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L’Oréal USA, as part of its Inclusive Beauty Fund, has made a significant scholarship donation to the OnePulse Foundation.
The gift, which consists of $400,000 to the foundation’s 49 Legacy Scholarship Fund, will be used to provide four annual scholarships in perpetuity. The fund, started in 2019, awards 49 scholarships of up to $10,000 each for use at higher learning institutions, trade and technical schools.
The OnePulse Foundation was founded in memory of the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Fla., in 2016. It was founded by Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse Nightclub. Any person is eligible to apply for the scholarships, which range in size up to $10,000, and are awarded to 49 recipients on an annual basis.
“We are proud to be a Founding Legacy Donor of the OnePulse Foundation and support their life-affirming mission. We hope our contribution can help to bring more beauty into the world despite this unfathomable tragedy,” said Stéphane Rinderknech, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA, in a statement.
“The scholarships inspire and empower students who share similar dreams, ambitions and goals as […] partnerships like these ensure that we can offer these scholarships for years to come,” said Earl Crittenden, board chairman of OnePulse, in a statement.
For L’Oréal, the partnership was an apt next move for the Inclusive Beauty Fund. “They were looking for companies to further advance the stories of who they call the 49 “angels” who lost their lives, some of whom were interested in beauty and had careers they were pursuing,” said Angela Guy, chief diversity and inclusion officer at L’Oréal USA. “We saw it as a nice opportunity to further the beauty, if you will, of the four who lost their lives that were pursuing beauty careers.”
The past year has been busy for Guy, who spearheaded the company’s Inclusive Beauty Fund, which started last year. Most recently, the fund partnered with the NAACP to award 30 grants of $10,000 to independent, Black-owned beauty businesses.
“It’s part of L’Oréal’s overall ambition and sustainability platform where we’ve been giving money to various funds and foundations over the course of our history,” Guy said. “We’ve always done that, we have a L’Oréal for the Future fund that focuses on women. We further advanced Inclusive Beauty last year after looking at the social impact of what’s going on in the marketplace.”
To that end, Guy’s kept her finger on the pulse of what consumers are looking for from the brands they support. “It’s a fine line companies need to walk, but the expectation is that consumers expect companies to stand for things that matter to them,” Guy said. “We believe social justice is all about beauty. People need to feel beautiful when they feel safe, right? They feel beautiful when they have a sense of belonging.”
For more from WWD.com, see:
This Is How L’Oréal Is Using Think Tanks in Its Progress on Diversity
Pride and Progress: Designers Open Up on LGBTQ Rights Movement
Tapestry Named ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ’ by Human Rights Campaign
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