underrepresented creators
On August 23, 2022, Netflix announced that the
Netflix Fund for Creative Equity was coming to Africa. Over the past few years, Netflix has endeavored to be a platform that supports marginalized groups that have underrepresented creators in the entertainment industry. The Netflix  Fund for Creative Equity was the result of the efforts. The scope of its work first covered the U.S.  followed by the U.K. and Canada, and now includes the African continent, beginning with Western and Central Africa.

The Creative Equity Scholarship Fund

Netflix launched the Fund on February 26, 2021. It was the result of a two-year research study by Netflix and Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, a think tank that promotes research, advocacy and action for inclusion amd diversity in the entertainment industry. While great strides were occurring concerning gender equality, Netflix was lagging when it came to the representation of race, ethnic groups, the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities. As a result, Netflix provided $100 million for investment within the span of five years to create more opportunities for existing underrepresented creators and train new ones in the entertainment industry. The Fund also aims to support other organizations fighting for diversity inclusion by partnering up with them.

Netflix in Africa

In 2022, $1 million is supporting qualified students from five media schools and universities focused on television and film production. The Netflix Creative Equity Fund provides the scholarship and has partnered with Dalberg, a New York-based international consulting firm to manage its implementation. The schools in partnership with the fund are located in four African countries. These include:

  1. Nigeria: Nigeria is internationally well-known for the Nollywood entertainment industry. Therefore, it is unsurprising that two out of five film schools that Netflix is supporting are based in Nigeria. The schools include the National Film Institute in the city of Jos and the Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos. Both institutions have successful alumni in the African entertainment industry such as Chinedu Ikedieze & Tosin Ajibade.
  2. Ghana: The National Film and Television Institute of Ghana began in 1978 and is located in the capital city Accra. It draws a wide range of students from across the continent from 10 other African states including the kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Gambia and Benin.
  3. Benin: l’Institut Supérieur des Métiers de l’Audiovisue otherwise known as ISMA began in 2006 in the city of Cotonou, Benin. It produces approximately 40 films a year and launched the first International Short Film Festival for Film Schools on the continent in 2017, a film festival that now takes place every year.
  4. Gabon: The Institut Philippe Maury de l’audiovisuel et du Cinéma is a film school part of the Gabon University group that emerged in 2010 and is located in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon.

Media is a powerful tool that shapes and changes lives and Netflix understands this. It provides the platform to show what is and is not possible to the poor, the marginalized and the underserved and underrepresented creators from the groups must have the opportunity to tell their own stories. In this way, people can better understand others from all walks of life, including their struggles and what is truly necessary in the world to better shape it and change it.

Kena Irungu
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

On Sept. 25, artists, world leaders and celebrities came together for Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour concert event to bring the world together to end poverty. Participants showed support for Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World. That plan has five goals: ending the hunger crisis, creating equity for all, ending COVID-19, protecting the earth and resuming learning for everyone.

What is Global Citizen?

Global Citizen is an organization with the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. It plans to do this with the help of 100 million “Global Citizens,” who join the movement. On the Global Citizen platform, engaged citizens can learn about and take action against the systemic causes of extreme poverty. Not only that, but those who participate in the fight against poverty can earn rewards for their efforts including attending music performances and sporting events.

Recovery Plan for the World’s Five Goals

Here are Global Citizen’s plans for achieving each of the Recovery Plan of the World goals:

  • Ending the hunger crisis – In order to end the hunger crisis, Global Citizen suggests funding school meal programs to ensure every child has food. It also urges the support of small farmers that the pandemic negatively impacted. Finally, it proposes to commit to food and nutrition programs.
  • Equity for all – The pandemic has most affected the poor, people of color and women. Global Citizen believes that supporting human rights efforts and creating a people-focused justice system will bolster equity. 
  • Ending COVID-19 – Global Citizen believes that the world will not eradicate COVID-19 until everyone across the world has access to vaccines, testing and treatment. The organization has proposed that wealthy countries donate extra vaccines to poorer countries. In addition, it has advocated for increased funding for ACT-A and COVAX.
  • Protecting the planet – Global Citizen recommends supporting carbon neutrality for people living in communities suffering from extreme poverty.  Moreover, it advocates greater climate financing to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Resuming learning everywhere – Globally, COVID-19 has affected around 1.5 billion children; one-third of those children have been unable to access remote learning. For that reason, Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World urges providing technology resources for access and increasing funding for education.

