Proud, Beautiful, Brilliant: Celebrating Black History Month

Proud, Beautiful, Brilliant: Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and JCPenney is honoring Black pride, beauty and brilliance through our third-annual Hope & Wonder Collection benefitting Black Girls Smile.

Bringing the Collection to Life with the Creative Coalition

Hope & Wonder’s Black History Month Collection was created and curated in-house by JCPenney’s Creative Coalition, a cross-functional team of passionate designers who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC) who bring their authentic selves and distinctive voices to creating each Hope & Wonder collection. The Hope & Wonder Black History Month Collection includes multigenerational appeal inspired and made by the culture, for the culture.

“Being part of the Creative Coalition, to me, is bringing the essence of Black history,” said Brandi Wallace, a designer in the Creative Coalition for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Juneteenth. “We are our ancestor’s wildest dreams. We’re a team of dedicated women of color, blending our unique perspectives and experiences to craft something that’s both beautiful and relatable. I love making Black history feel like an everyday celebration.”

This year’s collection includes designs that celebrate Black pride, beauty and brilliance, featuring phrases like “I am Black + proud” and “Black Excellence,” showcasing HBCU pride and honoring key figures in Black history including Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and Malcom X.

Several JCPenney associates and their families are featured as models in the collection, which can be found in stores and online. Also included in the campaign photography is Opal Lee, the “grandmother of Juneteenth” with her family as well as Lauren Carson, founder of Black Girls Smile, and her family.

HBCU Design Challenge

In June 2023, JCPenney announced Janiya Barcliff – a graphic design major at North Carolina A&T State University – as the first-place winner of our third-annual HBCU Design Challenge, created to highlight the artistry and talent of undergraduate students enrolled at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As part of her prize package, Janiya received a $4,000 scholarship, two-day visit to JCPenney headquarters to shadow members of our design team, seven virtual mentoring sessions with JCPenney leaders and her design included in this year’s Black History Month Hope & Wonder collection.

“Since the challenge theme was Black Legacy, I thought about what that means to me personally,” said Janiya. “When I hear legacy, I think of past leaders like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman who inspired future generations. I also wanted to include words and colors that I felt embodied legacy.”

JCPenney is proud to finally unveil Janiya’s winning design, available to shop here.

See below for a recap of her visit to Company headquarters in Plano, Texas last fall.

Supporting Black Girls Smile

Net profits of the 2024 Hope & Wonder Black History Month Collection benefit Black Girls Smile, a nonprofit organization that empowers the mental health of Black women and girls through education, resources and support. JCPenney began its partnership with Black Girls Smile in 2022 and is proud to support the organization for the third year in a row.

Founded in 2012 by Lauren Carson, Black Girls Smile programs are grounded in research, focus-group findings, and personal experiences affirming the particular needs of young Black women. Through normalization and dialogue surrounding mental wellness, Black Girls Smile envisions a society where all individuals, including young African American females, are provided education, support and resources necessary to lead mentally healthy lives.

Proud, Beautiful, Brilliant: Celebrating Black History Month

About Hope & Wonder

Hope & Wonder is JCPenney’s private label brand for everyone in the family designed to commemorate moments that matter. Hope & Wonder celebrates cultural observances throughout the year: Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride, Juneteenth, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

In addition to corporate contributions, all net profits from Hope & Wonder sales are donated to nonprofits selected by JCPenney associates. Since Hope & Wonder launched in 2022, JCPenney has invested $1,000,000 in Hope & Wonder partnerships and additional cultural initiatives as part of our ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity.

Hope & Wonder brand campaigns include JCPenney associates, community leaders, and members of the JCPenney Creative Coalition, the cross-functional team of passionate BIPOC designers who create each Hope & Wonder collection.

For more information on Hope & Wonder, please visit our media resource microsite here.

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