As protests in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many other Black humans who died at the hands of police hold a mirror up to society’s long history of racial injustice, Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies, in turn held up a mirror to major retailers across industries. James launched the 15 Percent Pledge to ask behemoths such as Target, Whole Foods, Net-a-Porter, Sephora, and Saks Fifth Ave to reflect on how they can turn their swift Instagram messages of solidarity into a more tangible, long-term support for Black businesses.
The 15 Percent Pledge is broken down into three proposals:
Take Stock: Examine your current inventory and contracts dedicated to Black-owned businesses, as well as the representation at your company.
Take Ownership: Now that you’ve reviewed your company, share your findings within the company and publicly to foster transparency.
Take Action: With everything you’ve learned, map out a new strategy to address your company’s shortcomings and how you’ll commit to dedicating 15 percent of your shelf space to Black businesses.