Global Citizen Live

The 24-hour concert event occurred on six of the seven continents, excluding Antarctica. The cities with live performances and celebrity appearances included Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Lagos and Seoul. More than 60 artists performed including Billie Eilish, Green Day, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran, the Black Eyed Peas, Alessia Cara and Lizzo. Elton John kicked off the event by performing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took to the stage in New York City’s Central Park to say that vaccines against COVID-19 should be treated as a basic human right.

Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), pre-recorded a message announcing that the United State was donating $295 million “to stave off famine and extreme hunger, confront gender-based violence and address the urgent humanitarian needs the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving in its wake.” French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would double its contribution of COVID-19 vaccines to impoverished countries from 60 million to 120 million shots.


Global Citizen Live is one of the largest-ever worldwide charity events, and yet, the goal was not to raise money. Unlike many similar events, the goal was to get the attention of world leaders and show that people support direct action for the Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World issues. In fact, the concert was completely free. For instance, the 60,000 people in attendance at Central Park had to earn their audience spots by doing things such as contacting their members of Congress, signing petitions and sending tweets.

Global Citizen Live 2021 brought millions of people across the world together with one purpose: grabbing the attention of world leaders. By succeeding with that goal, it raised money and secured pledges for vaccine distribution. Global Citizen Live 2021 successfully launched Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World.

– Trystin Baker
Photo: Flickr

theater accessibilityThe theater is an art form that cultures all across the world partake in. In addition to being enjoyable for many people, exposure to the theater is beneficial. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania on impoverished residents of New York City found that residents had better long-term outcomes in areas such as “education, security and health” with greater accessibility to cultural resources. Additionally, theater helps people develop emotionally by cultivating empathy, a humanitarian characteristic essential for molding a generation willing to help others living in poverty. A common aspect of poverty is the lack of opportunities available to people. Improving theater accessibility for impoverished people is one way to provide people in poverty with more opportunities.

3 Organizations Improving Theater Accessibility

  1. The Freedom Theatre. This organization is based in the Jenin refugee camp, a camp in the West Bank with a high poverty rate. The Freedom Theater provides Jenin residents with opportunities to engage in theater and workshops through programs in schools. The theater works with children of varying ages. For example, the daycare program allows children younger than 5 to learn and develop creatively. Modeled off Care and Learning, a project that helped children in the Jenin camp work through trauma by participating in the arts, The Freedom Theatre continues this mission by working with young people to help them develop coping skills. The Freedom Theatre’s work greatly improved theater accessibility in an area that previously had few theatrical opportunities for its residents. Thanks to the European Union funding the project, The Freedom Theatre can continue its work.
  2. Khmer Community Development (KCD). The KCD organization is in the Prek Chrey Commune, a community in Cambodia near the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. KCD commits itself to improving peace and understanding in Prek Chrey. Ethnic tension between different groups in the community is an issue that Prek Chrey continues to struggle with, but KCD is addressing it with theater. Using Forum Theater, an art form developed by Augusto Boal in the 1960s, KCD encourages discussion and exploration of social issues by having actors perform a short play that addresses a social issue. Thereafter, the performance is restarted to allow the audience to intervene with ideas to shape the play and develop “a peaceful solution to the issue.” Since it started, KCD’s Forum Theater is particularly popular among youth in the Prek Chrey Commune.
  3. New Africa Theater Association (NATA). Based in Cape Town, South Africa, NATA works to provide opportunities to underserved young people in the Cape Town area. In South Africa, many people between the ages of 18-24 are unemployed. These young people are also often not receiving an education. With this age group having access to theater, the youth develop valuable skills to secure employment. More than 87% of NATA alumni are employed, in school or are continuing to work with NATA. After acquiring its own building, NATA moved to a location where it is more easily accessible to people in Cape Town and surrounding rural areas.

