Chime for Change Presses On

Luisa Zargani
·4 min read

MILAN — Chime for Change continues to speak up and foster initiatives for gender equality at a time when this is increasingly threatened by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic resources are reduced.

Chime for Change was founded in 2013 and has raised nearly $17 million to help support and fund more than 430 projects with 160 nonprofit partners in 89 countries. The initiative has expanded its advisory board to include Irish writer and activist Sinéad Burke; American actor and playwright Jeremy O. Harris; American actress Amandla Stenberg, and Teresa Younger, president and chief executive officer of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Kering chairman and ceo François-Henri Pinault, Madonna, Jada Pinkett Smith and Julia Roberts are some of the members of the advisory board, flanking activists and philanthropists from all over the world.

Chime for Change and the Kering Foundation have released the latest initiatives and the impact of the #StandWithWomen campaign, which was launched last May and provided funding to nonprofit organizations supporting women and girls around the world.

These include:

• A Global Fund for Women, which has mobilized resources to feminist funds and organizations including Fondo Semillas in Mexico; HER Fund in Hong Kong; Fundo ELAS in Brazil, and the Mediterranean Women’s Fund.

• Equality Now, hosting prominent activists from eight countries across the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia) for a virtual convening to address the current challenges facing women. Additionally, social media training was delivered for youth activists in Tripoli on storytelling and gender advocacy in the pandemic.

• Foundation for Women, which supported grassroots organizations in the U.S. including Black Youth Project 100, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, El Pueblo Inc., The Garment Worker Center, Trans Sistas of Color Project and Women With a Vision to empower and assist women of color, “who have been disproportionately impacted by domestic violence, economic hardship and additional restrictions on reproductive rights during the pandemic,” Chime for Change said.

• Chayn Italia, which develops an online training series for local service providers to reach women experiencing gender-based violence, to be rolled out at women’s aid centers in seven regions of Italy in 2021.

• Rosa, which launched a COVID-19 response fund that awarded grants to 72 grassroots women’s organizations across the U.K., such as GirlDreamer, Sunbeams, Time to Heal and Angels of Hope.

“Now more than ever is the time to join together to protect the health, safety and human rights of girls and women around the world,” said Chime for Change cofounder and Kering Foundation board director Salma Hayek Pinault. “We stand in solidarity with women everywhere to put a stop to gender-based violence. We stand in solidarity with women everywhere because we cannot risk the progress we have made in the long fight for gender equality.”

Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of Equality Now, praised the commitment and swift actions taken by the #StandWithWomen initiative “realizing immediately that the pandemic would have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, and that resources to women and girls’ organizations would be limited.”

At the same time, Chime for Change joined the Kering Foundation’s Global Boyhood Initiative, launched earlier this month in partnership with Promundo, a Brazil-based non-governmental organization that engages men and boys in promoting gender equality, breaking free from stereotypes and preventing violence — coherently with the vision of Gucci creative director’s Alessandro Michele, his gender-neutral approach and freedom of self-expression.

The latest Chime Zine, which gives voice to activists and artists who are fighting for gender equality, bows on Oct. 19 with a special section focused on Japan, with essays, interviews and artwork related to feminism, gender and self-expression in Japanese society.

Contributors include Yuki Chizui, a sushi chef and owner of a sushi restaurant with an all-female staff; Yume Morimoto, a queer feminist writer and founder of an English-Japanese bilingual zine, and members of WAIFU, a resistance nightlife party founded on the principles of intersectional feminism and inclusion.

The cover features women of Bluestocking, Japan’s first feminist literary journal credited with helping to launch the feminist movement in Japan.

The zine, which is edited by organizer and author Adam Eli and is art directed by visual artist MP5, will be distributed at the Gucci Garden in Florence, the Gucci Wooster Bookstore in New York and select bookstores worldwide, and is available in English and Japanese where applicable, in addition to a digital version.

Last month, the zine was dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, collaborating with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and releasing a special digital edition that highlighted Black women and girls in gender violence discourses.

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