When I first started this site, it was important to me that we focus not only on sharing information across lifestyle verticals from food and beauty to travel, design and fashion, but that we dedicate at least one day each week to paying it forward. To that end, we start every Monday with a Random Act (or Acts), asking our Guests to share the causes and organizations that resonate with them. Because of this, we've had the opportunity to learn about the philanthropic endeavors of each of the incredible people we've highlighted, and our eyes have been thankfully opened to all of the ways in which we can work together to make our world a better place. Today, though, as we celebrate National Women's Equality Day, we wanted to take a minute to recognize those guests who chose organizations that focus on women as their mission. It's time to realize that not only are women's rights human rights, but that the future is, in fact, equal.
Women’s Venture Fund is an organization that I’ve been involved with since 2011. Their mission of helping to create female independence through hands-on guidance and education is so meaningful to me. We’re all always learning.
I love the idea of women feeling confident and empowered. It’s also so meaningful to help someone bring their idea to life. In my business, we work with female artisans and production managers. I employ all women. Through POOLSIDE, I’ve directly helped to create financial independence for women in villages in Morocco and India. For me, that’s the purpose of living.
I’ve held different roles within WVF over the years. Formerly, I chaired the annual Women’s Venture Fund Gala. Now, I don’t have a formal role. Truthfully, my goal for 2018 is to re-engage and get more involved with volunteering at monthly educational events.
One of the biggest hurdles of my career has been belief in myself — despite having a wonderful support group of peers and friends, my own lack of confidence has stood in the way of taking more risks and pushing myself further. It's why I believe in Dress for Success, a charity that not only provides women with clothing appropriate job interviews but assistance and development tools to help them build career confidence and take steps toward financial independence. Too many women, particularly in lower income communities, lack the support to fully take advantage of career opportunities available to them. While financial donations are incredibly valuable, Dress For Success also accept clothing donations and volunteers for mentoring, speaking and public support.
Planned Parenthood is my charity of choice, providing high quality health care primarily to low income and underserved communities. Outside of preventing unintended pregnancies, they provide Pap tests and breast exams, test for STDs, and provide educational programs and outreach.
BABBA C. RIVERA
HER Global Network (HER NY events are often on Mondays, to start the week in the right mood!), is a community of women paving the way for other women. The community represents a diverse group of founders, creators and change makers from a wide crosssection of industries. With a mission to bring together a diverse group of women to learn from and support one another, events are held to encourage honest and open conversation, through radical vulnerability. Diversity in age, professional orientation, experience and background is valued and above all, celebrated!
There are two main charities I am especially passionate about:
Peace Direct, Away’s social impact partner, works globally supporting local organizations that are promoting peace in conflict and post-conflict zones. At Away every employee spends a few hours a week on a project that helps to grow the organization.
Women for Women empowers marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict.
These two organizations are especially important and I’m very passionate about the work they do! I have a degree in War Studies and wrote my final thesis on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I love being able to support Women for Women through voluntary work, and Peace Direct through my work at Away. I recently had the opportunity to visit Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka to meet with the local organization Peace Direct supports there — the Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation. It was incredible to witness the work they’re doing to maintain peace and support the survivors of the devastating civil war.
Early in 2017, one of my best friends and I launched The Fourth Wave Podcast and Community, a podcast and website. Feminism has moved in waves and we are currently on the fourth. We wanted to create a place where women can go for motivation and answers. In our podcast we discuss everything from career to self-care to how to get over an ex. We feel that passing along information and learned lessons can equip a younger generation, and that’s our way of paying it forward.
Through Our Lens, a non-profit that I co-founded with Carolyn Pride is my motivation. It’s important to me because it gives high school aged girls from diverse backgrounds, who are passionate about photography and fashion, the skills, opportunities and access they need to get their start in the industry.
JESSICA ROMM PEREZ
I am so inspired by the Girls Club of NY. They’re on the Lower East Side and give girls a place to gather, feel supported and a dream big! These girls are taught to believe they can do anything and the Girls Club provides them with a space that is all theirs. Their amazing center offers middle and high school girls awesome programing in the arts, sciences, leadership, entrepreneurship, and wellness in a safe space. I was introduced to them by Shelly Armistead from Gjelina in Venice Beach. They are doing amazing work.
The mission of the Malaika Foundation is to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education. The non-profit, based in New York, operates in Kalebuka, in the Southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
An educated girl will increase her future earnings by approximately 10-20% for each additional year of schooling and she will reinvest most of it back into her family and community. The goal is to build the leadership capacity of each individual student so that she gives back to her community and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC. The idea is that we are fueling a generation of change-agents.
Four years ago I created and implemented a PE Program for these girls. It was a life changing experience. I witnessed the power of education combined with physical movement. These girls were empowered and inspired by the movement their bodies were doing and we were able to communicate through movement alone.
