Joan Smalls Launches Donate My Wage, Encouraging Others to Support Black Lives Matter
Following her pledge to donate half of her salary for the rest of 2020.
UPDATE (June 18, 2020): Last week, model Joan Smalls pledged to donate half of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations supporting Black Lives Matter. Now, Smalls has launched an online platform, Donate My Wage, making it easier for others to calculate potential donations based on their salary and choose from a roster of 11 founding organizations including Color of Change, Equal Justice Initiative and Black Visions Collective.
“Donating a portion of my salary will make an impact but I wanted to do something that gave anyone and everyone the opportunity to act and donate,” Smalls said of her new endeavor, launched in partnership with marketing agency FlyteVu and digital agency Aardvark Brigade. “My hope is that Donate My Wage will help educate those that are interested in being an active participant in the Black Lives Matter movement and bring needed attention to organizations that require monetary support to continue their important work,” she added. To kick off the newly launched initiative, model management firm IMG has pledged a founding donation of $250,000 USD.
Head to the Donate My Wage website to learn more and contribute.
ORIGINAL STORY (June 12, 2020): Joan Smalls, one of the highest paid models in the fashion industry, has pledged to donate half of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Smalls announced her decision in a 5-minute Instagram video calling on fashion to act beyond posting statements of solidarity on social media. “I see all the agencies, magazines, brands posting black screens on their Instagram accounts. What does that really mean?” the model asks. “What is the fashion industry actually going to do about it? Is it just another trend? This industry that profits from our black and brown bodies, our culture for constant inspiration, our music and our images for their visuals have tiptoed around the issues,” she points out.
In her accompanying caption, Smalls mentions instances of racism and micro-aggressions she has experienced at work: ”There have been so many times where I’ve had to face issues against my race within this industry because I was their token black girl. The campaigns and editorials I had to share while my counterparts got to achieve that on their own. Or that my hair was an issue or that I made a show or campaign too ethnic, the list goes on and on,” she writes.
To watch and read Smalls’ full statement, head to her Instagram.