Thanks to the efforts of these three organizations, theater accessibility is improving for disadvantaged people. Importantly, the arts contribute to social well-being while providing valuable opportunities to help vulnerable people rise out of poverty.

– Caroline Kuntzman
Photo: Flickr

Ocean Sole Flip-Flop ArtAlso known also as zoris, pluggers, jandals or thongs, it is commonly thought that flip-flops originated in Ancient Egypt around 4,000 B.C. Over time, the materials used to make these shoes evolved from palm leaves, papyrus and straw to rubber and plastic. As such, modern flip-flops are typically cheap and have an average lifespan of two years. Havaianas, a Brazilian flip-flop brand, produces more than 150 million pairs of flip-flops annually. Worldwide, three billion people purchase new flip-flops every year.

However, these non-biodegradable shoes far exceed their two-year wearable lifespan in the form of polluting oceans, threatening marine life and washing up on shores. In Kenya, where approximately 36% of people live on less than $1.90 per day, the coastal area of Watamu is littered with flip-flops, including those that have drifted to Kenya from areas like India and China. Non-profit organization Ocean Sole works to up-cycle flip-flops into art in Kenya, cleaning oceans and shores while simultaneously creating job opportunities in a country where at least 4.9% of people are unemployed.

Ocean Sole

Founded in 1999, Ocean Sole currently impacts more than 1,000 Kenyans through either direct employment or flip-flop collection. It employs and provides a steady income to approximately 90 Kenyans, and employees recycled over half a million flip-flops in 2017 alone. Per year, about 47,000 kilograms of flip-flop waste are collected.

The collected shoes are washed, blocked together, carved with knives and sanded into colorful sculptures and art pieces. The sculptures include figures of buffalo, lions and giraffes, and are sold online worldwide. For every $20 spent on flip-flop art, Ocean Sole collects and up-cycles 146 pounds of ocean trash while helping Kenyans maintain a steady income.

Ocean Sole’s Community Focus

Julie Church, Ocean Sole’s founder, was inspired to establish the organization after seeing toys that children had made from flip-flop debris. Church encouraged the children’s mothers to transform the flip-flops into art to sell at local markets. Thus, the organization began with a focus on community and works to maintain that emphasis. In recent initiatives, the organization has used flip-flop offcuts to make mattresses for those in need, expanding its community impact.

Between 10 and 15% of Ocean Sole’s revenue goes toward vocational and education programs, conservation efforts and beach cleanups. The organization’s social enterprise pays employee bonuses, as well as welfare programs to help employees educate their children. Kenya’s current literacy rate is nearly 85% for males and about 78% for females, yet over one million children were out of school in 2010, and more than 25% of young people did not have at least a secondary education. Ocean Sole is working to increase these literacy and education rates.

Through his position at Ocean Sole, Raphael Kangutu, one of Ocean Sole’s flip-flop artists, is able to support his wife and six children and pay his nephew’s school fees. Ann Nzilani, another artist, was able to move herself and her two children out of the slums in Kenya. These stories are examples of Ocean Sole’s dedication to equal opportunity employment, helping women like Nzilani, as well as men, put food on the table, pay bills, buy land and educate their children. In an interview for the organization’s blog, one mother and Ocean Sole employee explains, “Before working with Ocean Sole, … my children couldn’t go to school because there was no money to pay the fees. I would try to sell fruit on the road, but there is no tourism, or I would only get one customer.” Ocean Sole helped to change this woman’s life, and many more.

