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A Vote for Our Community Pioneers


How would you invest $100,000 among pioneering organizations taking on some of the toughest issues of our time?

That’s the question we ask Levi Strauss & Co. employees every year through “Community Vote,” a global three-week campaign in which the Levi Strauss Foundation puts positive social change in employees’ hands.

Choosing from some of our outstanding community partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia, thousands of company employees and Levi’s® store managers from all over the globe cast their vote to award $100,000 in grants among them.

This year, the 2013 “Community Vote” candidates were:

• Juma Ventures: the first organization to offer financial education and matched savings accounts to teens across the U.S. in order to access and complete a four-year college degree.

• BSR’s HERprojecta powerful solution to improve the well-being of workers in global apparel supply chains: invest in women, and bring factory management on board through careful measurement of the business and social returns.

• Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights: the first global women’s fund to quickly support human rights activists globally in the face of unexpected threats.

• Association of Self-financed Communities: one of the first organizationstohelp low-income groups of friends and families across Europe form “savings groups” to meet unexpected financial emergencies and save for long-term goals, such as business entrepreneurship or education.

• Lawyers Collective – HIV/AIDS Unit: a pioneering organization that offers free legal aid to people living with HIV/AIDS in India, and makes significant policy contributions to develop fair and just laws related to HIV/AIDS.

Marc Spencer Juma

Based on employee votes, Juma Ventures received US$45,000, the largest prize. Dr. Marc Spencer (right), Juma’s Chief Executive Officer, had this to say to about the impact the award will have on students’ dreams:

“Juma is thrilled to receive this support from LS&Co. employees. This grant will provide jobs, bank accounts and matched savings opportunities to hundreds of low-income students throughout the United States, enabling them to successfully transition into higher education and future success.”

Also based on employees’ votes, BSR’s HERproject received US$20,000; Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights was awarded US$15,000; and Association of Self-financed Communities and Lawyers Collective – HIV/AIDS Unit were granted US$10,000 each.

For a second year in a row, Community Vote underscored the pioneering spirit that our community partners bring to bear addressing some of the important issues and events of our day.

Our Sao Paulo office took its voting seriously and achieved 100% participation rate.

Our Sao Paulo office took its voting seriously and achieved 100% participation rate.

Hundreds of employees in our San Francisco hometown also made their voices heard, many of them stopping by the Foundation’s voting booth during lunch hour.

Hundreds of employees in our San Francisco hometown also made their voices heard, many of them stopping by the Foundation’s voting booth during lunch hour.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro from the Global Fund for Women (last year’s Community Vote winner) presenting to employees in San Francisco.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro from the Global Fund for Women (last year’s Community Vote winner) presenting to employees in San Francisco.