GUCCI CHANGEMAKERS AWARDS A SECOND ROUND OF GRANTS TO 15 NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA TO EMPOWER SOCIAL CHANGE IN DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
New York, February 26, 2021 – Today Gucci announced the second round of recipients for its five-year Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund. Launched in 2019, the Fund awards $1 million USD annually in grants to support community organizations focused on increasing inclusion and diversity across communities and cities.
The 2021 Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund grantees represent the inspiring work of organizations led by diverse non-profit leaders working across the fields of social, cultural, and economic issues impacting communities across North America. Their focus areas include mental health for women and girls, workforce development programs for under/unemployed people, innovative art and fashion platforms for Black and brown creatives, and resources for LGBTQ+ communities.
More than 250 organizations submitted their applications for the second round of the Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund. Each of the 15 awarded non-profit recipients will receive a grant for up to $50,000 for a one-year funding cycle starting March 1, 2021 and will be used to create new programs or scale existing initiatives.
Gucci worked diligently with the North America Changemakers Council and outside experts to review each application to select the 15 grantees. The list of the 15 selected grantees is as follows:
• Misa Hylton Fashion Academy, New York, NY
The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy (MHFA) is an institution that supports creativity, free thinking, and the importance of a solid education. The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy uses a differentiated learning model, which includes tiered fashion programming, life coaching, and professional development classes. Students are equipped with the knowledge, confidence, and professional acumen to thrive in the ever-changing world of fashion. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will help to provide opportunities for people of color, with an emphasis on kids 8-16, who have not held the privilege to access elite fashion industry spaces.
• SoHarlem, New York, NY
SoHarlem is a place based social enterprise, charged with creating a skilled cultural workforce in Harlem. They partner with artists, artisans, creative entrepreneurs, residents, and public and private partners to connect under/unemployed local people with cultural industry opportunities that help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. SoHarlem’s mission is to achieve racial and gender equity in workforce development, not simply because it is right, but because equity is integral to successful economic development in historically disenfranchised communities. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will enable them to expand the number of designers and apprentices that SoHarlem can serve in its Designers’ Studio who have limited financial resources but an abundance of talent. The Designers’ Studio provides a safe haven for creatives from the fashion industry to design, fabricate, market and launch their lines, test their enterprises and learn from their mistakes and each other in order to succeed in the fashion industry.
• Weird Enough Productions, Atlanta, GA
Weird Enough Productions is an education organization that uses diverse comic books to turn young people into heroes. They combine empowering stories with evidence-based curricula that improve student’s mental health and academic performance, while preparing students to change their communities in their own special way. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support Weird Enough’s Flagship Program, “Get Media L.I.T.”, which combines diverse comic books that encourage students to be heroes with curricula that fosters greater self-esteem,social responsibility, and agency. L.I.T. is an acronym for the programs three lesson categories: Learn, Inquire, and Transform.
• SistaAfya, Chicago, IL
Sista Afya Community Care is the non-profit arm of the social enterprise Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. Sista Afya Community Care’s mission is to build sustainable mental wellness communities through providing affordable and culturally centered community mental wellness care and education. Their vision is for women of color to have access to mental wellness care that is community focused, centers their experiences, and is affordable. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will provide free virtual psychotherapy to those experiencing financial hardship and/or those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• SocialWorks, Chicago, IL
SocialWorks, founded by Grammy-award-winning musician and humanitarian Chance the Rapper, aims to empower the youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement. SocialWorks has created five initiatives that present youth the opportunity to learn and act on their passions. SocialWorks’ programming focuses on education, mental wellness, homelessness, and performing and literary arts, directly affecting thousands of young people yearly. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will help to launch virtual access to their mental health initiative, My State of Mind.
• Journi, Detroit, MI
JOURNI is a grassroots non-profit that has led the introduction of web development to over 5000 Detroit Youth over the last six years. Their mission is to empower individuals from underserved, urban communities by providing them with the tech education needed to compete and thrive in the local ecosystem. They achieve this by provide educational access to immersive courses and youth-centered programming, beneficial employment opportunities, start-up education, and socioeconomic resources within marginalized communities. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support the JOURNi House of Technology (H.O.T.) Project, which will provide Detroiters access to computer coding classes, start-up education, and a makers lab within traditional neighborhoods.