Ocean Sole and COVID-19

Navigating the impact of COVID-19 has been a complex process. After orders for flip-flop art were canceled among customers worldwide and as the pandemic progressed, Ocean Sole had to furlough some of its artists for at least a few months. However, the organization’s management and sales team are working diligently to increase income and bring back furloughed employees.

Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ocean Sole’s capacity for growth is striking. The creation of flip-flop art in Kenya has already had significant economic and environmental advantages, playing a small yet important role in the decrease of poverty in Kenya from almost 47% in 2005 and 2006 to around 36% by the end of 2016. Ocean Sole has made great strides toward the transformation of the lives of thousands of Kenyans and will continue to foster employment opportunities, paving the way for a better — and cleaner — future.

Zoe Engels
Photo: Flickr

10 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on CourageFew leaders of change have so successfully exemplified the concept of courage the way Martin Luther King Jr. was able to in his legacy as one of the United States’ most prominent civil rights activists. Keep reading to learn the top 10 Martin Luther King Jr. quotes on courage.

10 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes on Courage

  1. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – From an interview with Dr. King
  2. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love … The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.” – From A Gift of Love, a collection of 16 select sermons delivered by Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – In a speech at a college rally
  4. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – From King’s famous, I Have A Dream speech
  5. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – From a letter written in a Birmingham Jail, April 1963
  6. Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles. Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” – From Martin Luther King Jr.’s autobiography
  7. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – From “The Domestic Impact of War”, 1967
  8. “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” – From a speech in February 1968
  9. “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – From a speech given in October 1962
  10. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” From A Testament to Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Courage is the first step to growth, especially when the growth occurs in spite of unjust circumstances. Remembering these top 10 Martin Luther King Jr. quotes on Courage quotes may be the perfect catalyst to push one forward on whichever path they choose.

– Fatemeh Zahra Yarali
Photo: Flickr

Pitch & FlowMC Lyte and DJ D-Nice hosted Pitch & Flow, a competition where rappers and social entrepreneurs join together to win money for their causes.

Pitch & Flow was held on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. According to XXL, celebrity guests included Stretch Armstrong, Melissa Bradley, Young Paris and Doug E. Fresh.

The Africa Creative Agency, Unreasonable Group and Lowe’s Innovation Labs paired the rappers and the social entrepreneurs together for the competition. The eight rappers weave the goals of their entrepreneurs into stories that encouraged the audience to vote for them. After three rounds, the winning duo won $7500 for their cause.

The causes championed at Pitch & Flow represented many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the goals illustrated within the causes include uses for solar energy, educating the incarcerated and recyclable material production.

According to CityLab, all of the rappers involved in Pitch & Flow are passionate about social issues themselves. Many of them “double as activists and educators, and are in line with the grassroots vibe of the whole event. One of them even served as a Hip-Hop Cultural Envoy for the U.S. State Department.” The event gives rappers the opportunity to use their skills to promote a good cause.

Pitch & Flow also provides a unique opportunity for the organizations in regards to informing others about what the organization is about. Rap presents the organizations’ values in a creative and concise way that sticks with an audience.

At the end of Pitch & Flow, rapper and Northeastern University math professor Professor Lyrical and Sun Culture entrepreneur Samir Ibrahim won the $7500 prize. Sun Culture is an organization that “provides solar-powered irrigation systems to farmers in East Africa,” according to Essence.

Pitch & Flow illustrates how the creative arts can be used to promote worthwhile global causes.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr

Virtual Museum Tours

As of August 2017, children from over 180,000 Chinese households are attending virtual museum tours. They are two-hour daily broadcasts that combine animations and Chinese presenters’ recent trips to museums, along with live commentary from Chinese academics in a Shanghai studio.

The families pay the Aha School – a Shanghai based educational start-up that produces the shows – the equivalent of $2.85 to watch. The company donates the broadcast feed to 174 rural classrooms as a public service. It is being distributed through CCtalk, a Chinese app that specializes in live-streaming for educational purposes.

