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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.