On Wednesday, June 5, free-standing Sephora stores, corporate offices and distribution centers in the United States will be closed during the morning for inclusion workshops for all employees as part of the brand’s “We Belong to Something Beautiful” initiative.

This excludes Sephora Inside JCPenney (SJCP) stores, such as those at Viewmont Mall, Scranton, and Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre. Scranton’s store is not participating and will be open, according to management. Management from Wilkes-Barre’s store did not immediately respond for comment.

Even if area stores are not participating, it’s an important step for the brand to take overall.

“These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we’re excited to welcome everyone when we reopen,” Sephora posted to its Facebook page.

The initiative comes on the heels of Grammy-nominated R&B artist SZA‘s experience at Sephora store in Calabasas, California, in April when an employee allegedly called security under the assumption SZA was shoplifting.

“Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing. We had a long talk. U have a blessed day Sandy,” SZA tweeted.

SZA poses for Fenty Beauty’s campaign

Among the replies were others sharing similar experiences in Sephora stores all over the country from instances of racial profiling to transphobia. The brand responded, as well, saying, “You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores.”

Things like racial profiling, racism, prejudice, homophobia, transphobia and ignorance are unacceptable.

Everyone deserves to look and feel their best as well as feel validated, seen and heard. Our biggest issue is that we can only see from where we stand. While it’s a little mind-blowing (to me) that — in 2019 — we still need to explain to people that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, it’s unfortunately our reality.

The best thing we can do for ourselves and each other is to start a dialogue. Learn from each other, understand each other and keep an open mind and heart. Closing down stores, holding inclusivity workshops for all employees is a good thing.

Like I said before, this is a step in the right direction for Sephora, who last year also began to offer Classes for Confidence, which are complimentary in-store, 90-minute beauty classes for those “facing major life transitions,” including those who are transitioning, individuals with cancer and those re-entering the workforce.

What makes us different is what makes us beautiful.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SEPHORA’S NEW INITIATIVE?  LET ME KNOW AT GMAZUR@TIMESSHAMROCK.COM, @GMAZURTT ON TWITTER OR @MISS.GIA.M ON INSTAGRAM.