*Taps the mic* Hello, everybody! Can y’all hear me? Yes? Okay — *deep breaths* — here we go:
The Pixel Project, a 501(c)3 anti-violence against women nonprofit, has been running our Read For Pixels program since September 2014 when Chuck himself, Joe Hill, Sarah J. Maas, and nine other award-winning bestselling SFF and YA authors answered our call-to-action to help us reach out to their fandoms about violence against women (VAW) and raise funds to keep our anti-VAW work alive.
That inaugural Read For Pixels livestream author interview series (where Chuck, Joe, Sarah and co took to their webcams to speak out against sexism, misogyny, and VAW) and fundraiser was a smashing success and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history.
Over 160 authors, 14 campaigns, and almost eight years later, we have a steadily growing resource of recorded livestream interviews and panels with authors. These are easily accessible on our YouTube channel to parents, teachers, kids, readers, writers, and fandoms worldwide who can either watch the videos to learn more about VAW while fanning over their favorite authors or use the videos to start conversations about VAW in their communities. Authors and publishers have also helped us raise approximately $10,000 per year by providing exclusive goodies as ‘thank you’ treats for readers, fans, and book collectors who donate to support our work.
You’re probably thinking: “Cool! I’ll go check it out. So why the guest post on Chuck’s blog?”
The answer: the [insert your cuss word of choice here] COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many small nonprofits, The Pixel Project has experienced a drop in donations due to the pandemic. This is a double whammy for women’s organizations like us as this is happening on top of decades of scarce funding for the overall women’s rights movement. So, with our current Read For Pixels fundraiser moving at the pace of a hobbit wading through the malodorous mud pits of Mordor (it’s been a month and we’re stuck at $3,220, which is only 67% of the way to our modest $5,000 goal), you can imagine our growing alarm. While we are 100% volunteer-staffed, we need to ensure that we can keep our campaigns, programs, and services running, especially now, when rates of VAW have been spiking so badly the UN calls it “the shadow pandemic”.
Chuck noticed our predicament and, being the mensch that he is, pinged us to offer to boost the signal for our fundraiser.
So here I am, on the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and our seven-day flash donation drive, presenting five reasons why you should consider donating to our fundraiser to help get us to our $5,000 finish line by the April 15th 2021 deadline:
Reason to Donate #1: Treat yourself while doing good!
From signed books to goodie bundles to flash fiction/poetry written especially for the donor, we have something for every donation level.
And while you’re enjoying your goodies, also enjoy the fact that your donation will be going towards keeping programs like our daily helpline retweet session on Twitter which tweets out domestic violence and rape/sexual assault helplines for women in over 30 countries worldwide from 8.00PM to midnight Eastern Time, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Reason to Donate #2: Get expert eyes on your writing while doing good!
We have a stellar line-up of acclaimed authors who have donated critique bundles for WIPs (works-in-progress), including Adriana Herrera (Romance), Alaya Dawn Johnson (Fantasy), Anna Stephens (Grimdark Fantasy), Bec McMaster (Paranormal Romance), Brigid Kemmerer (YA Fantasy), Jeannie Lin (Historical Fantasy), and Toni L.P. Kelner aka Leigh Perry (Mystery/Crime). Some have a post-critique video chat workshop bundled in; others allow for three to five questions from the donor about the critique; still others offer to look at a query letter draft in addition to your WIP.
All these authors are willing to take time out of their packed schedules to help you when you help keep programs such as our annual 16 For 16 campaign alive. Through 16 For 16, we have built an ever-growing archive of almost 180 resource articles to date about everything from how to stop street harassment to lists of organizations tackling everything from child marriage to MMIW (Missing and murdered Indigenous women).
It’s totally win-win!
Reason to Donate #3: Chat with your favorite author while, did I mention, doing good!
It’s good to talk… and even better to talk with your favorite author in the name of supporting a good cause. For this fundraiser, Alyssa Sheinmel (Contemporary YA), Jodi Meadows (YA Fantasy), Julie E. Czerneda (Science Fiction and Fantasy), Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Fantasy and Poetry), Meg Gardiner (Crime/Thriller) and Tasha Suri (Fantasy) are all happy to spend some quality 1-to-1 time on a video chat with donors to natter about everything from books and writing, to gardening, stubborn rabbits, and geeky hobbies.
While you’re chatting, we’ll be working on our Fathers For Pixels program which provides dads worldwide with a variety of platforms (blog interviews, panel sessions etc) for sharing their ideas with other dads about raising kids and engaging with their peers and communities about sexism, misogyny, and VAW.
Reason to Donate #4: Treat someone else while… wait for it… doing good!
Do you have a friend or family member who has a birthday coming up? Do you see a Read For Pixels goodie offered by their favorite author available on our fundraising page? Donate to snag that unique treat and delight them.
Bonus: You’ll have an interesting story to tell them about where the gift came from. It might even be a great springboard for chatting with them about VAW.
Meanwhile, your donation will support our Inspirational Interviews series which has been running for a decade and counting. This blog series shines a spotlight on anti-VAW advocates, activists, and organizations worldwide with a focus on how they are changing the world for women and girls as well as their ideas about what people can do to help stop VAW in their communities and countries.
Reason to #5: Just do good.
Donate to our fundraiser because you believe in supporting efforts to prevent, stop, and end VAW. Whether you can give us $5 or $500 to help us reach our $5,000 goal, every cent counts.
(And when you donate to us, please also consider donating either cash or supplies to your local women’s shelter or rape crisis center. Like us, they need all the help they can get.)
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
Interested in checking out The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women work? Visit us at http://www.thepixelprojectnet.
Interested in checking out our Read For Pixels fundraiser and making a donation to help keep our work alive? Go here.
Regina Yau is the founder and president of The Pixel Project, a virtual volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organization on a mission to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women at the intersection of social media, new technologies, and popular culture/the Arts. A Rhodes Scholar with a double Masters in Women’s Studies and Chinese Studies, she has a lifelong commitment to fighting for women’s rights. In addition to running The Pixel Project, Regina also teaches English to middle-schoolers and high-schoolers, writes stories about cheeky little fox spirits and terrorist chickens, and bakes far too many carb-and-sugar-loaded goodies.