The Pixel Project is 15 years old today:
- 15 years of being the only anti-violence against women nonprofit to specialise in working to raise awareness, funds, and volunteer power to end violence against women (VAW) at the very 21st century intersection of social media, online communities, new technologies, and pop culture/the arts.
- 15 years of our all-volunteer team across 6 continents collaborating to raise awareness, funds, and volunteer power for the movement to end VAW.
- 15 years of conceptualising and developing our ongoing anti-VAW campaigns, projects, and programmes.
- 15 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.
- 15 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.
- 15 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.
- 15 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 of VAW.
- 15 years of bridging 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.
- 15 years of constant creativity in our outreach work to educate individuals and communities who would otherwise ignore or deny the existence of VAW.
- 15 years of sharing expertise in VAW and social media campaigning with fellow activists/advocates, experts from fields as varied as law and healthcare, and doctoral/research students.
- 15 years of inspiring everyone from kids to celebrities to get on board the cause to end violence against women and girls.
- 15 years of working to accelerate the shift in the conversation towards including men and boys in helping stop VAW.
- 15 years of walking the walk to show that online activism can and does make a difference in the battle to end violence against women and girls, especially in this age of online VAW.
- 15 years of going to bat for women and girls facing online VAW.
- 15 years of standing up to sexism, misogyny, and the patriarchy in its myriad of forms across countries and cultures.
It’s been 15 interesting and action-packed years, to say the least!
And now, onwards to our annual review of the year that came before:
An Overview of the Year 2023
Throughout 2023 we were still dealing with the aftershocks of the most serious years of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a consistently challenging and busy year for The Pixel Project as the world, still reeling from the massive spike in VAW during the pandemic period, was dealing with wartime sexual violence in so many conflict hotspots worldwide including Sudan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Israel and the Gaza Strip.
While The Pixel Project is not a frontline organisation, our work was impacted behind the scenes as we worked to catch up with a number of collaborations and projects in the pipeline that were put on pause until the pandemic had eased up while keeping the trains running on time for existing programmes, projects, and campaigns.
On the fundraising side
We raised the bulk of the funds via two (2) Read For Pixels online fundraisers:
- Our 9th annual International Women’s Day Edition in March 2023 featuring women writers only.
- Our 10th annual Fall Edition in September 2023 featuring both male and female authors.
2023 continued the trend of being an extremely tough year for small nonprofits doing fundraising thanks to the rampant inflation affecting economies worldwide that are already still recovering from the aftereffects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, we zoomed past our annual $10,000 goal by raising approximately $17,111 powered by the generosity of Read For Pixels authors, our Read For Pixels donor community, fandoms, and publishers.
Thank you so much also to all the donors who have donated to our general fund to help keep us alive as an organisation – 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:
Ongoing Campaigns, Programmes, and Initiatives
The Read For Pixels Campaign
In 2023, we continued to get ever closer to the next campaign milestone of 300 award-winning bestselling authors, with 18 of these worthy wordsmiths joining the campaign for the first time in 2023. 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. They hailed from a wide range of genres and included well-known names and fan favourites such as Chloe Neill, Mimi Matthews, P. Djeli Clark, Sonali Dev, Sylvain Neuvel, Vanessa Riley, and more. Check out the full list of authors here and here.
A total of 24 livestream sessions and 19 Read For Pixels Reddit AMAs were held across both the International Women’s Day 2023 Edition (February – March) and Fall 2023 Edition (August – September), and on the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women (November) taking it to a record-setting 43 live Read For Pixels events held in 2023.
We also kicked off a new partnership with r/RomanceBooks on Reddit to host AMAs featuring Read For Pixels Romance authors.
