The Pixel Project is 12 years old today:
- 12 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.
- 12 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).
- 12 years of conceptualizing and developing our ongoing anti-VAW campaigns, projects, and programmes.
- 12 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.
- 12 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.
- 12 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.
- 12 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 livestreams with dads to sound the clarion call for the end to VAW.
- 12 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.
- 12 years of constant creativity in our outreach work to educate individuals and communities who would otherwise ignore or deny the existence of violence against women.
- 12 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.
- 12 years of inspiring everyone from kids to celebrities to get on board the cause to end violence against women and girls.
- 12 years of working to accelerate the shift in the conversation towards including men and boys in helping stop VAW.
It’s been 12 interesting and action-packed years, to say the least!
And now, onwards to our annual review of the year that came before:
A Note Regarding The Year 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic that began in February/March 2020 has made 2020 a particularly challenging and busy year for The Pixel Project as violence against women spiked worldwide as lockdowns and the world economy in crisis exacerbate domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, and femicide.
While The Pixel Project is not a frontline organisation, our work has been impacted behind the scenes as a number of collaborations have not been possible this year, interview-based campaigns have seen a slowdown in participants, and keeping campaigns running smoothly has been complicated by the disrupted schedules of everyone from sister activists to survivors to authors.
On the fundraising side:
We raised the bulk of the funds via two (2) online fundraising events:
- 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.
While 2020 has proven to be an extremely tough year for small nonprofits doing fundraising, thanks to our Read For Pixels fundraisers powered by the generosity of Read For Pixels authors, our Read For Pixels donor community, fandoms, and publishers, we raised US$12,800
And thank you so much to all the donors who have donated to our general fund across the year. This 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!
On the Awareness-raising side:
As we work online, our ongoing campaigns and programmes have largely continued uninterrupted although certain campaigns and initiatives were more difficult to run smoothly than others.
The Read For Pixels programme
The campaign crossed a milestone of having the support of over 150 award-winning bestselling authors, with 23 of these worthy wordsmiths joining the campaign for the first time in 2020. They spoke out against VAW via YouTube livestream sessions and helped raise funds for the Pixel Reveal campaign via RallyUp fundraisers choc-a-bloc with exclusive geeky goodies. 2020 Read For Pixels authors come from a wide range of genres and included well-known names and fan favourites such as RJ Barker, Maya Rodale, Kat Cho, Maurice Broaddus, and Sebastien de Castell. Check out the full list of authors here and here.
We also held our 3rd and 4th Read For Pixels author panel sessions 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. This year’s Read For Pixels panels sessions featured 6 Read For Pixels alumna with each panel featuring 3 alumna:
“It Ain’t A Mystery: Writing about Violence Against Women, Sexism, and Misogyny in Mystery & Crime Novels in the Age of #MeToo – Charlaine Harris, Dana Cameron, Laurie R. King
“Creating Teachable Moments: Writing about Violence Against Women, Sexism, and Misogyny in Young Adult Fantasy Novels in the Age of #MeToo” – Kendare Blake, P.C. Cast, Tamora Pierce
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. 2020 was the 9th year we have cross-posted them on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Our Facebook page stood at the 53,972 Likes mark on December 31st 2020 (down by 553 likes from 54,525 Likes on December 31st 2019) with a very lively community respectfully discussing the various posts and news. This is the first decrease in followers/fans that we have experienced in our 12 years of campaigning on Facebook. This may be due to a number of circumstances beyond our control including Facebook’s war on fake profiles, an exodus across Facebook due to an increasingly hostile environment during a U.S. election year and Facebook’s periodic culling of inactive profiles. Nevertheless, we are also holding steady at 54,219 followers and will continue to share relevant and education content about VAW.
Our Twitter account now has 22,033 which is up 67 from 2019’s 21,966 followers. This is a tiny increase but is an improvement as we continue to tweet out news and information about VAW round the clock throughout the year as well as twice-daily helpline retweet sessions.
