Over three years, Writing Change will invest in organizations working to close the literacy gap and support efforts to advance systemic change on three pillars:
Access: Equitable access to literacy programs to provide education is a fundamental right, especially for communities in need.
Advocacy: Publishing and advocating for diverse writers and young leaders to advance representation in literature at all levels.
Artistic expression among young people: Community programming that advances creativity and cultivates a passion for artistic and social expression in young people through writing, especially for girls of color.
The Writing Change initiative will track and evaluate grantee impact on an annual basis in close coordination with nonprofit partners, including robust reporting on programmatic progress in each pillar.
In its first year, Writing Change will focus on U.S. organizations with the potential to expand globally in years two and three. Writing Change grant recipients were selected based on their proven ability to catalyze impact for youth, families, and diverse communities, their demonstrated ability to collaborate in the nonprofit sector, and their ability to expand their programmatic scale through the pillars of access, advocacy, and artistic expression.
In its first year, Writing Change will fund five US-based organizations:
The largest library organization in the world, ALA works to promote libraries and library education to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. Funds from Writing Change will support an innovative pilot project for twelve libraries across the United States to partner with local artists to implement arts programming that builds literacy and digital skills for distinct populations – including youth at risk of low education or employment. ALA’s Digital Access Program aims to extend the reach of libraries in their community and increase the visibility of libraries as a pathway to student retention, economic mobility, and civic participation. The project emphasizes diverse artistic expression as a platform for the community and aims to reach around 3,600 people in its first year.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that runs twelve exciting initiatives united for one purpose: to fight systemic racism and oppression by creating a world where everyone can find themselves on the pages of a book. With support from Writing Change, WNDB will continue its work through tailored grants, mentorship programs, workshops and community building, with particular support provided to advance the Native Fund, the Black Creatives Fund and the revision workshop.
For 25 years, Girls Write Now has been breaking down barriers of gender, race, age and poverty to mentor the next generation of writers and leaders who impact business, shape culture and create change. They pair young adults – over 90% of color, 90% high need, 75% immigrant or first generation, and 25% LGBTQIA+/gender expansive – with professional writers and media creators as personal mentors and immerse them in a supportive and networked community. writers, for life. With support from Writing Change, Girls Write Now will aim to create a greater national presence in its core programming and Writing 360 program with the goal of reaching an additional 600 young people over the next year.
A Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization, WriteGirl shines a light on the power of a girl and her pen. WriteGirl represents a community of over 400 girl and 400 women writer volunteers who serve as creative writing mentors. 100% of WriteGirl’s senior graduates entered college, many on full or partial scholarships. The Writing Change funding will support literacy-based programs for underserved girls through the WriteGirl Core mentorship program, which targets girls with creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentorship by professional women, development college/career focused leadership and resources.
Based in Minnesota, MIGIZI provides a strong circle of support that nurtures the educational, social, economic, and cultural development of Native American youth. Writing Change will support MIGIZI’s First-Person Production program, which equips Indigenous youth with 21st century media skills, teaches them how they can positively impact Indigenous media representation, and provides arts and media space for storytellers emerging.
“I am so thrilled that the work of these worthy organizations can continue to reach more communities through Writing Change. Representation in literacy. For young people, literacy is a way of social expression that leads to progress. I truly believe that words lead to actions that can change the world. I’m so proud of the work that I know is ahead, and I look forward to this first year of impact through Writing Change,” Gorman said.
To learn more about Writing Change and the first beneficiaries, visit The Estée Lauder Companies corporate site.