The words “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) appear across numerous news headlines as junior Shane Prentice turns on his phone. Prentice is in dismay to see that George Floyd, a Black man, had died due to police brutality. He decides he needs to make an effort in contributing toward the BLM movement, which aims to dismantle institutionalized racism against the Black community.
To encourage change, Prentice decided to resell shoes and donate 100% of his profits to the movement. He began selling streetwear, typically consisting of shoes, two years ago. Prentice was motivated to start this fundraiser last May due to the protests surrounding Floyd.
“Many BLM riots and protests were happening,” Prentice said. “I felt very useless about not being able to go out and say anything about it. That’s when I decided to start a fundraiser on my reselling Instagram page, @lacedla_626, to donate to BLM organizations.”
As a non-Black person, Prentice acknowledges the privilege he has to simply participate in the BLM cause while others are living through the hardship. He uses his privilege to support those facing various racial disadvantages in order to bring awareness and to be an ally.
“I am not Black, and I will never understand what it is like to be Black, but I sympathize with the BLM movement,” Prentice said. “My cultural background has kept me determined during the protests. My grandma used to tell me that my family came to America during the Fall of Saigon with little to nothing, working two full-time jobs. These stories inspire me to work as hard as I can to help others.”
From the fundraiser, Prentice collected $900, which he donated to the Black Visions Collective and the George Floyd Memorial Fund. Prentice ended the fundraiser last August to focus on school; however, he continues to support the BLM movement by signing petitions and encouraging others to do the same.
“BLM is important to me because seeing others being discriminated against for the color of their skin is plain wrong and evil, especially when they are getting killed,” Prentice said.