*Accepts the mic from Chuck.* Thank you, Chuck! *clears throat awkwardly* Hey, everybody! Can y’all hear me? Yes? Okay — 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 readers and 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 and fundraiser was a smashing success and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. Over 180 authors, 16 campaigns, and almost nine years later, we are continuing to build what is probably the world’s largest repository of recorded livestream interviews and panels with authors speaking out about VAW. 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 giveaways for readers, fans, and book collectors who donate to support our work.
You’re probably thinking: “Awesome! I’ll go check it out. So why the guest post on Chuck’s blog?”
The short answer: 2022.
The long answer: If we thought 2021 was bad, 2022 basically said hold my [insert your cuss word of choice here] beer.
Like many small nonprofits, this year we are not just dealing with the fallout from the pandemic, but also global inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Women’s organizations have experienced decades of scarce funding for the overall women’s rights movement and women’s human rights are often one of the first casualties in turbulent times such as these. 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 over a month and we’re stuck at $2,787, which is only 55% 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, kindly offered to boost the signal for our fundraiser.
So here I am, as Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2022 rolls on, presenting five reasons why you should consider donating to our fundraiser to help get us to our $5,000 finish line by our extended deadline of April 30th 2022:
Reason to Donate #1: Treat yourself while supporting accessible information for victims and survivors of VAW
From signed first editions to goodie bundles to flash fiction/poetry written especially for the donor, we have something for every donation level. (Though, alas, no goodies from Chuck are available during this fundraiser because this is our International Women’s Day fundraiser powered exclusively by women writers.)
And while you’re savoring your goodies, also savor the fact that your donation will be going towards keeping our programs and initiatives that connect victims and survivors of VAW with the help that they need. Programs such as our daily helpline retweet session on Twitter which tweets out domestic violence and rape/sexual assault helplines for women in 205 countries worldwide from 8.00PM to midnight Eastern Time, 24/7, 365 days a year. Right now? Our research and editorial team are working on putting together a starter list of organizations and groups specializing in assisting Ukrainian women and girls who are casualties of wartime sexual violence and human trafficking.
Reason to Donate #2: Treat yourself while supporting resources for educating the world about VAW
We have a stellar line-up of acclaimed authors who have donated critique bundles for WIPs (works-in-progress), including Adiba Jaigirdar (Contemporary YA Romance), Amanda Bouchet (Fantasy Romance and Space Opera), Jeffe Kennedy (SFF, Romance, and Women’s Fiction), and Pintip Dunn (YA Romance). Some have a video chat bundled in; others allow for up 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 our anti-VAW educational resources alive. Through our 16 For 16 blogging campaign, we have built an ever-growing archive of over 190 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). Additionally, our website has plenty of beginner-level primers about VAW and our Facebook page and Twitter account are excellent just-in-time sources for the latest headlines and articles about VAW.
It’s totally win-win!
Reason to Donate #3: Treat yourself while supporting digital platforms for people to speak up about VAW
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, Jeffe Kennedy (Fantasy and Romance), Meg Gardiner (Crime/Thriller), Roseanne A. Brown (YA Fantasy), and Sue Ann Jaffarian (Mystery/Crime) 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 RV life, furbabies, and geeky hobbies.
While you’re chatting away, our Giving The Devil His Due blog tour this April is chock-a-block with book bloggers using our first charity anthology to speak up about VAW during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We are also working on our Fathers For Pixels program which provides dads worldwide with 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 a friend while supporting signal boosts for anti-VAW activists and advocates worldwide
Do you have a friend or family member with 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 opener 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 Donate #5: Treat yourself because you support the right of women and girls to live a life without VAW
Nearly 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide experience some form of VAW in their lifetime. In terms of domestic violence alone, over 1 in 4 women under 50 have experienced physical or sexual violence from a male partner.
So 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 https://www.thepixelproject.net/
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