by Stephen Garner

Gucci is now accepting applications for the second round of its North America Changemakers initiative including the Scholarship Program and Impact Fund for non-profit organizations with an aim to build strong connections and opportunities within diverse communities while bringing positive change and inspiring solutions for a better future.

Launched in 2019, this is the second year of the fund in which Gucci has already invested over $2 million of a multi-year commitment to community funding and scholarship programs that support grassroots organizations and empower diverse young people through education by giving a voice to the next generation.

Through support from the Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund, past recipients such as ACLU of Louisiana were able to launch their report Justice Can’t Wait, an outline highlighting Louisiana’s incarceration statistics, submitting 105 public record requests to every Parish’s Sheriff’s office in the state for pretrial incarceration data. In addition, with funding from Gucci Changemakers, Braven Chicago was able to empower 170 diverse college students from National Louis University with the skills and experience necessary to land strong jobs after graduation. More so, Design Core Detroit’s Design in the City program, which supports Detroit’s emerging fashion designers and local businesses with a focus on women and people of color, was able to support 8 installations, 20 designers, 134 local businesses, and 6 neighborhoods.

For the second call to action, Gucci has partnered with Satchel Lee and Chance Chamblin to inspire the next generation of designers, thinkers, and social entrepreneurs to tell their story of our shared collective humanity and the power of community to create positive change for both people and planet.

“Our vision for the Changemakers launch video underscores the premise that change does not happen in a vacuum,” said Satchel Lee and Chance Chamblin, launch film creatives. “Even when the seed might be planted by an individual – meaningful progress only occurs when we come together as a community bound by our collective humanity. We need each other.”

In addition, for the second year, the Gucci Changemakers X CFDA Scholars by Design program will fund one scholarship award for up to $20,000. The 2020-2021 Gucci Changemakers X CFDA Scholars by Design award seeks to foster equitable, diverse, and inclusive futures in the American fashion industry with a $20,000 scholarship award for women of color. The student award will be determined based on criteria of talent, financial need, and professional potential. Combined with mentorship, this unique scholarship will support, promote, and advance student growth with the aim to build future designer leaders within a global fashion system.

The Changemakers Scholars program is open to students not only interested in design, but also marketing, art, film, communications, merchandising, and other related creative fields. Special consideration for both programs will be given to students who live or study in one of the 12 Gucci Changemakers cities and/or plan to attend or currently attend a Historically Black College and University.

Initial applications are due by 11:59 pm EST on January 29, 2021. After review of the first round applications, a select number of applicants will be asked to submit additional materials.

“The Gucci North America x CFDA Scholars by Design award is the foundation to developing and empowering future female leaders of color in fashion, so that their particularly vital contributions and voices can resonate, inspire, and transform the consciousness of the industry towards equitable representation at all levels,” said CaSandra Diggs, president of the CFDA. “We are very pleased to continue the partnership with Gucci Changemakers and Gucci North America, which will further the CFDA’s important work to create a fashion industry that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.”

In 2020, Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund has already supported several important social justice movements by providing funding for associations including the NAACP, Campaign Zero, and Know Your Rights Camp. Additional funding was allocated to the 2019 Impact Fund recipients to further fuel change during the COVID-19 pandemic and support in the fight against systemic racism. Gucci Changemakers also recently announced a partnership with When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that aims to increase participation in every election. Through the Changemakers North America program, Gucci is able to react in real-time honoring the brand’s longstanding efforts to create meaningful change – at every level – in the world around us.