with limited access to mental health care. There is a shortage of black mental health providers, and only a third of Black people who need mental health services receive treatment.” To help provide accessibility to services for those battling the effects of injustice, we are donating $250,000 to mental health resources created by and for Black people.
We have allocated $200,000 to social initiatives, including community restoration, enrichment programs, and youth-oriented organizations. We’ll be carrying out these donations in phases, the first of which was to provide 50k towards the education of a Noonan Scholar, an exceptional young woman studying Biological Sciences.
Finally, we are setting aside $450,000 to go directly to Black-owned businesses, because one of the best ways to support a community is to support their thinkers, innovators, and leaders financially.
The initial step of the application will be a simple video submission. Our video submission process is powered by Jogg (jogg.co), who is generously donating their video insights platform in support of this cause. Your taped submission doesn’t need to be anything fancy – we just want to hear a little bit about you and about your story. Submissions will go live August 8th and be open for 5 days. From there, selected applicants will receive the form application, and those applications will go on to be reviewed by an incredible cross-industry committee. These grants are open to any Black-owned business in any industry – not just beauty – and there are no set requirements for what you choose to do with the money. Our hope is to help grow and sustain your business during these challenging times.
In addition to funding, grant recipients will be offered business mentorship from Anastasia Beverly Hills as well as opportunities to work with a business banker from Wells Fargo. They have generously agreed to provide bank accounts to our award winners, financial literacy coaching for employees, and an in-branch business banker available for financial guidance.
I also want to acknowledge the importance of enacting real change in our own backyard. As part of the #PullUpOrShutUp Challenge, we released our internal numbers on diversity. It’s time that we take a much more active approach to ensuing inclusivity at our corporate office and in positions of leadership, and I look forward to sharing our progress as it develops. Thank you to our community for being a constant source of accountability and inspiration.
Anastasia Beverly Hills will continue to listen, learn, and improve.
ANASTASIA SOAREFOUNDER & CEO