Image courtesy Imaxtree

Gucci is Now Accepting Applications For Its Changemakers Scholarship and Impact Fund

Special consideration will be given to students and non-profits from Gucci's shortlist of 12 Changemakers cities, which includes Toronto.

In February of this year, Gucci released a turtleneck sweater strongly resembling blackface imagery. After a public outcry, they pulled the sweater from stores and promised to “[turn] this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”

The following month, the brand made good on its promise, announcing its Gucci Changemakers Program, a global initiative promoting diversity and inclusion not just at the company but in the fashion industry as a whole. The brand’s multi-tier approach to inclusivity includes the establishment of the Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund, a $5 million fund that will invest in community-based programs helping communities of colour across North America, and the Gucci Changemakers Scholarship Program, which aims to help a more diverse pool of students pursue careers in fashion.

Today, Gucci announced that applications are open for its North America Changemakers initiative including the multi-year $1.5 million Scholarship Program and $5 million Impact Fund for non-profit organizations.

To announce this scholarship and grant open call, Gucci collaborated with filmmaker and DRØME Creative Director Satchel Lee on a short film encouraging young people and non-profits to apply. “To make meaningful change you have to put your money where your mouth is,” Lee told Essence. “People of colour, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community have always been changemakers in fashion. It’s about time that big fashion houses fully acknowledge this.”

Gucci will distribute $1.5M over four years across two scholarship programs—Gucci Changemakers Scholars and Gucci Changemakers X CFDA Scholars by Design—to ensure a new era of diverse young people can gain access to the fashion industry. The program will provide scholarships to undergraduate students with “unmet financial need” interested in the fashion industry, and develop mentorship and leadership opportunities at Gucci America and within the fashion industry.

As per the brand’s website, “all eligible students currently enrolled or planning to enrol in a four-year college or university in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree within North America are welcome to apply. Special consideration will be given to students who live or study in one of the 12 Gucci Changemakers cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington DC and/or plan to attend or are currently attending a Historically Black College and University. Scholarships will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year for up to $20,000 per student.”

The Impact Fund will award grant funding to community-based 501(c)(3) organizations across those 12 Changemaker cities for up to $1 million in grants annually over five years. “Funding will be provided to applicants focused on key social impact areas including social justice and equity; art and culture; and education. Grants will range between $10,000-50,000 and are for one-year funding cycles, beginning January 1, 2020.”

To make the final selections of the students for the scholarship programs and the non-profit partner organizations for the Impact Fund, Gucci will enlist the support of the Changemakers Council of community leaders and social change experts it assembled earlier this year, which includes designer Dapper Dan, activists Brittany Packnett and DeRay McKesson, entertainer/philanthropist, and poet Cleo Wade. Applications for both are due by 11:59 pm EST on December 31, 2019 and can be submitted online at