The 10th Fall 2023 Edition marked two interconnected Read For Pixels anniversaries:
- The 10th anniversary of the campaign
- The 10th anniversary of our partnership with r/Fantasy on Reddit
To commemorate a decade of working with authors, publishers, literary agents, fandoms, and r/Fantasy we worked with 53 authors (both Read For Pixels alumni and new Read For Pixels authors) across a variety of activities including:
- 6 Livestream readings+Q&A sessions with new Read For Pixels authors (check them out here)
- 6 Livestream author panels with Read For Pixels alumni, with each panel focused on discussing how a specific genre’s books and community have progressed over the years with regards to tackling sexism, misogyny, toxic masculinity, and violence against women. Genres covered included Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Mystery/Crime, and YA Fantasy (check them out here)
- 15 AMA sessions on two different subreddits (r/Fantasy and r/RomanceBooks)
- 1 special 10th anniversary fundraiser that aimed to raise $10,000 which is double our usual $5,000 goal. We smashed that goal by reaching $11,407 raised; this is the first time we had ever reached, much less surpassed, the $10,000 milestone. Aside from donated goodies from over 50 authors, specialist small presses, including Subterranean Press and SST Publications, also donated rare copies of their luxury illustrated editions of books which are prized by serious book collectors.
(B) Giving The Devil His Due – The Read For Pixels Charity Anthology
We wrapped up our 2 years with the paperback and e-book edition of the anthology on time on 31 October 2023 although the book will still be available until any excess stock held by book retailers runs out.
On 1st October 2022, we independently released the audiobook edition of Giving The Devil His Due that was produced pro bono by Voiceworks Audio with a full cast of award-winning audiobook narrators who donated their time and talent including Alyssa Bresnahan, Brian Nishii, Christina Moore, Cynthia Farrell, Edoardo Ballerini, Erin Moon, Karen Chilton, Kate Forbes, Nancy Wu, Robin Miles, Samuel Roukin, and Stephanie Cozart.
In 2023, the audiobook edition of Giving The Devil His Due garnered a couple of accolades:
February 2023: The audiobook became an Audie Awards finalist in the Short Stories/Collections category.
March 2023: The anthology audiobook became an Earphone Award Winner.
As of now, only the audiobook is available via all major audiobook retailers worldwide until 31 October 2024 with the permission of all contributing authors who gave us permission to extend availability for an extra year.
(C) Under Her Eye – The Pixel Project’s 1st Charity Poetry Collection
Under Her Eye, The Pixel Project’s 1st charity poetry collection in partnership with Black Spot Books, was released on 7 November 2023. 113 poets wrote original poetry about violence against women for the book which is currently available in both paperback and e-book formats. All proceeds from the sales of the book go towards supporting The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women work.
The awareness-raising activities that we had done in collaboration with the book’s award-winning editors Lindy Ryan and Lee Murray and some of the contributing poets included:
- Recording poetry readings for an upcoming 2024 awareness-raising campaign
- Sharing pictures of poets and their pets via our People and Pets campaign throughout Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2024
- Showcasing 16 poets in a special article for our annual 16 For 16 blog campaign for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence
- Holding the launch panel for Under Her Eye on the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women (25 November).
Watch the Under Her Eye panel session here:
Our Social Media Programmes
Our Facebook page continues to remain stable at over 53,000 Followers and over 54,000 Likes with a very lively community respectfully discussing the various posts and news.
Our Twitter account is now officially inactive. Our Twitter Tag Team paused active tweeting starting from 11 December 2023 until further notice and pinned a tweet with information about where to find us elsewhere. Our automated twice-daily VAW helpline retweet session continued running until 24 June 2023. We formally stopped tweeting because Twitter (now called X) closed their API to organisations who cannot pay their astronomical access fees.
Our 12th annual People and Pets Say NO photo statement campaign on Facebook and Instagram 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. In 2023, we showcased 28 submitted pictures, 20 of which featured Under Her Eye poets as part of the run-up to the 7 November launch of the book.
The Fathers For Pixels Campaign
As part of our efforts to continue finding 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 programme 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 programme has been renamed the Dads Against VAW interview series and is now open to fathers worldwide all year round. In 2023, 1 dad from the USA took part in the campaign.