Giving these young girls an opportunity to not only become leaders, but through this school have access to water, food and clothing is an exciting and humbling mission for me.
OLIVIA ROSE WRIGHT
Early in my career when I worked in PR for Prada, I saw the documentary, Girl Rising. I was shocked to learn about the millions of girls around the world who are denied access to education, but didn't know how I could create change with a background in luxury fashion. When I later learned that school uniforms were often the cost barrier to education, I felt strongly that I could create a fashion brand to authentically address this clothing-driven need. I spent close to a year researching different organizations when I discovered Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). SHOFCO is now Rallier's non-profit partner and it's the charity I feel the most strongly about personally (I've served on their Leadership Council since 2014). I was lucky enough to see SHOFCO's work up close during my trip to Kenya last year. To say that I was blown away by SHOFCO's impactful, holistic approach to alleviating gender inequality is an understatement.
Women’s Prison Association: I am in awe of Pat May, a woman I met in a roundabout way whilst trying to source pom-poms in Mexico. She works to help find jobs for women in prisons so that they can support themselves and their families when they get out of jail. Because Mexico has Napoleonic law, many of these women are not guilty and incarcerated because they have no money to prove their innocence.
CAYLI CAVACO RECK
I have recently partnered with 5 Under 40, which is a non-profit that provides medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation. They focus on a woman’s whole being in order to empower, foster hope and improve the quality of life for women in the face of this disease. I am thrilled that I will be leading their next beautycentric meet up!
Safe Horizon is a charity that supports women and children who have suffered abuse. I have been supporting Safe Horizon since I came to New York in 1996. I was working as a fashion assistant at Allure magazine and we had so many excess beauty products and fashion items left over from shoots. I packed them up and sent them to their New York City shelter a few times a year. It was a small gesture but I’ve never underestimated the power of beauty and fashion to help one regain confidence.
FRANÇOIS DU CHASTEL
I have a sister and we have always been incredibly close, so I've always been concerned with women's health and wellness. Thus, I felt that I had to engage myself, and Chatelles, into something that matters so I chose the National Breast Cancer Foundation which was founded in 1991 by a breast cancer survivor, and its main aim is to educate women about breast cancer and to provide free mammograms to women in need.
I have been raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program for over 12 years. I lost my mom to stage four ovarian cancer when she was just 42 years old. I have been raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program for over 12 years. I lost my mom to stage four ovarian cancer when she was just 42 years old. I’m in the dressing room with women every week and there isn’t a week that goes by in which I don’t hear about a cancer scare or concern. Thanks to my relationship with CSWCP, I have been able to connect people affected by cancer with hospitals all over the country. CSWCP brings doctors and scientists together and focuses on how cancer impacts women. From gender-specific cancers such as breast and ovarian, to other forms of cancer, which may affect women differently than men, the program does very important work. Led by Dr. Beth Karlan, whom I have known for a long time, CSWCP is one of the country’s foremost translational research programs. From clinical trials, new approaches to early detection, prevention and individualized treatments, cswcp is focused on improving cancer survival for women.
My great-grandmother, Ruby Webster March, co-founded the clinic that went on to become Planned Parenthood of West Texas and I could not be more proud to have such a legacy in my family. My travel abroad has consistently and emphatically reinforced the need for women to have access to medical care and family planning no matter where they reside.
I'm all about supporting other SHE-E-O's and my friend, Julie Greenbaum is the most bad ass girl in the charity game. I’m not talking Dallas society types like the ones you see on Real Housewives. At 19 (yes, you read that right), Julie created F*ck Cancer with the goal of creating an organization to unify a generation of young adults who have been affected by the disease and raise funds towards cancer research. Starting as a 350-person party in Montreal, Canada, Fuck Cancer events quickly tripled in size, eventually spiraling into numerous events across North America as an outlet for young people to connect and unite in the fight against cancer. Since 2010, Fuck Cancer has raised over $2.5 million collectively toward research and digital solutions to prevent cancer. I’m eternally inspired by her! She’s been on everything from Forbes to Sophia Amoruso's GIRLBOSS Radio podcast. She’s managed to activate young millennials and our quick-to-spend, yet fleeting bank accounts by creating, F*CK CANCER - a charity that, in essence, let's you party (read: get black out drunk & twerk like you're Miley Cyrus circa 2015) with your best friends for a cause. I think everyone has been affected by cancer in some capacity, but losing my grandmother two years ago to brain cancer really made my connection with Julie's charity stronger.
I work a lot with Dress for Success, an organization that gives underprivileged women clothing for job interviews and employment. Having been in the professional world, it's something that I'm very passionate about. I work there a few times a month helping dress the women and also doing mock interviews with them to help them land a job.