Dr. Jian Lu, partner of Hujiang EdTech and CEO of CCtalk, in an interview with Cision PR Newsletter says “our platform has a huge database…it can be used to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of online teaching by each teacher. What’s more, we are now working on a learning index for each student, which will help them make better study plans.”

The founder of Aha School, Wang Yuhao, said his inspiration for the virtual museum tours and the school itself was his son Pipi. Yuhao remembers a conversation he had with Pipi when he was only eight or nine years old, where Pipi said that his “…dream is to transcend space and time, and to see the origins of life.” When Yuhao took Pipi to Paris in 2012 to see paintings in the Louvre, he saw his son run back and forth between paintings to piece together their history and historical importance, and was inspired.

The Aha School is now a virtual academy that offers 400 courses and has 15 guidance counselors to provide on-demand educational service for over 10,000 families in Shanghai.

Yuhao says that most Chinese parents have begun to realize that traditional classroom learning is not enough, but that it is also necessary to introduce children to liberal arts in order for them to be well-rounded and successful.

Ma Xiaoyan, a teacher at the Akeli Center School in a rural area of the province of Sichuan, has said in an interview with the New York Times, “The children don’t have access to any museums, let alone famous ones…for many of them, even going to the closest town is difficult because their families don’t have money for travel.”

Educational experts in China state that programs such as Yuhao’s also call attention to systemic inequities between rural and urban areas in China’s education system. While virtual programs are not a solution to the educational divide, proliferation of programs such as 100,000 Kids Touring the World’s Top 10 Museums can at the very least highlight the divide and urge officials to make larger changes.

Gabriella Paez

Photo: Flickr

Artists' Thoughts on ImmigrationArt has a history of inspiring social change, creating awareness and questioning human nature. The public can infer artists’ thoughts on immigration and social issues through their work.

Approximately 227,316 migrants have entered Europe and 2,920 were reported dead or missing on Mediterranean and African routes in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Three elite artists have brought issues surrounding immigration to the forefront as tensions continue to increase around the world.

Doris Salcedo

In 2007, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo changed the floor of the Tate modern with her installation piece, Shibboleth. The work is a 548-foot long crack that began very thin and steadily grew wider, ultimately splitting the entire gallery in two.

The crack represents the experience of being an immigrant in Europe and the segregation and discrimination that accompanies it. A wire mesh lines the inside of the crack’s walls, replicating a chain wire fence, which is a common divider along borders.

The name, Shibboleth, holds much significance. It is a word that distinguishes a specific class or social group of those who belong from those who do not belong.

Shibboleth changed the museum space itself, forcing a disruption in the gallery that visitors had to become used to. The piece illustrates in an abstract, but unavoidably literal way, the racism and hatred that divides Europe.

Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei created an installation on the Konzerthaus Berlin for the Cinema for Peace Gala on February 15, 2016. He wrapped each of the buildings six columns with over 14,000 life jackets that were salvaged from refugees entering Europe.

This artists’ thoughts on immigration are hard to ignore — the life jacket installation acknowledged the thousands of lives lost in the past year and reminded us of the hardships undergone by those trying to reach safety.

Ai is also known for his political activism. The artist closed his “Ruptures” exhibition in Copenhagen to protest Denmark’s new laws that deter refugees from seeking asylum in January 2016.


The elusive Banksy has also contributed to the ongoing migration discussion with powerful pieces that appeared recently.

One of Banksy’s pieces depicts a girl from Les Misérables emerging from tear gas with a torn French flag in the background. This mural followed reports of French officials entering the camp with tear gas to drive out refugees. The Quick Response (QR) code in the bottom left corner of the mural links to a video of the police raids at the Calais Camp.

The Calais Refugee Camp, also known as “The Jungle,” holds about 7,000 refugees, according to the BBC. Banksy donated wood and supplies from his closed Dismaland “bemusement park” to help build shelters at the refugee camp. The materials were used to build 12 accommodations, a playground and a community center.

