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Sharon Chuter’s ‘Make It Black’ Campaign Gets a Second Go

“Make It Black,” the campaign started last year by Sharon Chuter to change connotations of the word “Black,” is getting a reboot with new brand partners in 2022.

Launching on Feb. 3, the campaign’s second iteration is also raising money for the Pull Up For Change Impact Fund, also started by Chuter, which provides funding to Black brand founders.

This year’s iteration of the campaign includes a range of new brand and retail partners. E.l.f. Cosmetics, Flower Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe and Uoma Beauty are repackaging limited editions of their hero products in black. They will be sold online through Ulta Beauty, Ipsy’s subscription boxes, and brands’ websites.

To get the word out, Chuter has also enlisted a range of different talents. “We partnered with a lot of creators this year to really continue to share, and a really strong creative base,” she told WWD. “Even together as brands, we do more collaborations. For the first time, you’re going to see an Instagram live between brands that should be fighting each other, and we’re all coming together.”

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The fund’s first incarnation was a success, raising $400,000 last year. Chuter is still changing her approach, though, saying that chasing financial institutions for support was “very unsuccessful,” and that she’s renewing interest among brands and consumers.

She’s also focusing on disseminating information and making the campaign more educative on how connotations of the word have evolved. “A lot of people just felt these were always the connotations of ‘Black’: that it’s always been bad, it’s always been evil. When it comes to something as fundamental as language, people are less likely to think that something is broken,” she said.

To that end, last year’s campaign also coincided with a Change.org petition for dictionaries to change the definitions and synonyms of the word. She’s hoping an information-first approach will trigger a stronger response from its audience.

“At the peak of Black Lives Matter, everyone was in that space,” Chuter said. “One year later, they were fatigued, they didn’t really care anymore, and everybody was going back to their old habits. This year, we’re coming in with more facts, and we’re coming in with more education, because we realized the public needed more education in this area.”

Chuter was even able to recruit social media networks for help with the campaign. “TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat have all come on board and really helped us with this, in terms of advising us on amplifying our content,” she said.

Assistance goes beyond product packaging and marketing, though. In a statement provided to WWD, Andre Branch, senior vice president and general manager of MAC Cosmetics in North America, mentioned the brand will also donate $150,000 to the Pull Up For Change Impact Fund. “True to our founding credo, we at MAC believe we have a responsibility to create an equitable playing field,” Branch said. “Pull Up For Change puts forward a meaningful and transformative mission and I am incredibly proud to join forces with Sharon [Chuter] and put the force of MAC behind this campaign.”

It’s been a busy past 12 months for Chuter. Last year, she inaugurated “Make It Black,” launched a mass market brand in Walmart and even worked on a collaboration for the film, “Coming 2 America.”

For more from WWD.com, see:

Sharon Chuter, Ella Gorgla Get Clear About Brand Activism

Uoma Beauty: Foundation for the Post-Fenty World

Watch: With #PullUporShutUp, Sharon Chuter Is Pulling Back the Curtain on Diversity in Corporate America