The Pixel Project is 11 years old today:
11 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.
11 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).
11 years of conceptualizing and developing our ongoing anti-VAW campaigns, projects, and programmes.
11 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.
11 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.
11 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.
11 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.
11 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.
11 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.
11 years of inspiring everyone from kids to celebrities to get on board the cause to end violence against women and girls.
11 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 11 interesting and action-packed years, to say the least!
And now, onwards to our annual review of the year that came before:
2019 has been a year of both challenges and progress for The Pixel Project:
On the fundraising side:
2019 was the sixth year of our massive multi-year flagship Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, raising another $8,180 (8,180 pixels) to reach $71,711 (71,711 pixels revealed) by December 31st 2019. This is a smaller increase from $63,531 (63,531 pixels revealed) raised by December 31st 2018 compared to the previous 6 years.
In the meantime, we will continue to reveal bits of the first Celebrity Male Role Model’s shirt and now, bits of his shirt and arms
We raised the bulk of the funds via two (2) online fundraising events:
- Our 5th annual International Women’s Day Edition in March 2019 featuring women writers only.
- Our 6th annual Fall Edition in September 2019 featuring both male and female authors.
Overall fundraising (for both Pixel Reveal and general fundraising)
The slower pace of fundraising is part of the fallout felt by the entire non-profit sector thanks to the new Republican-backed tax law for individuals which started in 2018 that reduced incentives for giving in most households. We will be monitoring the fundraising situation closely over the coming year and will be looking at additional funding streams for our work.
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!
We would also like to express special thanks to Damsels in Defense who donated $500 to us in May 2019 and to Survivor Stories alumna Vanessa King for nominating us for the donation.
On the awareness-raising side:
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 120 award-winning bestselling authors, with 27 of these worthy wordsmiths joining the campaign in 2019. 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. 2019 Read For Pixels authors come from a wide range of genres and included well-known names and fan favourites such as Jo Walton, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nicholas Eames, R.F. Kuang, and Bradley P. Beaulieu. Check out the full list of authors here and here.
We also held our 2nd Read For Pixels author panel session with award-winning bestselling authors Hillary Monahan, Sarah Langan, and Christopher Golden. Read For Pixels panel session were added to our Read For Pixels program in 2018 and is geared towards providing writers with the idea, tactics, and tools for tackling VAW and related topics such as misogyny, toxic masculinity, sexism, and the patriarchy without dehumanizing women and girls. The topic was “We Are The Witches You Couldn’t Burn: Writing Violence Against Women in Horror in the Age of #MeToo.” 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. 2019 was the fifth year we have cross-posted them on our Instagram account which is now gathering a steady stream of followers.
Our Facebook page passed the the 54,525 Likes mark on December 31st 2019 (up by 1995 likes from 52,530 Likes on December 31st 2018) 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 21,996 followers which is up 48 from 2018’s 21,948 followers. This is a tiny increase but is an improvement on the steep 478 follower loss in 2018 that 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 bright side:
- We held our annual joint tweetathon with Breakthrough India on the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women (25 November 2019) featuring a discussion about online violence against women (Hashtag: #CyberVAW). The discussion was lively with activists in India and Europe sharing their thoughts on the subject and proposing remedies and solutions for combatting this very 21st century scourge.
- Our trial run for a morning session (Eastern Standard Time) for North America so that domestic violence victims will be able access Twitter and therefore the information we provide in safety from their abusers has been a success and is now a permanent daily part of our Twitter schedule.
On the blogging/journalism side:
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. We welcomed guest articles from our partners in 2019 including the Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, MenChallenging, and Breakthrough India.
We’ve also officially moved the campaign to our main website blog where it will stay and will keep our 16 For 16 archives for the years leading up to 2018 on the original campaign microsite which is readily accessible year-by-year via our main website.
Inspirational Interview series: We interviewed 10 anti-VAW activists/organisations from 4 countries including Bermuda, Kenya, the UK, and USA.
Survivor Stories series: We helped 9 VAW survivors tell their stories via our annual Survivor Stories series. Based on anecdotal feedback and the patterns in the media that we have observed, 2019 saw this abnormally low number of survivor stories submitted to us due to several factors:
- The backlash against the#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.
“30 For 30” Father’s Day Interview Campaign: We featured 8 dads from Canada, Denmark, and the USA sharing their thoughts about what dads can do to stop VAW.
- After three years of successful fundraising on the RallyUp platform, we have centralized all 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.
2. Google abruptly discontinued Google Hangouts on Air at in early August 2019 so we have now switched to scheduling Read For Pixels author sessions as well as other live interviews and discussion panels as YouTube Live sessions via a new service called StreamYard.
3. As always, we’ve achieved all that we have achieved as a team and in 2019, we welcomed the following volunteers:
- Writer and Editor – Susanna Lim (Malaysia).
- Twitter Tag Team – Raeanne Furfaro (USA)
- Video and Graphic Design Team – Bret Primack (USA)
- Research Team – Morana Morasic (Croatia)
The Year Ahead:
We’ll continue developing and running our annual and ongoing campaigns with established campaigns changing formats or expanding to different platforms in order to better serve the cause:
- For the Survivor Stories campaign, we will be switching to a year-round format instead of concentrating all interviews in May. There will be up to 2 interview spots available per month. An interview form will be set up
- The “30 For 30 Father’s Day” campaign will also be changing format. While dads around the world are welcome to complete and submit written interviews for June, we will also be featuring more livestream sessions with male role models from across the world – male role models who are dads themselves and who would be willing to talk about role modeling, parenting, and men’s roles in being allies to the anti-VAW movement.
- Running more in-depth interviews with various anti-VAW and women’s human rights activists for our monthly Inspirational Interview campaign. Starting from 2020, we will be expanding this program to include both written interviews and livestream interviews (1-to-1 or panel sessions).
- 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 2020).
- Writing and producing our 9th annual 16 For 16 Blogging campaign (November – December 2020).
- Hosting and recording more live YouTube sessions with anti-VAW activists, advocates, and experts.
We have also begun to wind down our Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign. Our goal now is to reach $250,000 (250,000 pixels revealed) via our marathon bid to unveil our 1st celebrity male role model. As with previous years, we will continue to do this via our two (2) major Read For Pixels events/fundraisers:
- Our 6th annual International Women’s Day Edition in March 2020 featuring women writers only.
- Our 7th annual Fall Edition in September 2020 featuring both male and female authors.
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 give to us 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 email@example.com 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