Humanize My Hoodie Co-Founder Speaks With Students

Rebecca Michaeli and Aala Basheir

During third period on November 2, Andre Wright, co-founder of the fashion activism brand and movement Humanize My Hoodie, visited City High as a guest speaker for the newly founded Drip Club.

Wright spoke in the Little Theater, explaining the connection between social activism and art and emphasizing the lack of BIPOC representation in the fashion industry. The message behind the brand and movement is intended to challenge negative stereotypes surrounding BIPOC individuals wearing hooded sweatshirts. 

“This is about decriminalizing Black people when they wear hoodies, ” Wright said.

Black Americans make up 13% of the country’s population, yet only 3% of the communications industry. One of Wright’s goals is to increase Black representation in the industry.

“A majority of everything that you see is not made for [Black Americans], but we’re consumers of it. I want to get more people represented in the industry,” Wright said.

Wright explained the meaning of the “Ally of the Humanize My Hoodie” apparel, which white allies can receive after completing the Ally Training provided on Humanize My Hoodie’s website.

“White people have no idea what we experience. We have a target on our backs, that’s why we have to stand up and speak the truth every chance we get. It’s important for us to be seen as productive, constructive, human beings in society, so we can eliminate the threat perception of who you guys think we are,” Wright said. “We’re not criminals.”

Humanize My Hoodie has previously been involved with the Iowa City Community School District, hosting an informational session on the MLK Day of Learning. Wright encourages students to speak up for what they believe in, and get involved.

“When I leave this room, you guys are the future leaders,” Wright said to students. “This is an open invitation to all of you. If you’ve ever looked back in history, youth have always lead every single movement.”