This Initiative Provides Aid to Ethiopian Women Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

What is the story behind your handbag? Parker Clay, an emerging leather goods company, designs its products in California and manufactures them in Ethiopia—and unlike most brands, the story of how the bags get made means everything to Parker Clay.

Over 130 employees work at its Ethiopian factory, and 96 of them are women. Of these women, 32 were found through Parker Clay’s partnership with the non-profit Christian women’s rights organization Ellilta—Women at Risk. The organization’s goal is to bring women out of prostitution—which is both legal and widespread in Ethiopia—and find them skills training and employment in safe, sustainable trade industries, like leather goods.

Montecito Weekender & Overnight Bag by Parker Clay
Courtesy Image

Parker Clay’s founders, Ian and Brittany Bentley, wanted to create such an environment for Ethiopian women. Its factory in Addis Ababa gives its artisans higher wages and more benefits, including laundry facilities, access to transportation, vacation time, and pension, pursuing the company’s goal of combining human rights advocacy with sustainable, superior goods.

Each of Parker Clay’s products—handbags, totes, wallets, backpacks, etc.—is hand-woven on a loom with weaving practices unique to Ethiopian culture. Parker Clay’s products support local cattle farmers and also incorporate all-natural vegetable dyes, which are better for the environment. They’re designed, as the best leather goods are, to be timeless, to age with style.

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By visiting its store online, you can support Parker Clay’s mission to provide women working in prostitution with artisan jobs. In 2020, the brand plans to employ over 100 more Ethiopian women from backgrounds of prostitution.

Parker Clay’s ongoing promotion, We Go Together, is taking a “pay it forward” approach. Donors can support the brand and, in exchange, receive two gift cards of equal value, as well as a sizable discount. For example, those who donate $ 100 will receive two $ 100 gift cards—one in September, one next January—as well as a 40 percent discount code toward your next purchase. Read about Parker Clay’s mission for yourself and consider donating at its website.

The post This Initiative Provides Aid to Ethiopian Women Amid Coronavirus Pandemic appeared first on Men's Journal.

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Lizzo fronts music producer’s work-from-home initiative

Reed’s letter has already received support from the heads of Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, Universal Music Publishing Group, Columbia, and Atlantic, among others.
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Ermenegildo Zegna Launches Charity Initiative Supporting Education

GIVING BACK: In its quest to redefine masculinity, which kicked off with the latest communication campaign, the Ermenegildo Zegna Group is launching a charity initiative called “From A to Zegna,” aimed at promoting educational programs globally.
Partnering with Italy-based humanitarian organization Cesvi, the Ermenegildo Zegna brand is selling white T-shirts bearing words such as change and freedom, both qualities seen as making a man today. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Cesvi’s projects.
The T-shirts are available starting today in all Zegna flagships and will be sold on the brand’s web site starting Tuesday.

An Ermenegildo Zegna’s T-shirt supporting the “From A to Zegna” charity initiative. 
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The educational programs are aimed at promoting positive behavioral changes among youth and protecting vulnerable children around the world. They include workshops, group discussions and tie-ups with universities. The company stressed each initiative will answer the needs of the local community it addresses.
The partnership with Cesvi is carried out through the Fondazione Zegna, which since 2000 has been promoting a range of philanthropic initiatives spanning landmarks’ restoration, sustainable development as well as education. For example, in 2014 the group debuted the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship, with which it pledged to provide 1 million euros each year to

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News in Brief: Chevron Touts Green Initiative With Hybrid-Powered Oil Drilling Platforms

SAN RAMON, CA—Touting the next-generation drilling technology’s environmental friendliness at a press conference Thursday, officials from energy corporation Chevron proudly unveiled a new green initiative to use hybrid-powered deep-sea platforms to reach deposits of crude oil below the ocean floor. “As the world comes to recognize the need for more eco-conscious practices, we at Chevron are proud to lead the movement with our new reduced-emission oil extraction platforms,” said company spokesperson Chelsea Henning, who went on to explain that the massive new mechanisms built to cut deep into the earth and pump out vast stores of fossil fuel would emit barely two-thirds the CO2 of earlier processes. “But we’re not stopping there. We’ve made it our goal to ensure all offshore drilling rigs run entirely on solar and wind power by 2040.” Company officials later unveiled another green initiative, noting that they would immediately switch to …

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News in Brief: Underworld Health Organization Launches Initiative To Improve Incubus Immortality Rate

THE SECOND CIRCLE, HELL—Affirming the need to reverse the trend after several millennia of discouraging numbers, officials from the Underworld Health Organization unveiled a new initiative Thursday to improve Hades’ incubus immortality rate. “It is simply unacceptable in this day and age that so many of our demon spawn never get the chance to metamorphose into evil spirits who spend all of eternity raping human women as they sleep,” said UHO spokesman Belphegor, adding that in certain lower circles of damnation, as many as 80 out of every 10,000 hatchlings do not go on to stalk the Earth for the rest of time. “If our initiative is successful, we can finally put an end to the tragic and all-too-common occurrence of a bright young incubus dying before he reaches his 1,000th birthday.” After laying out the plan, Belphegor reportedly avoided a question on its projected budget by …

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Wale Teams With First Lady Michelle Obama For “Reach Higher” Initiative Event

(AllHipHop News) Maybach Music Group artist Wale will join First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House this week for the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit. The Reach Higher initiative event will host more than 130 college-bound students from across the country in Washington, D.C.

