Organisations Making A Difference
The world is going through a lot right now. And sometimes it's hard to see the woods for the trees. But, there is a lot of good out there. And a lot of major companies and brands are trying to make the world a better place, one step at a time. Here are some of our favourites...
When the global pandemic of coronavirus hit the world, a lot of brands - and people - suddenly found themselves stuck. And while many businesses had to halt their day to day work altogether, lots of brands put their sudden change into action to help the most vulnerable people.
During the coronavirus peak, frontline workers were not only working tirelessly to help keep the nation healthy, but also having to juggle travel restrictions and social distancing. Airbnb realised this, and put two and two together - they had thousands of properties suddenly not being used, and thousands of workers in need of a place to rest. The Frontline Stay Initiative was born, letting hosts across the UK open up their spaces to help house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers and first responders...for free. Amazing!
When coronavirus first hit the country, we were struck with a wave of panic that left many shelves in supermarkets completely empty. It became incredibly difficult to find staple food items and important safety products. But there was one quite surprising company who found a way to help out. Brewdog - the UK’s best selling craft beer - decided to make their own hand sanitiser to help out those working on the frontline, who needed it most. After a bit of trial and error - the first batch not quite meeting NHS standards - the company remade the hand gel, and have since produced and donated over 500,000 units to the NHS and local charities.
After the death of George Floyd in America, many brands spoke up about injustice, the fight for equality and how much needs to change. But actions speak louder than words, and a lot of brands also used their position to create a positive impact and amplify the voices, needs and achievements of those who need it most.
Google has committed to spending more than $175 million on racial equity initiatives with a focus on financing Black-owned businesses and supporting Black entrepreneurs. As part of an ‘economic opportunity package’ the money will be broken down into four groups: $100 million in funding to be directed towards Black-led venture capital firms, startups and Black entrepreneurs; $50 million to be used as financing and grants for small business focused in Black communities; $15 million to go towards training programs for Black job seekers; $10 millions to be used to support Black developers within Google, offering education, equipment and economic opportunities, and $3 million to support Black students with a focus on early computer science.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s are no strangers to activism, from campaigning for climate justice, fairtrade products, democracy and LGBTQ+ rights, they have long been supporters and fighters for racial justice. As supporters of Black Lives Matter, since George Floyd’s death they have since called upon President Trump, elected officials and Congress to commit the US to a formal process of healing and reconciliation by passing a legislation that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. They also continue to use their platform to talk about, share and teach others about the needs for racial justice and the need for dismantling of white supremacy. They are not afraid to use their voices...and to give the world delicious ice cream at the same time!
This month we celebrate pride, and while lockdown restrictions mean that annual parades, events and parties can no longer go ahead, it hasn't stopped brands from coming together to show their support and think of ways to celebrate LGBTQ+ identity and raising awareness of the social and political inequalities surrounding sexuality.
Joining forces with UK Black Pride, Stonewall and ParaPride, Amnesty have come up with a way to bring this year’s Pride celebrations online, meaning no one has to miss out! Pride Inside is a free, virtual celebration from June 28 - July 5, bringing together artists, musicians, comedians, DJs and activists for a series of performances, talks and workshops honouring the LGBTQ+ community. Around the world, coronavirus is having a disproportionate effect on LGBTI+ people, who are historically marginalised and discriminated against in their access to health care, employment, housing and basic services. There are still at least 68 countries across the globe where same-sex relationships are illegal. For many reasons, LGBTI+ individuals and communities are at risk and in need of support. Pride Inside will raise awareness of their cases and provide opportunities for people to take action and make change. “COVID-19 won’t stop us celebrating LGBT+ rights. This year, Pride will be inside – in our homes and in our hearts,” said Sen Raj, Amnesty International’s Rainbow Network committee member.
Converse’s first pride collection launched in 2015, and each year since they’ve released a capsule collection that contributes to its support of longstanding global and local youth LGTBQ+ partners like It Gets Better. This year’s capsule collection is inspired by the "More Color, More Pride" flag, which includes black and brown stripe to celebrate queer people of color. Alongside their collection, Converse supports more than 20 organizations that focus on LGBTQ+ advocacy in sports, create safe spaces, and elevate the history of the community. Grants, funded by Nike and Converse, administered by the Charities Aid Foundation of America will assist organisations like the LGBT Center of Los Angeles, Campus Pride, GLBT Historical Society Museum and Portland Frontrunners, and more. Over the past five years, the company has donated over $1 million in connection with its Pride efforts. Now that’s something to celebrate!
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