Another Banksy mural surfaced on the wall of a tunnel in the Calais Refugee Camp in December 2015. The piece portrays former Apple CEO Steve Jobs carrying an early Apple computer in one hand and holding a bag over his shoulder.

Banksy makes it clear through his work that artists’ thoughts on immigration can make the refugee issue a worldwide conversation.

Highlighting Jobs’ origin as the son of a Syrian migrant, Banksy reminded viewers that, “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, [one that] pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”

His statement stands in stark contrast to the popular opinion that accepting refugees will have a negative impact on a country’s economy.

Banksy’s recent murals are part of a new series centered on Europe’s treatment of refugees in the current migration crisis.

Each of the pieces by Salcedo, Ai and Banksy show how artists’ thoughts on immigration can be used as a powerful tool for social awareness. At a critical time of forced movement and migration around the world, an artist’s striking representation of current events and issues promotes empathy and critical thought.

Erica Rawles

Photo: Flickr

Famous YouTuber Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella, and Talk Show Host Ellen DeGeneres have teamed up with Gap to release a new line of clothing for female empowerment.

The clothing line, called Gapkids x ED, encourages women of any age to feel strong and to voice their opinions. DeGeneres’ clothing brand, ED, has worked with Gap to combine comfy fabric and trendy styles with motivational quotes and symbols that inspire courage and confidence.

To show her support for the campaign, called GIRL, Sugg took a few minutes out of one of her vlog videos to flash one of her favorite t-shirts from the line. The British 25-year-old donned the GapKids x ED Energy Bolt Tee while introducing her involvement in GIRL to her nine million subscribers.

“This was something totally different, and I really, really loved this campaign. And I really wanted to get behind it and share it with you guys,” Sugg said in the video.

Expressing her backing for GIRL, DeGeneres said that one of the reasons she joined the campaign was because she shares some of the same ideals as Gap.

“Gap has always encouraged people to be themselves, and I love that they have the same values that I have; to be true to who you are and to wear cute pants,” DeGeneres said.

Not only do Gap and DeGeneres believe in sporting fashionable trousers, but they also think that self-image is a key step in female empowerment. DeGeneres said that she knows from experience that being true to yourself is important for growing and changing and that this campaign is demonstrating this notion by shining a light on real girls doing unique things.

GIRL focuses on three talented girls who each have something different to offer and demonstrate. The webpage for GIRL hosts three videos of each girl. Alexey, a young, bold and strong drummer, can be seen expertly beating her drum set. When asked what advice she has for girls, the little rocker gave a mature statement.

“Just follow what your heart says, and you can achieve it,” the 12-year-old said.

The other two girls featured by GIRL can also be seen in videos on the webpage. Torrae, a nine-year-old robotic hand technician, said that she is powerful because of her imagination. Twelve-year-old entrepreneur, Asia, started her own company when she was five and plans to start classes teaching kids her age about business.

Asia has big plans for her future. In her video, she proudly said that she wants to be a dancer, a singer, a rapper, a college graduate and the president of the United States.

Another girl representing the influence of personal voice is Sugg. With more than 700 million views on both of her YouTube channels combined, Sugg has been able to reach girls from all across the globe with her take on feminism in her fashion, beauty and life videos.

“So often, you can kind of get swept up in this world where you feel inferior or you feel like you should be doing something specific or you feel like you’re not doing something right. And it’s just a whole campaign basically to support girls to be who they are, and to be who they want to be. And I just think that that’s really amazing” Sugg said.

Like Sugg has done with her YouTube videos, DeGeneres said that this campaign has the ability to “break the internet.” GIRL encourages wearers of the brand to take selfies of themselves in the clothes and to share the pictures, as well as speak their views of feminism and equal rights.

DeGeneres added that there is also a collection by Gap x ED because they “believe in equal opportunity cuteness.”

