The Gucci Changemakers Fund will support social change by investing in community-based programs in cities across North America. This $5 million fund will have a particular focus on building strong connections and opportunities within the African-American community and communities of colour at-large, while bringing positive change and inspiring solutions for a better future.
“I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action,” said Marco Bizzarri, Gucci president and CEO. “This is why we started working immediately on the long-term infrastructure at Gucci to address our shortcomings. And now through our Changemakers program, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programs that will impact youth and the African-American community. I believe in the promise of the next generation, and through our scholarship fund we will also create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds to gain access to careers in the fashion industry.”
Gucci will enlist the support of an external council that will include community leaders and social change experts to ensure transparency, accountability and long-term impact. This Changemakers Council, which is currently in formation, will select nonprofit partner organizations in cities across North America, that initially include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington.
“As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programs that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole,” said Harlem couturier Dapper Dan. “It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and re-imagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”
Gucci Changemakers will have a focus on empowering young people through education by giving a voice to the next generation. Building on the company’s recently announced Global Multi-Cultural Design Scholarship Program, Gucci will empower more diverse talent in North America to access the industry through scholarships that will be available to college students across various disciplines with the ambition to work in fashion. The Changemakers Council will also help select eligible students from schools across North America to participate in the Gucci Changemakers Scholarship Fund. Over the course of four years, each student shall receive a $20,000 grant toward completing their college education. More information will be announced this spring detailing the eligibility and application process.
Initially announced to employees in 2018, the Gucci Changemakers volunteering programme empowers all 18,000 Gucci employees worldwide to dedicate up to 4 paid days off for volunteering activities in their local communities. This represents up to 8,000 days of volunteer support in North America, the first region in the global rollout, where volunteering opportunities cover four main pillars: equality; support for refugees and the homeless; protection of the environment; and education.
A parallel $5 million Changemakers Fund will also be established in the Asia Pacific region, in conjunction with the rollout of the volunteering program in June. (RR)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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