We also held our 4th Fathers For Pixels livestream series in June 2023 which featured 1 livestream panel session that showcased 2 – 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. In 2023, we held one (1) panel session:
“Between God and Man: The Impact of Religion on Fatherhood and Male Role Modelling” featuring Imam Dr Abdul Hai Patel (Canada), Rabbi Cory Weiss (Canada) and Pastor Neil Schori (USA). During this session, Imam Dr Patel, Rabbi Weiss and Pastor Schori discussed how religion can be a positive influence on fatherhood and healthy male role modelling to address and stop sexism, misogyny, and violence against women in families, communities, and society:
On the Blogging/Journalism Side
Our Annual/Ongoing Blogging Campaigns
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 some guest contributors in 2023 including our long-time partner Breakthrough India as well as Gender and Disaster Australia whom we had profiled via our Inspirational Interviews series in 2022.
Inspirational Interview series: For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we had a full roster of interviewees as we interviewed 12 anti-VAW activists/organisations from 10 countries including Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, South Africa, Tanzania, Uzbekhistan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the West Indies.
As always, we’ve achieved all that we have achieved as a team and in 2023 we welcomed the following volunteers:
- Executive team – Olivia Calland-Scoble (United Kingdom)
- Creative team – Jarrod Stark (Canada)
We also welcomed back longtime team members who returned from their respective sabbaticals:
- Susanna Lim – Editor and In-House Writer
- Sharmila Ganapathy – Editor and In-House Writer
- Denishia Rajendran – In-House Writer
The Year Ahead
As always, we will 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.
2024 will be the first year in our 15 years of service that we will not be holding any events or fundraisers. Instead, it will be the year we take a breather to take stock of what we have accomplished over the past decade-and-a-half of our anti-violence against women work and to set things in motion for the next phase of our work.
Here is what to expect in 2024
(A) Our Ongoing Campaigns:
We will still be running most of our campaigns online including:
- Presenting a series of videos featuring Under Her Eye poets reading their poems from the collection in honour of International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, and Women in Horror Month in March 2024.
- 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 to put their best foot/paw forward for Domestic Violence Awareness Month via the 13th year of our “People and Pets say NO!” photo statement campaign (October 2024).
- Encouraging more dads to take part in our Fathers For Pixels interviews.
- Writing and publishing our 12th annual 16 For 16 Blogging campaign (November – December 2024).
- Continuing our outreach to libraries to encourage them to acquire and carry copies of Giving The Devil His Due for their patrons.
- As we have now stopped using Twitter, we are making the transition to BlueSky and will move our services that were previously on Twitter to BlueSky once it has come out of beta mode and has all basic functionalities available.
(B) We will be developing a new major campaign
The Pixel Project team will be working behind-the-scenes on a deep dive into our huge and formidable campaign archives to transform the best and most powerful of our livestreams, AMAs, and Inspirational Interviews of the past 15 years into awareness-raising materials and tools in shareable short-form formats such as reels and memes that will:
- Help us get the message about violence against women out faster and stick better in people’s minds in the fast-changing social media landscape
- Appeal to young people who prefer short-form media
- Boost the signal for activists, advocates, allies, and organisations who are doing the work to end VAW
(C) We will be developing more website resources
From adding more primer sections about different types of VAW to developing a better safety button, 2024 will be the year we make our website an even more comprehensive source for getting information and help with regards to VAW.
(D) Last but not least…
Our Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign will be on hold until we are able to revamp it in the future into a more effective collaborative effort with excellent male role models and as a fundraiser.
We hope you are as excited as we are about 2024. If you want to get involved with any of these campaigns and programmes, we certainly welcome more volunteers and pro bono professionals to join 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 3 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.
- Buy the audiobook edition of our 1st charity anthology, Giving The Devil His Due OR buy our 1st poetry collection, Under Her Eye. All donations and net proceeds from audiobook sales go towards supporting our campaigns, programmes, and initiatives.
- 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