Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls said Thursday she is launching DonateMyWage.org, a project that furthers her support for Black Lives Matter organizations.

The Donate My Wage site helps individuals calculate their potential donation based on their annual salary. Suggested donations can be a month’s, week’s, day’s or hour ‘s wage, and there is also an option for a custom amount. After calculating, donors are then able to select from a list of organizations handpicked by Smalls to support, and will be directed to the organization’s donation page to complete the commitment.

Smalls has selected 11 organizations to feature, spanning a range of focus areas, from education and women’s empowerment to inclusivity and media. The  founding organizations are Black Women’s Blueprint, Black Visions Collective, Bld Pwr, Color of Change, Equal Justice Initiative, Gideon’s Army, Innocence Project, Know Your Rights Camp, The Marshall Project, Until Freedom and United Negro College Fund.

The list of organizations will be updated based on the evolving needs of the Black community.

Smalls recently committed to donating 50 percent of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations advancing racial equality and justice.

“I knew that I wanted and had to do more,” said Smalls. “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.”

She said her hope is that Donate My Wage “will help educate those who 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.

“This is just the beginning and together our impact can be so much more,” she added.

Smalls noted that Donate My Wage was begun by female leaders in the Nashville music industry in response to #BlackoutTuesday to provide a resource for the music and creative community to donate their day’s wage in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Smalls teamed up with Nashville-based entertainment marketing agency FlyteVu, which led the Donate My Wage inception, creation and launch, along with digital agency Aardvark Brigade, to revamp and customize the site to be used for ongoing donation efforts.

Smalls is also joining forces with her agency, IMG Models, which has pledged a founding donation of $250,000 to support organizations through Donate My Wage.

“IMG Models is proud to support Joan and Donate My Wage in creating opportunities for everyone to participate in advancing racial equality and justice,” said Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models and Fashion. “We hope this donation will contribute meaningfully to raising awareness and affecting systemic change as part of our ongoing efforts to champion diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry.”

Last week, when Smalls said she was donating 50 percent of her salary to organizations advancing racial equality and justice, she posted on her Instagram, “We are not a trend.”

“It is time for this industry to do more than post a black square and say they’ll ‘Do Better!’ It’s time for us to see the change starting from the ground up. Give us a seat at the table, include us, give us a chance, because we are worthy, talented and unique,” Smalls wrote.

“There have been 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. This industry that I love has profited from us, but has never considered us equal. This. Stops. Now. It’s time for the fashion industry to stand up and show their solidarity. Time for you all to give back to these communities and cultures which you draw so much inspiration from.”

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