Article Originally Published by Maria Lawson on North Texas Daily
Amid the racial injustices in the United States, UNT students and business owners are taking the initiative to redirect their profits to support various foundations that are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Doodz by Angel
DoodzbyAngel is a RedBubble store owned by early childhood education senior Angel Piers, and she is donating a portion of her proceeds to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“With the whole Black Lives Matter movement, I just wanted to find a way to use [my store’s] platform to raise money and awareness, so I started creating Black Lives Matter stickers, and I’ve been donating the profits from those,” Piers said.
Piers got the idea to raise money through her RedBubble store because she wanted to support the cause but did not have enough money to donate a large amount personally.
“I have been seeing a lot of places that were taking donations, and obviously, I don’t have all the money in the world that I would want to donate, and I’m just not financially free enough to be able to donate as much as I’d like to,” Piers said. “I figured if I could find a way to raise money to donate and raise awareness, that would be better than me donating the small amount that I would be able to on my own.”
She opted to support the Black Lives Matter fund after looking through various options.
“Most of the places I have been seeing to donate were the George Floyd Memorial sites, and when I looked into that one, they had already gotten over $2 million in donations, so they were asking that donations be directed elsewhere,” Piers said. “I looked into a couple different options, and from what I was seeing, it just made the most sense to donate directly to Black Lives Matter.”
Piers said it is important to recognize that racial injustices still exist long after the Civil Rights Movement.
“People still aren’t being treated equally, but I think people have forgotten that because from the outside, it [can appear] that everyone has the same rights and everyone is treated equally,” Piers said. “So if it’s something that you don’t talk about, and you’re not trying to raise awareness and have those uncomfortable conversations, it’s pretty easy to kind of gloss over it and pretend like everything is OK when it’s really not.”
Zoë Brooks, interdisciplinary studies for early childhood education junior, sells custom T-shirts through her Instagram, @CallOnZiggy, and is making shirts in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It first started off as something I made for myself and a friend of mine as a protest T-shirt,” Brooks said. “Since [COVID-19] is still on the rise, I had to step away from physical protesting and thought it would be an even better idea to make shirts for the protestors and people [who] wanted to support from afar.”
She said she felt drawn to contribute to the movement to support the lives of marginalized communities.
“This cause is important to support because we, as a diverse and younger generation, have to be the ones to stand up for what’s right and one another,” Brooks said. “Black lives are targeted and there has to be justice for all the lives that have been lost due to police brutality and systematic racism — we are going to do whatever it takes to ensure that.”
Brooks said she is donating a percentage of her profits to help bail activists and protestors seeking justice out of jail. She also includes with each order a list of petitions to sign and numbers to call to support the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“It is important to address all racial comments and actions that we see within our communities, friendships and families,” she said. “Take a stand for the Black community and use your voice so we, as Black people and people of color, can be heard.”
Visual arts junior Jules Raymond owns an Etsy shop called J00lesEve where they sell art prints, illustrations and stickers, and they are donating a portion of their proceeds to the National Police Accountability Project.
“I was trying to figure out how I could help in all the stuff that was happening because I was honestly too afraid to go to protests because I was very fearful that I could have been arrested or something,” Raymond said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, how can I contribute?’ And so I thought that I could give my profits during this month towards fundraising donations that were towards police accountability.”
Raymond wanted to support the National Police Accountability Project because it is not as funded as other funds, such as the Minneapolis Freedom Fund or George Floyd, they said.
“I found NPAP in a Twitter thread, and their main goal is police accountability, and it’s made up of 500 members who are lawyers, and they work towards this, so I wanted to help them out,” Raymond said.
Raymond said that human rights are being contested, so they want to use their platform to support the cause and help others.
“It’s important to support this cause because it’s not just politics, it’s human rights,” Raymond said. “People are just being discriminated against, being who they are, and they have no control over being who they are. It’s just been out of hand for hundreds of years, and we finally just need to put an end to it right now.”
Raymond is donating 100% of their profits minus delivery fees to NPAP, which has amounted to $158 in total this month.
Communication design sophomore Chloe Hewitt has been creating art for over a decade and is using the sales of her art prints to benefit the Equal Justice Initiative. The EJI was founded by Bryan Stevenson in 1989 and provides legal representation to people who have been wrongfully convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails or prisons, she said.
“I feel very strongly about what the EJI stands for and began selling my prints via social media to raise the money,” Hewitt said. “So far through generous donations from friends, family and even strangers, we have raised over $500 for the organization.”
Hewitt is selling her artwork as an 8.5×11 inch print for $12 through her social media pages, @chlo.hewitt on Instagram.
“I am very thankful for the ability to use my passions to help others and believe that we cannot be silent in times of injustice, especially as artists who have the gift to communicate to the public in unique ways,” Hewitt said.
Featured Image: courtesy of Chloe Hewitt
Source: North Texas Daily