Gucci has announced a $5 million community fund and a $20,000 scholarship program in support of racial diversity. According to Complex, following the brand apologizing for their controversial blackface turtleneck, Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri pledged to institute four long-term initiatives that would promote cultural awareness within the country. Gucci joined forces for Dapper Dan to create a plan that included a scholarship fund, community and global exchange programs, and onboarding directors tasked with promoting diversity.
Gucci sent out a press release on Monday (March 18th), which revealed the official launch of the three-tiered initiative. The first portion is the Gucci Changemakers fund, which will allocate $5 million toward non-profit programs across the U.S, specifically those uplifting communities of color. The programs will be selected by the Changemakers Council, which includes prominent figures such as Will.i.am, Cleo Wade, Dapper Dan, Micheala Angela Davis and more.
Gucci also established a $20,000 scholarship program to reinforce diversity among prospective students pursuing a fashion education. That money will be allocated towards their education every four years, which will empower “more diverse talent in North America to access the industry.”
The third component includes a mandatory company-wife volunteering initiative, where all 18,000 worldwide Gucci employees will be given four paid days off a year to volunteer for various causes focused on equality, refugee support, climate change, and education.
Dapper Dan said in a statement, “As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programs that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole. It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”