NEW YORK, February 07, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Estée Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) (ELC) is proud to announce the first-year grant winners for WRITING CHANGE, its $3 million global literacy impact initiative over three years inspired by Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, award-winning writer and Estée Lauder Global Changemaker and Brand Ambassador.
SUSTAINED PROGRESS IN LITERACY
Literacy builds self-efficacy and self-esteem, opens up opportunities and empowers people to participate fully in their community and in society. Yet despite steadily rising literacy rates over the years, more than 773 million children and adults1 in the world are illiterate, most of whom are girls and women. In the United States, more than 43 million adults2 lack functional literacy skills and nearly two-thirds of high school graduates still read below grade level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further disrupted education and amplified pre-existing inequalities in access to the tools, resources and programs that are essential for sustained progress in literacy and learning, especially in low-income or rural communities and in communities of color. .
Over three years, WRITING CHANGE will invest in organizations working to close the literacy gap and support efforts to advance systemic change across three pillars:
The WRITING CHANGE initiative will track and evaluate grantee impact on an annual basis in close coordination with nonprofit partners, including robust reporting on programmatic progress in each pillar.
FIRST YEAR BENEFICIARIES
In its first year, WRITING CHANGE will focus on US organizations with the potential to expand globally in years two and three. WRITING CHANGE grantees were selected based on their proven ability to catalyze impact for youth, families, and diverse communities, their demonstrated ability to collaborate in the nonprofit sector, and their ability to expand their programmatic scale through the WRITING CHANGE pillars of access, advocacy, and artistic expression. In its first year, WRITING CHANGE will fund five U.S.-based organizations:
American Library Association (ALA): The largest library organization in the world, ALA strives to promote libraries and library education to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. WRITING CHANGE funds will support an innovative pilot project for twelve libraries across the United States to partner with local artists to implement arts programming that builds literacy and digital skills for distinct populations – including youth at risk of low education or employment. ALA’s Digital Access Program aims to extend the reach of libraries in their community and increase the visibility of libraries as a pathway to student retention, economic mobility, and civic participation. The project emphasizes diverse artistic expression as a platform for the community and aims to reach around 3,600 people in its first year.
ADVOCACY AND REPRESENTATION
We need miscellaneous books (WNDB): A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that runs twelve exciting initiatives united in one goal: to fight systemic racism and oppression by creating a world where everyone can find themselves on the pages of ‘a book. With support from WRITING CHANGE, WNDB will continue its work through tailored grants, mentorship programs, workshops and community building, with particular support provided to advance the Native Fund, the Black Creatives Fund and the revision workshop.
ENGAGING YOUNG PEOPLE IN WRITING AS A FORM OF ARTISTIC AND SOCIAL EXPRESSION
Girls write now: For 25 years, Girls Write Now has been breaking down barriers of gender, race, age and poverty to mentor the next generation of writers and leaders who impact business, shape culture and create change . They pair young adults – over 90% of color, 90% high need, 75% immigrant or first generation, and 25% LGBTQIA+/gender expansive – with professional writers and media creators as personal mentors and immerse them in a supportive and networked community. writers, for life. With support from WRITING CHANGE, Girls Write Now will aim to create a greater national presence in its core programming and Writing 360 program with the goal of reaching an additional 600 young people over the next year.
The WRITING CHANGE initiative will also fund two additional local community grants to the Los Angeles-based organization WriteGirl and the Minneapolis-based organization MIGIZI.
WriteGirl: A Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization, WriteGirl shines a light on the power of a girl and her pen. WriteGirl represents a community of over 400 girl and 400 women writer volunteers who serve as creative writing mentors. 100% of WriteGirl’s senior graduates entered college, many with full or partial scholarships. WRITING CHANGE funding will support literacy-based programs for underserved girls through the WriteGirl Core mentorship program, which targets girls with creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring by professional women, development college/career focused leadership and resources.
MIGIZI: Based in Minnesota, MIGIZI provides a strong circle of support that nurtures the educational, social, economic, and cultural development of Native American youth. WRITING CHANGE will support MIGIZI’s First-Person Production program, which equips Indigenous youth with 21st century media skills, teaching them how they can positively impact Indigenous media representation and providing an artistic space and media to emerging storytellers.
To learn more about WRITING CHANGE and the early beneficiaries, visit The Estée Lauder Companies corporate site, elcompanies.com/en/our-commitments/social-impact/writing-change-amanda-gorman.
“I am so thrilled that the work of these worthy organizations can continue to reach more communities through WRITING CHANGE. Literacy advocacy. For young people, literacy is a pathway to social expression that leads to progress. I truly believe that words lead to actions that can change the world. I am so proud of the work that I know is ahead, and I look forward to this first year of impact thanks to WRITING CHANGE . – Amanda Gorman, Estee Lauder Global Changemaker
“Amanda is a role model for a whole generation of new leaders, and we are deeply inspired by her energy, passion and thought leadership. We are honored and thrilled to be behind these incredible organizations that are making an incredible crossroads in literacy.” – William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies
“We are very proud to launch WRITING CHANGE. This program is deeply connected to our company’s long-standing commitment to advancing education, especially for women and girls – and was deeply inspired by Amanda’s belief in literacy as a path towards change and its mission. Amanda herself demonstrates the power of storytelling and the impact of words on the lives of young people and how words can be a catalyst for effecting change.” – Fabrizio Freda, President and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies
About Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers, marketers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories under brands such as: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M A C, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York , DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin Paris, TOM FORD BEAUTY, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, KILIAN PARIS, Too Faced, Dr.Jart+ , and the DECIEM family of brands, including The Ordinary and NIOD.
About the Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation (ELCCF)
Fueled by our company values and the passions of our people, ELCCF’s mission is to improve the well-being of our diverse global communities, with a focus on women and girls. The ELCCF focuses its efforts on three pillars: health, education, and the environment, and awards annual grants to organizations in the United States and around the world that align with these pillars.
About Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in United States history. She is a committed advocate for the environment, racial equality and gender justice. Amanda’s activism and poetry have been featured on the Today’s show, PBS Children, and CBS this morningand in the New York Times, vogueand Gasoline. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University, she now lives in her hometown of Los Angeles. In 2017, Amanda was named the first-ever National Young Poet Laureate by Urban Word – a program that supports Young Poet Laureates in more than 60 cities, regions and states nationwide. Gorman’s rendition of his poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 presidential inauguration received critical acclaim and international attention. Amanda appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in February 2021 and was the first poet to grace the cover of vogue in May 2021. She was Porter magazine The July 2021 cover star and received the 2021 Geffen Awards Backstage Artist Impact Award. Amanda was one of 5 Variety The Power of Women winners and cover star, as well as one of the three cover stars of Glamour Women of the Year. The special edition of her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb”, was published in March 2021. Her first picture book, Change sings, released in September 2021 and its collection of poetry Call us what we wear in December 2021, all debuting at No. 1 on New York Times, USA Today and the wall street journal bestseller lists. Please visit https://www.theamandagorman.com/.
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