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Gap 1, Gap 2, Paste Magazine, YouTube 1, YouTube 2
Photo: Google Images

5 Fashion Designers Who Help Fight Poverty- BORGEN
For those who live in extreme poverty, clothing is a means of protection. For fashion designers, clothing is identity. Fashion is a way to show the world personality, demeanor, and creativity. Not only do these fashion designers help clothe those who cannot afford their products, but they also help save the lives of those in poverty.

These are five fashion designers who help fight poverty.

1. Michael Kors

In his signature all-black attire donning shades from his own brand, Michael Kors sits next to actress Kate Hudson, both flashing their stylish and opulent wristwatches. This advertisement was made to promote Kors’ charity and raise awareness for the charity’s cause.

Watch Hunger Stop is more than a play on words, it is a charity created by the famous fashion designer that has provided 10 million nutritious meals to children in need. Kors’ campaign features a lookbook of his notorious “Kors style” watches, with a big watch face and thick metal band. With the purchase of any of the watches, one hundred meals are donated to hungry children.

Because of his impact, Kors was recently named a U.N. World Food Programme Ambassador for those who do not have the voice to take action against poverty.

His unique and masterful watch design features a map of the world he is helping to save on the watches’ faces. To learn more about Watch Hunger Stop, visit this link.

2. Gucci

This high fashion brand is another designer that uses its products to promote change.

With its eloquently crafted and luxurious jewelry, Gucci extends to all forms of fashion, unique and classic. To raise awareness and support for earthquake relief efforts in Japan, Gucci created a piece of jewelry that crosses boundaries greater than fashion.

This limited edition silver chain bracelet can help save the lives of those suffering from displacement and disaster-related health problems. All of the proceeds from the sales of this bracelet benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society to support the victims of the Higashi Nihon Dai-Shinsai earthquake and tsunami.

When one wears the bracelet, he or she emits sympathy for Japan because of the hint of red and white that recalls the colors of the Japanese flag. Simultaneously, the wearer is showing that he or she cares because of the medal the bracelet carries which says “Gucci loves you.”

The fashion brand has also created a handbag that benefits UNICEF in support of the Schools for Africa and Schools for Asia initiatives.

3. Versace

One of the most famous fashion designers of all time, Donatella Versace, also feels for people affected by natural disasters.

Her Versace One Foundation supports those affected by the Sichuan province earthquakes in China. The brand provides art supplies to encourage creativity and teamwork for children living near the disaster area.

Versace created colorful handbags that incorporate child-like drawings on the fabric, seemingly hinting at the reason for the creation of the bags. Fifty percent of the proceeds of these couple-hundred dollar bags go to this foundation.

4. Kate Spade New York

This fashion designer chose clothing instead of jewelry to show her humanitarian side. Kate Spade’s Spring 2014 collection helped create jobs for a community of 20,000 people.

The name of the collection, “On Purpose,” serves a powerful purpose for women in Rwanda. The brand teamed up with the locals to help educate artisans in the community about marketing for the betterment of their businesses.

“On Purpose” targeted a collection of mostly female workers, forging equality and creating a different work dynamic for the people in Rwanda.

5. Kenneth Cole

Moved by the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s, fashion designer Kenneth Cole joined the amfAR board. He was later elected as chairman of the executive committee.

His classic and simple fashion brand helps to provide most of the creative advertising for the HIV/AIDS research and awareness that amfAR uses. According to amfAR, Cole has “initiated public awareness efforts annually since 1985.”

With his famous “We All Have AIDS” campaign, Cole employed key entertainment, political, social and scientific leaders to help change the social stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS victims.

Cole’s help has moved amfAR to a different stage, carrying the hope of finding cures for life-threatening diseases.

There are many more fashion designers like these who use their celebrity power to enhance the lives of those in poverty. Henceforth, it can be said that fashion, like the clothing mentioned earlier, can be a means for protection from hunger, disaster, inequality and disease.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: amfAR, Destination Kors 1, Destination Kors 2, Gucci, In Style, More.com
Photo: EMC Blue