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BROWN GIRL Jane Partners SheaMoisture For New $250,000 Fund For Black Beauty Brands

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Malaika Jones Kebede,

The new conversations centered around racial injustice have caused a revolution in many industries, demanding corporations to diversify everything from their workforce to the products being sold to consumers. This week, Brown Girl Jane, a plant-based beauty and wellness company, announced its new initiative and partnership with SheaMoisture to amplify Black entrepreneurs within the beauty industry.

#BrownGirlSwap is an initiative designed to amplify and support Black-owned independent beauty and wellness brands in the industry. The initial idea started as a pledge to swap out your beauty products with Black-owned companies which developed into a more intensive program. “This year has been such a whirlwind [for us] with so many things happening. [We conceived the idea in] early June at the time as a lot of the social justice movements [with] a new focus [around and economic empowerment],” said Malaika Jones Kebede, CEO of Brown Girl Jane in an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“My team and I really wanted to start something that was simple and doable but that would potentially have a ripple effect and so we came up with the idea of the brown crosswalk, which really is a simple idea asking consumers to pledge to just swap outside of their everyday beauty and wellness products for those made and by Black women founders and owners.”

The grant will help cover a new entrepreneurship program offering business-to-business mentorship with seasoned executives from SheaMoisture and beauty conglomerate, Unilever in addition to a virtual summit presented by both brands centering around Black beauty creators in September called The Black To Business Summit.

“It’s important for us to create and partner on opportunities and spaces that encourage the growth of women of color in business. Our Community Commerce purpose-driven business model enables us to invest in Black female entrepreneurs around the world. As a brand, we have always invested in the underserved, by providing access to opportunities and resources which help to create lasting value for entrepreneurs and their communities,” said Cara Sabin, CEO of SheaMoisture, in a statement to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“We were so inspired by BROWN GIRL Jane’s three dynamic founders, and the ability of other Black beauty founders to build dynamic businesses. Our brands connected even further over the shared mission to support and uplift these businesses as we continue SheaMoisture’s long history of meeting Black women’s unique needs in personal care.”

 

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Hey, Tribe! ⁠ ⁠ Supporting black businesses, especially those owned by women of color (WOC), has always been important. Now, even more so. ⁠ ⁠ Recognizing the importance of supporting WOC in the wellness and beauty industry in particular, we invite you to join us in @BrownGirlSwap. ⁠ ⁠ WHAT IS IT? ⁠ ⁠ How many of us buy wellness and beauty products that could easily be swapped for Black-owned WOC brands? Nail polish? Serums? Um, CBD tinctures? Lipstick? Candles?⁠ ⁠ The list goes on and on. The @BrownGirlSwap calls on you to consciously commit to swapping FIVE of your common daily products for a brand that is owned by a WOC. This is an easy, simple way to start and put your (real) dollars behind change.⁠ ⁠ So, Sisters and Allies- join the @BrownGirlSwap and show us just how easy it really is. Tag #BrownGirlSwap in your videos, pictures and posts to encourage your friends to join in.⁠ ⁠ #browngirlswap

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One pandemic, two recoveries: New Yorkers are three times more likely to be jobless than Nebraskans

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It’s going to take a long time to get out of this economic mess, but we’re making progress: Since the end of April, the economy has added more than 10 million jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen from its peak of 14.7% to 8.4%.

But that national recovery is unequal. Employment in some states is back to pre-pandemic levels, while others are at mass joblessness levels surpassing the 2007-09 Great Recession.

When the pandemic hit, the jobless rate in Nebraska soared from 4% in March to 8.7% in April. But the state’s nearly fully reopened economy has helped push the jobless rate back to 4% as of August.

The picture in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the spring, is far less rosy. It saw its jobless rate climb from 4.1% in March to a staggering 15.3% by April. It has since improved to 12.5% in August—a figure that is still above the U.S. peak of 8.9% jobless rate during the Great Recession era.

How can a New Yorker be three times more likely to be jobless than a Nebraskan?

States like Nebraska that are more rural and haven’t been as hard hit by the pandemic have almost fully reopened. Earlier this month Nebraska allowed outdoor gatherings to reopen at 100%, including sports stadiums and fairgrounds. And places like bars and tattoo parlors were reopened weeks ago.

Northeast states like New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut were hit hard by the virus in the spring and are reopening businesses at much slower rates. Case in point: Indoor dinning in New York City doesn’t start back until September 30, and that’s only at 25% capacity. That cautious approach explains why New York’s jobless rate remains so high.

While New York leads the nation at 33,092 lives lost to the pandemic, its case load and deaths are plummeting, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Only .9% of COVID-19 tests in New York are coming back positive compared to over 50% at one point in April. Nebraska has far fewer COVID-19 deaths (452), however, its positive rate is 12.6%—which is above the 10% threshold that adds incoming travelers to New York’s 14-day quarantine.

And joblessness in New York is also elevated by its large leisure and hospitality concentration. That sector was smashed by the pandemic, and has yet to rebound. Leisure and hospitality jobs in New York City alone are still down 48%. And that’s also why joblessness is still so high in tourism heavy California (11.4%), Hawaii (12.5%), and Nevada (13.2%).

While Florida also has a massive tourism industry, its jobless rate is only 7.4% in August which can be chalked up to a more aggressive reopening plan than states like Nevada or New York.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

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