The Pixel Project is 10 years old today:
10 years of being the only anti-VAW nonprofit to specialise in working to raise awareness, funds, and volunteer power to end VAW at the very 21st century intersection of social media, online communities, new technologies, and pop culture/the arts.
10 years of our all-volunteer team across 6 continents collaborating to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the movement to end Violence Against Women (VAW).
10 years of establishing and growing our ongoing anti-VAW campaigns, projects, and programmes.
10 years of creating social media-based platforms that make it simple and accessible for everyone from the person on the virtual street to various online communities to get on board the cause to end VAW.
10 years of experimenting with (and implementing) positive, innovative, and effective new ways of using online tools, social media, and pop culture/the arts to get the conversation about VAW going amongst individuals and communities.
10 years of helping boost the signal for positive stories of people around the world working to stop VAW as well as the women and girls who survive VAW tell their stories.
10 years of building partnerships with allies that range from anti-VAW organisations and campaigns of all shapes and sizes, to award-winning bestselling authors, to music artistes using their songs to sound the clarion call for the end to VAW.
10 years of bridging the communication gaps to provide victims, survivors, and their families and friends with information for getting help for escaping any form of violence against women and girls.
10 years of sharing expertise in VAW and social media campaigning to fellow activists/advocates, experts from fields as different as law and healthcare, and doctoral/research students.
10 years of developing and running our massive flagship Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in an effort to accelerate the shift in the conversation towards including men and boys in helping stop VAW.
It’s been 10 interesting and adventure-packed years, to say the least!
And to mark our 10th year of joining the fight to end VAW, we have revamped our website – updating it to become even more accessible via smartphones and tablets, as well as adding more information and resources about VAW.
Now, onwards to our annual review of the year that came before:
2018 has been a year of both challenges and progress for The Pixel Project:
The rest of our ongoing campaigns and programmes continued to slowly but steadily build momentum and gain traction:
The Read For Pixels campaign crossed a milestone of having the support of over 100 award-winning bestselling authors, with 25 of these worthy wordsmiths joining the campaign in 2018. They spoke out against VAW via live Google Hangout sessions and helped raise funds for the Pixel Reveal campaign via RallyUp fundraisers choc-a-bloc with exclusive geeky goodies. 2018 Read For Pixels authors come from a wide range of genres and included well-known names and fan favourites such as Alison Goodman, Beverly Jenkins, Brandon Sanderson, Fonda Lee, Tananarive Due, and Richard K. Morgan. Check out the full list of authors here and here.
We also launched our first Read For Pixels author panel session with award-winning bestselling authors Kate Elliott, Martha Wells, and Jim C. Hines – a new addition to our Read For Pixels program that is geared towards providing writers with the ideas, tips, and tools for tackling VAW and related topics such as misogyny, toxic masculinity, sexism, and the patriarchy without dehumanising women and girls. The topic was “Trashing The Rape Trope: Writing About VAW in Science Fiction and Fantasy” and was attended by authors and readers alike.
The People and Pets Say NO photo statement campaign continues to run steadily with people from all walks of life submitting pictures of them and their pets saying NO to VAW during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 2018 was the fourth year we have cross-posted them on our new Instagram account which is now gathering a steady stream of followers.
Our Facebook page passed the 52,530 Likes mark on December 31st 2018 (up by 466 likes from December 31st 2017) with a very lively community respectfully discussing the various posts and news. We haven’t grown as much as in past years due to a number of circumstances beyond our control including Facebook’s war on fake profiles, an exodus across Facebook due to privacy concerns post-Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Facebook’s periodic culling of inactive profiles.
Our Twitter account now has 21,948 – down 473 from 2017’s 22,421 followers. This sudden steep loss of followers was due to a sweeping cull of fake accounts conducted by Twitter over the course of 2018 during which up to 6% of user accounts deemed suspicious were deleted by Twitter.
On the positive side: our trial run for a morning session (Eastern Standard Time) for North America so that domestic violence victims/survivors will be able safely access Twitter to get to the information we provide has had a warm reception and is now a permanent part of our daily Twitter schedule.
The Pixel Project’s Google Hangout Series was launched in July 2019 with a Google Hangout discussion with Dr Zachary D. Kaufman, Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School and Senior Fellow, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, discussing “Bystanders and Upstanders Amid Sexual Violence”.
The “16 For 16” blogging campaign in honour of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence continues to grow as we accumulate an archive of positive articles packed with shareable ideas, information, and solutions for inspiring individuals and communities to take action to stop VAW. Guest contributors in 2018 included the Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and Breakthrough India.
Inspirational Interview series: We interviewed 10 anti-VAW activists/organisations from 6 countries including Afghanistan, Australia, India, Kenya, UK, and USA.