• Magpies and Peacocks, Houston, TX
Magpies & Peacocks, Inc. is the nation’s only 501(c)3 non-profit design house dedicated to the collection and sustainable reuse of post-consumer clothing, scrap textiles and accessories diverted from landfills to disrupt the cycle of waste in the fashion industry and mitigate its enormous environmental and social impact. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support their partnership with the Houston Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence (MOHTDV) to introduce the MAKR Collective – a formal program to provide survivors with tools and skills across two tracks – to help them become successful independent makers, and to provide training in retail, inventory control, and warehousing.
• The Academy Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
The Academy Foundation organizes and oversees the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences education, cultural, and preservation programs, including Academy Gold, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy Film Archive, Student Academy Awards, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, and the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support Academy Gold and be used to accelerate positive social change by strengthening opportunities for students of color, young women, those who identify as LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and youth from low-income communities to succeed as the next generation of storytellers and filmmakers— allowing these young people to freely express themselves and share their lived experiences.
• We Are R.I.S.E., Los Angeles, CA
WE ARE R.I.S.E. Inc., R.I.S.E. standing for Resilient, Intelligent, Successful, and Empowered, was founded to empower inner-city youth through conducting workshops, providing resources, and facilitating outings that promote positive self-esteem, academic wellness, and life-skills. Their mission is to provide young girls with the social-emotional and developmental tools necessary to thrive in their everyday lives. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support the Girls’ Mentorship Program, which conducts biweekly workshops, provides resources, and facilitates outings that focus on mental and physical wellness, education, and future planning.
• Radical Partners, Miami, FL
Radical Partners is a Miami-based, social impact accelerator led and run entirely by women. They invest in leaders, engage locals, grow ventures, and design innovative solutions to collectively make communities stronger. Their mission is to build a stronger Miami by investing in the leadership of the innovators solving the region’s most pressing challenges and by mobilizing a critical mass of locals to engage in civic problem-solving. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support Leadership Lab: Neighborhood Heroes, a 4-month long, leadership development program designed to invest in the capacity, sustainability, and ultimate impact of a cohort of local change-makers working towards increased social justice and equity in their communities.
• ProjectArt, New Orleans, LA
ProjectArt is a leading out-of-school program for artists and underserved K-12 students that provides innovative, creative, and effective approaches to teaching and learning through the visual arts in partnership with public libraries. Their mission is rooted in the premise that inequity in arts and cultural engagement opportunities aggravates the cycle of injustice in divested communities. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support their high quality, free afterschool arts education and artist residency program in New Orleans public libraries and empower youth in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods.
• Tools and Tiaras, Philadelphia, PA
Tools & Tiaras, Inc. exposes, inspires, and mentors young girls and women to the design and skilled trades available in the construction industry. They expose them to hands-on projects in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, cement masonry, architecture, automotive, and STEM with weekend workshops and summer camp programs, which offer an introduction to the trades. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support the implementation and continuity of the Arts, Culture and Empowerment (ACE) program and secure the instructors for the program for both in-person and virtual availability.
• The African American Art & Culture Complex, San Francisco, CA The African American Art & Culture Complex provides a space for Black creatives to present, gather, and learn while being a space for all to experience Black art and culture. This mission rests in their vision and values and allows them to actualize them in a way that elevates Black art and culture. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will allow them to ensure that the programs they created and initiated as COVID-19 threatened to curtail access to the arts for Black and brown communities in San Francisco thrive via the building of a strong and resilient infrastructure.
• Human Rights Campaign, Washington D.C.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation improves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices. They build support for LGBTQ people among families and friends, co-workers and employers, pastors and parishioners, doctors and teachers, neighbors, and the public. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support their HBCU Program that will increase individual competencies and collective action, empowering stakeholders, and building a network of committed leaders in pursuit of eliminating stigma and enriching the college experience for LGBTQ students in HBCUs.
• UforChange, Toronto, ON, Canada
UforChange provides youth the opportunity to access fashion/design and core arts education not offered anywhere in the traditional education system. Youth learn from artist mentors/ designers who have come from similar life experiences as the youth enrolled in UforChange. Added to their core curriculum, by way of on-line workshops, will be fashion illustration, fashion styling, make-up application and several self-care lectures/demos focusing on mindfulness and mental health. Fashion photography will be added to the photography curriculum, while encouraging alumni engagement. UforChange creates an environment where everyone, regardless of race, age, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, feels included and free to be who they are or want to be. Funding from Gucci Changemakers will support youth apprenticeships, online monthly workshop classes, and overall programmatic support.