“We, as young people, are the future.”
These words are the mission statement of the young activist Rachel Izuagbe who is tired of people apologizing for things they shouldn’t have to apologize for. As a teenage girl of color that grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, Izuagbe has experienced injustice firsthand and through the eyes of others. But the 19-year-old isn’t just tired of the injustices—she’s decided to do something about it.
As a result, she launched Unapologetic Apparel: an online activist clothing shop. As the website states, “Unapologetic is used to create a space for stories to be shared to create a community filled with intersecting identities. Activist Apparel is your chance to walk around with your heart on your sleeve... or chest.”
We talked to Izuagbe personally to get the story behind not only her own brand, but her view on the world at large.
“Unapologetic Apparel started because I wanted to change the way race and racism is discussed in America. America has a history of refusing to address the systemic racism and oppression that founded our country. I want to start that discussion,” Izuagbe commented.
From here on, Izuagbe has the whole world ahead of her—both online and in-person. “My future will involve policymaking. After my undergraduate, I will get my master’s in public policy, so I can create legislation that incorporates important aspects that impact marginalized communities, but are often overlooked,” she detailed.
But her goals and observations aren’t just generalities. Izuagbe goes beyond observations and has a specific interest in intersectional world health. “When it comes to issues like health issues based on race, we can see that some diseases like asthma that look like they are more common in the black community aren’t because of race, but actually the history of redlining and the exposure to pollution and poor infrastructure. Knowing these things can really shape the way we approach solutions.”
That’s the key with Izuagbe: knowledge is how people can reshape solutions. Through clothing or otherwise, Izuagbe is ready to continue to spread knowledge of injustices in the first step to fix them.
Read more about Rachel Izuagbe and read her full story by grabbing your copy of Legacy today—use the RACHELIZUAGBE5 discount code for 5% off of a digital copy.
Stay up to date with Rachel and Unapologetic Apparel by following the social media below:
Words by Danielle Irene, Jemmy Monroe
Editors: Jemmy Monroe
Designers: Danielle Irene, Ry X