*steps into Chuck’s Terrible Minds blog. Chuck gives the thumbs up signal to get started*
Thank you, Chuck! *clears throat awkwardly* Greetings, everybody! Can y’all hear me? Yes? Right – let’s get this started:
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 SF/F, Horror, and YA authors helped us reach out to their readers and fandoms about violence against women (VAW) and raise funds to keep our anti-VAW work alive.
Little did we know that that inaugural Read For Pixels livestream series and fundraiser would be a resounding success. Now, over 220 author livestreams, 80+ AMAs, 19 fundraisers, and 1 Shirley Jackson Award-nominated short story charity anthology later, we are continuing to build a trove of accessible resources about VAW for geeks, book lovers, fandoms, parents, teachers, and kids worldwide as well as leveraging the power of genre fiction and storytelling to educate people about VAW. Authors, editors, publishers, and agents 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: “Ooooh! I’ll go check it out. So why the guest post on Chuck’s blog?”
The short answer: “This [insert expletive of your choice] year called twenty twenty-three”.
Like many small nonprofits, we are continuing to fight the good fight while navigating the ongoing fallout from the pandemic and spiraling global inflation in 2023. 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 progressing at a snail’s pace like Grogu toddling along attempting to keep up with Mando (it’s been a month and we’re stuck at $3,175, which is only part of the way to our modest $5,000 goal), you can imagine our growing concern. While we are 100% volunteer-staffed, we do have bills to pay so we can keep our campaigns, programs, and services running.
Chuck being the kind soul that he is, received our call for help and basically paraphrased “Mi casa es su casa”, then published this blog post to boost the signal for our fundraiser.
So here I am, as Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023 kicks off, presenting five really good reasons why you should consider giving to our fundraiser to help get us to our $5,000 finish line by our extended deadline of April 30th 2023:
Really Good Reason to Give #1: Support access to life-saving information for victims and survivors of VAW… while slaying your summer reading list
One of the core services that The Pixel Project provides is bridging the information gap that victims and survivors encounter when trying to get help. 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. We also respond to individuals contacting us for help, doing the research legwork to provide them with information about specific victim assistance services in their part of the world.
THE WIN-WIN FACTOR: When you donate to us, you can also start adding to your summertime TBR pile. From signed rare or 1st editions from authors’ personal stashes to mystery book boxes by publishers large and small, we have bookish treats in various genres for every donation level. And while you’re trying out new authors or appreciating your acquisition for your book collection, also bask in the glow of knowing 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.
Really Good Reason to Give #2: Support resources for educating folks about VAW… while getting your WIP workshopped
We have built an ever-expanding archive of over 200 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 beginner-level primers about different types of VAW, including violence against trans women and obstetric violence and our Facebook page is an excellent just-in-time source for the latest headlines and articles about VAW.
THE WIN-WIN FACTOR: If you are a budding author who is thinking of making a donation, we have a stellar line-up of Read For Pixels authors offering critique bundles for WIPs (works-in-progress), including Adiba Jaigirdar (Contemporary YA), Chloe Liese (Romance), Karen Odden (Historical Mysteries), Kathryn Purdie (YA Fantasy), and Romina Garber (YA Fantasy in English or Spanish). Some have a post-critique video chat bundled in; some welcome writing pairs; others allow for up to five questions via email from the donor about the critique. Enjoy knowing that while you are getting expert help for your WIP, you’re also supporting the creation and growth of online resources for educating folks around the world about VAW.
Really Good Reason to Give #3: Support online platforms for people to speak up about VAW… while shooting the breeze with your favorite author
A key pillar of our activism and advocacy work is providing digital platforms that are safe spaces for people from different walks of life to speak up about VAW. In April 2022, we hosted the Giving The Devil His Due blog tour featuring book bloggers using our first charity anthology to speak up about VAW during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We also offer VAW survivors and dads who are male allies opportunities to speak up via blog interview initiatives such as the Survivor Stories blog interview series and the Voices of Dads Against VAW interview series.
THE WIN-WIN FACTOR: While your donation keeps our platforms available for folks to speak up about VAW, you can enjoy a chat with your favorite author in the name of supporting a good cause. For this fundraiser, Swati Teerdhala (YA Fantasy), Kimberly Belle (Crime/Thriller), Karen Odden (Historical Mystery), and Liz Williams (Fantasy) are all happy to have a video chat with donors to natter about everything from books and writing to furbabies and geeky hobbies. These video chats are open to individual donors and groups – fan friends, book clubs or library groups are also welcome to pool together the donation to get one or more of these chat sessions.
Really Good Reason to Give #4: Shine a light on anti-VAW activists and advocates worldwide… while surprising your geeky loved ones with cool treats
Part of our work involves shining a spotlight on how anti-VAW advocates, activists, and organizations worldwide 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. Our Inspirational Interviews series has been running for a decade and counting. We also run topical sessions with anti-VAW advocates and activists speaking about their work and educating people about VAW.
THE WIN-WIN FACTOR: If you have a geeky friend or family member with a birthday coming up and 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 while supporting signal boosts for anti-VAW activists and advocates. 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.
Really Good Reason to Give #5: Support the right of women and girls to live a life without VAW… while your donation benefits TWO anti-VAW nonprofits
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 dollar counts.
THE WIN-WIN FACTOR: If you choose Mystery/Thriller author Carol Goodman’s THE NIGHT VISITORS $50/$50 Matching Donation treat, your $50 donation will not just support our work but Carol will make sure your impact is doubled by donating $50 in your name to the domestic violence shelter run by Family of Woodstock in Ulster County, New York, USA where she volunteers.
(And even if you don’t choose Carol’s treat, when you donate to us, please also consider donating either cash or supplies to your local rape crisis center to honour Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 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.