Youth Empowerment for #GivingTuesday

Earlier today, I received the following release and just had to share it with you! I’m a sucker for anything that involves empowering our young people!

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Give Youth the Gift of Empowerment with #GivingTuesday

Non profit organization Fashion Takes Action (FTA) is currently running a crowdfunder campaign on Indiegogo to develop a subsidy fund for their youth education program called My Clothes, My World. This full or half day workshop available for students in grades 4-12, tackles the social and environmental impacts of the apparel industry – an industry that is the second largest polluter next to oil, and one that is finally being addressed this year in Paris at the UN Climate Summt.

FTA is urging consumers on this #GivingTuesday to donate a portion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings to support their cause. With a goal to raise $10,000, the subsidy fund would provide schools located in high priority neigbourhoods with free access to the program. And because the program is currently not funded, schools must pay the fee themselves. This means that those schools who lack the resources to “extra” funds, whether via School Council or parents’ fundraising efforts, miss out.

With so much emphasis on social justice in the apparel industry, FTA feels very strongly that their program is available to all students – regardless of socio economic status. It only makes sense.

My Clothes My World workshops elicit discussion around consumerism, human rights, environmental degradation and positive actions youth can take. FTA realized that reaching youth before they become consumers is the key to seeing change happen on a large and long-term scale.

According to FTA program director Sarah Peel, “By empowering young people to take action, connecting them in an emotional way to the people who make their clothes, and teaching them about the industry’s environmental footprint, we might actually see that large-scale shift in behaviour that is so needed in order for meaningful change to take place”.

The Indiegogo campaign ends December 18th and to date has reached 30% of its goal. If FTA sucessfully reaches their goal of $10,000, the program will be delivered to 40 of the 100 schools located in Toronto’s 13 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, reaching an average of 1,200 students. In addition to a full description of the day, the Indiegogo page also features photos and a short video that captures the level of student engagement the program has to offer.

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