We helped 9 VAW survivors tell their stories via our Survivor Stories. Based on anecdotal feedback and the patterns in the media that we have observed, 2018 saw this abnormally low number of survivor stories submitted to us due to several factors:
- The backlash against #MeToo movement.
- The constant gaslighting and abusive behaviour by U.S. President Donald Trump creating a climate of fear and increased violence against women and minorities in the US and worldwide.
To speak out and push back against the backlash while providing yet another avenue for survivors to share their stories through us, we held a joint #SurvivorStories tweet-a-thon with our longtime partner Breakthrough India where we discussed the importance of survivors being able to safely share stories as part of healing and in the context of #MeToo. The conversation was lively with participants from across the world taking part and reporting about the impact of #MeToo in their country/region as well as the barriers that survivors face in speaking up about their experiences.
2018 was the fifth year of our massive multi-year flagship Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, raising another $11,083 (11,083 pixels) to reach $63,531 (63,531 pixels revealed) by December 31st 2018. This is a solid increase from $52,448 (52,448 pixels revealed) raised by December 31st 2018… and we continue to reveal bits of the first Celebrity Male Role Model’s shirt and now, bits of his shirt and arms (check it out here: http://reveal.thepixelproject.net/view-celebrity/ or on the homepage here.)
We raised the bulk of the funds via two (2) online fundraising events:
- Our 4th annual International Women’s Day Edition in March 2018 featuring women writers only.
- Our 5th annual Fall Edition in September 2018 featuring both male and female authors.
Thank you so much to all the donors who have donated to our general fund to help keep us alive as an organization – to friends, family, and VAW survivors who have donated what they can during these tough economic times – THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! Even $10 helps so much in keeping our work alive!
Update #1: Donating to The Pixel Project
After two years of successful fundraising on the RallyUp platform, we have centralised most – if not all – of our fundraisers there. We have stopped using Indiegogo for our Read For Pixels fundraisers and our MightyCause (formerly Razoo) account is now only open in case of donors wishing to donate using PayPal.
Update #2: Team-Building
As always, we’ve achieved all that we have achieved as a team and in 2018, we welcomed the following volunteers:
- Writer and Researcher – Denishia Rajendran (Malaysia).
- Read For Pixels moderators/producers – Michelle Tam (Malaysia), Tan Shiow Chin (Malaysia).
The Year Ahead:
We’ll continue developing and running our annual and ongoing campaigns:
- Giving another 31 VAW survivors a voice via our 6th annual Survivors Stories Project (May 2019). Starting from 2019, as part of increasing accessibility to this platform, survivors will have the option of completing and submitting their interviews using a Google Docs form. We will also be inviting past participants to update their original interviews should they have additional progress or insights to share.
- Running more in-depth interviews with various anti-VAW and women’s human rights activists for our monthly Inspirational Interview campaign.
- Encouraging more people and pets putting their best foot/paw forward for Domestic Violence Awareness Month via the sixth year of our “People and Pets say NO!” photo statement campaign (October 2019).
- Writing and producing our 9th annual 16 For 16 Blogging campaign (November – December 2019).
- Giving dads around the world an opportunity to speak up via our 6th annual “30 For 30” Father’s Day campaign in June 2019.
- Hosting and recording more live Google Hangouts with anti-VAW activists, advocates, and experts.
- Doing a test run of a second time zone specific helpline session and possibly hosting 1 – 2 tweet-a-thons with our partners.
- Continuing to update our newly revamped website with new and updated resources about VAW.
We also welcome/confirm our new partners:
- The Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
- The MenChallenging Project
A note on a change starting 2019:
As part of the changes emerging organically from our development as an anti-VAW organisation, our Pixel Reveal campaign will remain active but become a supporting campaign instead. All funds raised via our Read For Pixels fundraisers will still help trigger the pixel reveal at 1 pixel per dollar raised in order to reveal our first celebrity male role model. However, our focus will shift towards developing:
- Our other programs and initiatives that are making headway with various communities and demographics.
- New streams and avenues for raising funds to keep our work afloat.
We hope you are as excited as we are about 2019. If you want to get involved with any of these campaigns and programmes, we certainly welcome more volunteers and pro bono professionals joining us on our journey towards ending violence against women. Just fill in the volunteer application form and we’ll get back to you!
If you prefer to donate, you can donate in 2 ways:
- You can donate directly to us to help us keep our work alive. To donate to us and for more details about how your donation will be used, visit our donation page.
- You can hold a fundraiser for us which could be anything from holding bake sales if you’re a baker to donating a portion of your profits if you run a business to running a marathon and getting folks to sponsor you by donating to us. Get in touch directly with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to raise funds for us or with us.
Here’s to The Pixel Project surviving and thriving to continue fighting for the cause for as many years as it takes to eradicate violence against women. May we live to see the day when our work is no longer needed – the day when violence against women is no longer the norm in communities and cultures worldwide. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to work together to effectively eradicate the violence against women and girls for good.
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project