YOUth In Power - Rachel Izuagbe
Rachel Izuagbe is young changemaker - through her clothing line, Unapologetic Apparel, she challenges the status quo and passionately advocates for marginalized communities.
I am a rising sophomore at the University of Washington where I am planning to double major in Public Health and Political Science. I love learning about both topics because Public Health shows how institutional racism and economic injustice play into the lifespan of an individual. Political Science teaches me how to constructively look at these problems and how I can actually make a difference. I plan on getting my master’s in Public Policy so I can make laws that would minimize the gaps between communities.
I created Unapologetic Apparel because I wanted to feel like I could do something to change the way racism was handled in this country. America has a history of refusing to address the systematic oppression and institutional racism that controls the way we live. When I made this brand, it was my way of sending a message to those that feel that my very own existence is not as worthy as their own. I felt strong wearing my own words of my chest, so I decided to make my shirts customizable because I wanted others to feel empowered in the way I did. From there, I’ve expanded my shirts to discuss the importance of intersectionality in feminism and create shirts for events for communities that I want to be an ally for like the LGBTQ+ community.
Rachel passion for activism is reflected and championed through her clothing brand, as is quite powerful through the bold and powerful phrases written on Unapologetic Apparel’s hoodies, shirts, and more. Izuagbe also uses social media as a tool to evoke change and inspire others to do so as well.
I champion my activism with my brand through advocacy and education. It is so important that marginalized communities are able to advocate for themselves and share their own stories. I think that when the most oppressed groups get to be the face of the movement, the policy and action that need to be taken will be transparent and will actually make an impact. I share stories on my account and make these shirts because I want people who have the privilege to ignore certain issues to read this things and realize what is going on. For education, I create videos that discuss topics that deal with racial injustice. I just started an IGTV series called “The Tea On” where I discuss racial issues in America through politics, pop culture, and my opinions. People are often ignorant to issues like colorism or police brutality. Educating people on issues that are detrimental to someone’s existence can open the door for conversation.
If you are as inspired as we are with Rachel’s activism and clothing line, you can get involved with their work with social media!
I take orders through Direct Message on my Instagram @Unvpologtic or on Facebook @UnapologeticCompany! If you want to buy a shirt, I have a shop highlight on Instagram that people can tap through and pick what they like. After that they just need to DM me so I can get their size, location, and what message they want On Facebook, all the items are categorized by theme and you would just message me to make an order. You can also get involved with my work by following my Instagram. On Instagram, I post my clothes but I also post educational videos about issues I am passionate about. Simply sharing my post and encouraging people to hear from the perspective of another person can help combat the stigmas and implicit bias the black community and other communities face.
Rachel and her business have been unapologetically “defiant” in their work - believing fundamentally in the principal that you should take pride in your identity.
My brand is defiant because of its unapologetic nature. It is meant to tell individuals they should always take pride in who they are. That it is time to rewrite history books created by our oppressors. I try to live by this in my own life. I’m becoming more vocal in my beliefs and the idea that one day I will be making policy that changes the world. I hope those who believe in this brand also believe in themselves and how they can shake this world up.