(i) Responding to COVID-19: As part of our response to the COVID pandemic and it’s horrific collateral damage in the form of spiked rates of VAW worldwide, we provided 2 new blog resources:
The first is our comprehensive guide article, “10 Ways Neighbours and the Community can help Domestic Violence Victims during the Coronavirus Pandemic”. When we published this article in April 2020, nobody else had pulled together anything similar as yet.
The second is our Coronvirus Interviews series with short interviews with advocates and activists from Bermuda, Canada, India, and the USA talking about the steps that they are taking to adapt their services for victims and survivors to the restrictions of the worldwide lockdowns.
(ii) 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 welcome some guest contributors in 2020 including our partners MenChallenging, and Breakthrough India.
(iii) Inspirational Interview series: We interviewed 8 anti-VAW activists/organisations from 8 countries including Canada, Finland, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Uganda, and the USA. While this is a lower number than our usual 10 – 12 interviews due to the toll that the pandemic is taking on everyone working in the anti-VAW space, there is a greater diversity of interviewees than ever, reflecting just how widespread and global VAW is as a human rights issue.
(iv) Survivor Stories series: In 2020, we did not have any survivor stories submitted to us which is more than likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also launched a couple of new initiatives in 2020:
New Initative #1: The Fathers For Pixels program:
As part to continuing to find new ways of engaging fathers worldwide with the cause to end VAW, the 30 For 30 Father’s Day campaign has been revamped as the Fathers For Pixels program in order to give us more room to develop and expand our collaborative efforts with individual male allies and male ally organisations.
The short written interview program has been renamed the Dads Against VAW interview series and is now open to fathers worldwide all year round. In 2020, 3 dads have taken part in 2020.
We also held our 1st Fathers For Pixels livestream series in June 2020 as follows in collaboration with MenChallenging and Fathering Together, with support from the Native Dads Network. 12 fathers from Asia, Europe, and North America took part. Each livestream YouTube session showcased 3 panellists discussing a topic that links fatherhood and how dads can help stop violence against women in their families, communities, and cultures Each session also included a moderated Q&A segment for the audience to ask questions.
The recorded sessions were organised into a playlist for the general public to access.
New Initiative #2: The 1st Read For Pixels Charity Anthology
On World Human Rights Day (10 December 2020), we announced Giving The Devil His Due – our 1st Read For Pixels anthology which will be published in partnership with Running Wild Press. The Twilight Zone style anthology will feature 16 stories in homage to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence
The 16 authors participating in the anthology are Christina Henry, Dana Cameron, Errick Nunnally, Hillary Monahan, Jason Sanford, Kaaron Warren, Kelley Armstrong, Leanna Renee Hieber, Lee Murray, Linda D. Addison, Maurice Broaddus, Nicholas Kaufmann, Nisi Shawl, Peter Tieryas, Stephen Graham Jones, and Zin E. Rocklyn.
The anthology is currently expected to be launched on 1 September 2021 in tandem with our 8th annual Fall Edition of the Read For Pixels campaign.
As always, we’ve achieved all that we have achieved as a team and in 2020, we welcomed (or welcomed back) the following volunteers:
- Editorial team – Crystal Smith (Canada)
- Research team – Morana Morasic (Croatia)
- Read For Pixels team – Juliana Spink Mills (Brazil & the USA) and Rebecca Brewer (USA)
- Twitter Tag Team – Raeanne Furfaro (USA)
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:
- Collaborating with 16 authors and Running Wild Press on the upcoming Read For Pixels anthology including raising awareness about both the book and VAW.
- 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 tenth year of our “People and Pets say NO!” photo statement campaign (October 2021).
- Partnering with MenChallenging to recruit and encourage more dads to take part in the Fathers For Pixels program.
- Writing and producing our 11th annual 16 For 16 Blogging campaign (December 2021).
- Hosting and recording more live YouTube sessions with anti-VAW activists, advocates, and experts.
We are also continuing to wind down our Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign. Our goal remains 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 7th annual International Women’s Day Edition in March 2021 featuring women writers only.
- Our 8th annual Fall Edition in September 2021 featuring both male and female authors.
We hope you are as excited as we are about 2021. 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 are able 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