Wale will perform for the students from urban, rural, foster, homeless and special-needs backgrounds who have overcome obstacles to make it to college. “The Matrimony” rapper is also set to take part in a panel moderated by E! News co-host Terrence Jenkins which will feature the FLOTUS, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and 1vyG co-founder Manuel Contreras.

“I’m beyond honored & grateful to be involved in the First Lady’s ‘Reach Higher’ initiative and to have the opportunity to sit down with her, as well as perform for the kids of D.C. I believe that the youth are the first step in creating a better country, so to be involved in a program that aims to enrich their lives is truly the greatest reward,” says Wale. “Having grown up in Washington, D.C., being invited to the White House by the First Lady is a dream come true. Thank you to Mrs. Obama and her entire staff for this opportunity.”

The 2015 Beating the Odds Summit is scheduled for Thursday, July 23. In addition, students will participate in workshops and panels led by the U.S. Department of Education, Google’s Jaime Casap, and other leaders in K-12 and post-secondary education.

Filed under: Events, News Tagged: First Lady Michelle Obama, Terrence Jenkins, Wale

California Attorney General Asks For Permission To Throw Out ‘Shoot The Gays’ Initiative

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is asking for permission to toss out the now-notorious Sodomite Suppression Act, an outrageous ballot proposition that calls for the execution of gays with “bullets to the head” as well as 10 years in prison and permanent expulsion from California for anyone who advocates gay rights to minors.

In a statement released Wednesday, she wrote:

As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.

Because the bill’s backer, attorney Matt McLaughlin, paid the $ 200 filing fee by the February deadline, Harris is bound by law to prepare a title and summary of the order so that he can begin circulating it to obtain the 365,000 valid signatures needed for it to appear on next year’s ballot.

Some say the incident has exposed a serious flaw in the legal system. Joe Mathews, a fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, argued on California politics website Fox&Hounds that such instances attack the integrity of the ballot initiative process and that the attorney general should be allowed to invoke a “human rights exception.”

On Monday, activist Charlotte Laws shed more light on the absurdity that McLaughlin’s initiative would be circulated when she submitted the Intolerant Jackass Act to the state attorney general’s office, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Her initiative, which she says she does not intend to circulate, would label the author of any ballot measures like McLaughlin’s an “intolerant jackass,” require them to attend at least three hours a month of sensitivity training for a year and demand they contribute $ 5,000 to an organization that supports gay rights.
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California Forced To Allow Signatures For Appalling ‘Shoot The Gays’ Ballot Initiative

It doesn’t matter that a California lawyer’s outrageous Sodomite Suppression Act ballot initiative proposes executing gays with “bullets to the head,” or that it’s unconstitutional and could never become law. California Attorney General Kamala Harris is forced to allow the measure to circulate for signatures, legal experts said.

The initiative, which mandates 10 years in prison and permanent expulsion from California for anyone who advocates gay rights to minors, stands no chance of collecting 365,000 valid signatures it needs to appear on next year’s ballot. But because its backer, Matt McLaughlin, paid the $ 200 filing fee by the February deadline, Harris is bound by law to prepare a title and summary of the initiative by May so that its sponsor can begin collecting signatures, legal experts told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Joe Mathews, a fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, argued on California politics website Fox&Hounds that forcing the attorney general to allow the circulation of such an absurd proposal attacks the integrity of the initiative process. He said a “human rights exception” should be adopted for these instances.

“When you are taking away fundamental human rights -– as in the right to live -– it is appropriate to give our public officials a formal exception that they can invoke to block an initiative that violates fundamental human rights,” Mathews wrote.

An innovative response to McLaughlin’s initiative comes from activist Charlotte Laws, who told Slate she is filing the Intolerant Jackass Act on Monday. The bill reads:

“Any person, herein known as an ‘Intolerant Jackass,’ who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months. In addition, the offender or “Intolerant Jackass” must donate $ 5000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization.”

McLaughlin may face other repercussions for advocating murder. According to the Sacramento Bee, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) has askled the State Bar of California to investigate McLaughlin, and more than 3,800 people have signed a petition asking State Bar President Craig Holden to revoke McLaughlin’s law license.
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Starbucks Scraps Their ‘Race Together’ Initiative

Starbucks announced today that baristas at the coffee giant’s 20,000 U.S. stores will no longer write “Race Together” on cups after an attempt to start a conversation about race was met with backlash from the general public. In a companywide memo penned by Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO announced the conclusion of… News