LT clubs raise money for small black-owned businesses

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Sadie Madden, Jessica Quintero, and Natalia Madrigal wearing the t-shirt. (Rory Quealy/LION)

Rory Quealy, Assistant Web Editor

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement both nationally and locally, National Hispanic Institute (NHI) and Black and Multicultural Club collaborated to sell ‘Lions for Inclusivity’ T-shirts to raise money for My Block, My Hood, My City, an organization that donates to small black-owned businesses that have been looted during protests.

“We wanted to tangibly help the community,” NHI social media director Natalia Madrigal ‘21 said. “We figured that because we have NHI, we have a platform already set for us, so we can use that platform instead of being silent. We wanted to get involved and make a difference.”

T-shirt sales began on June 20 for $22 each. NHI ordered 50 t-shirts with their design on Custom Ink and have sold 42 of them so far. Instead of only donating the profits, NHI decided to spend their club funds on the order from Custom Ink so they can donate 100 percent of the proceeds, NHI co-chair of volunteering Sadie Madden ‘21 said. They hope to sell all 50 shirts to raise a total of $1,100. 

“It feels really good knowing we can give all we’ve got,” Madden said. 

The two clubs collaborated on the T-shirt design and the overall message for the project. They decided on “Lions for Inclusivity” and to “Say No to Hate” to help make everyone feel accepted, Madrigal said. 

“It represents everyone, and it represents equality,” Black and Multicultural Club president Kenneth Payton ‘21 said. 

Because LT is a predominantly white school, and NHI and Black and Multicultural Club are meant to be places where racial minorities can talk openly about their experiences, they thought it was important to work together, Madden said. 

“As minorities at LT and the world in general, we don’t get to see enough solidarity between each community,” NHI co-president Jessica Quintero ‘21 said. “We often tend to isolate our own struggles when we should be coming together.”

The T-shirts were sold on a website that Madrigal designed and coded from scratch. It includes information about My Block, My Hood, My City, why they started this project and a place to buy the T-shirts. Members from both clubs shared the website link on their social media to spread the word, Quintero said.

 “I feel beyond moved and humbled by my students,” NHI sponsor Ibet Herrera said. “As the years go by, I have been able to see how passionate they are about matters and most importantly, that they take action. Passion is great, but passion with action will spark change.” 

My Block My Hood My City is located at 47 W. Polk St. Suite 100 Chicago, IL 60605 and their mission is to provide underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhoods. The money from the t-shirts will be donated to their small business relief fund which helps small black owned business owners reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, replace inventory, and make repairs to their stores damaged from looting and vandalism.