This article was written by Stephanie Hackman, orginally published by The Case Foundation.
Happily, this wasn’t a dream, but a special event to celebrate the opening of the Gucci store in Tyson’s Galleria. The event benefited John Legend’s Show Me Campaign, with 10% of the evening’s sales going to the organization.
Along with my colleague Rachel Feely-Kohl, I joined the mix of local fashionistas, Gucci lovers, supporters of education reform and admirers of John Legend who attended the event. While shopping and socializing, guests had the opportunity to learn more about the Show Me Campaign and its work with education reform in the U.S.
Rachel and I were able to talk with Susan Chokachi, head of communications for Gucci, who filled us in on the connection between Gucci and the Show Me Campaign. Education is an important issue to Gucci, so a partnership with John Legend’s Show Me Campaign seemed like a natural fit. Chokachi has high hopes for forging a long-term relationship with the Campaign, so we can look forward to future Gucci-Show Me Campaign collaborations.
Gucci has a strong commitment to giving back, exemplified by their longstanding partnership with UNICEF, and their work with Foundation for Woman’s Dignity and Rights and FFAWN. This focus on philanthropy even extends to events and store openings like the one at Tyson’s Galleria, where they always try to add a philanthropic aspect, highlighting causes that are important to the local community.
During the event, John Legend spoke to the crowd, explaining the Show Me Campaign’s mission to break the cycle of poverty. Legend was first inspired to create the Campaign after a visit to Tanzania, where he experienced extreme poverty firsthand. Partnering with Millennium Promise, the Campaign supports community-led efforts to find solutions that enable the communities to lift themselves out of poverty.
Turning his attention to the United States, Legend soon realized that a good education was the best way for children to break the cycle of poverty. As a result, he has become a champion of education reform, proclaiming:
“Everyone should have the opportunity to get a great education, regardless of their zip code or racial background. Education inequality is the civil rights issue of our time.”
The Show Me Campaign is working to move the needle forward on education reform in many communities, including the Washington, DC area. Rachel and I had the opportunity to speak with Kaya Henderson, the Interim Chancellor of DC Public schools. Earlier that day, Chancellor Henderson, John Legend and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hosted a TEACH town hall meeting at Howard University to discuss the future of education and the next generation of teachers. Chancellor Henderson was excited about the possibility of building a closer relationship between DC Public Schools and the Show Me Campaign.
We’re also looking forward to seeing how Gucci, the Show Me Campaign, and DC Public Schools continue to work together to support education reform in the U.S. Plus knowing that 10% of my Gucci purchase went to help the Show Me Campaign is pretty cool, too!
A huge thanks to Rachel Feely-Kohl for her help in researching and writing this post.