Last fall, in recognition of the important role that our employees have played in Levi Strauss & Co. being named to the Fortune Change the World list, we asked our employees how they would change the world for the opportunity to receive up to $5,000 to turn their idea into reality.
Today we’re thrilled to announce the five grant recipients and share a little bit about their projects, as well as what they had to say about being chosen to Change the World.
Finalists stood out for their projects’ originality, thoughtfulness and connection to our mission and purpose here at LS&Co.
We value our employees who make good in the world, whether they are putting their five hours per month of volunteer time to good use or through various donations to great causes, our employees continue to make impacts both big and small and remind us that each one of us has the ability to change the world.
Sylvaine Guille Griffin
Partnering with Build a Nest to work with East African refugees, Sylvaine will help to rebuild their lives through sewing. She will go onsite for one week to conduct daily workshops for a group of women in pattern making, advanced sewing skills and fit solutions as well as basic design.
“I have been holding this project close to my heart for the last eight years. Small children and a full-time job had made it hard to get it going beyond the conceptual stages, but now — after many conversations, and with the support of people who believe in my vision — it is finally possible. I am thrilled to go out in the world and share the common values I have with LS&Co., support our community at large, share my skills and help a community become even more self-reliant.”
Cape Town, South Africa
In partnership with Tomorrow Trust, Dominique will run three sessions with 60 girls at the Ukhozi Girls Club to build confidence, combat fear and give them the courage to dream and reach their aspirations.
“There is an inspiring group of young school girls in Cape Town, called the Ukhozi Girls Club, who I met in 2016 through our Project Wet training, which focuses on water conservation. Their leader encourages them to soar like eagles — Ukhozi — and be fearless, powerful and courageous in their journey to realizing their aspirations. The ability to participate in the Change the World challenge means that I can partner with Tomorrow Trust, a local nonprofit organization, to help them realize their dreams and overcome fears in a fun manner, which helps me continue to live my values of empathy and courage at LS&Co. It is a chance to do something small with love.”
Partnering with YogaWorks, Brett will help build a curriculum and a six-month yoga course that teaches self-care and promotes self-awareness for select residents at Raphael House – a longtime partner for LS&Co.’s Community Day (a global day of service for employees) that helps at-risk families achieve stable housing and financial independence while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity.
“I am excited and very thankful to LS&Co. for this program and selecting my project. But every day I am honored and grateful to work for a company where changing the world, from what we wear to how we treat each other, is in our DNA.”
Jamila will host a full-day workshop that teaches youth and adults (14 and up) the step-by-step processes, skills and tools to influence policy changes that will positively impact their communities.
“Since the 2016 election I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and have had to consciously disallow hopelessness from seeping into my mind. I refuse to give up on fighting for positive change in the world. One of the most consistent pieces of advice I’ve heard on how to truly make a difference in our government is to start at the local and state levels. It’s so exciting to be chosen as a Change the World finalist so I can both learn, and help teach others, practical lessons on how to make positive changes in our local and state government, and in the world.”
Taking the Project WET curriculum, which teaches about the importance of water conservation, she educates the local community and installs sanitation stations so that the homeless have a place to go and clean up on a daily basis, helping to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.
“I have always felt if I could help change the life of even one person, my life would be complete, and that no act of kindness or compassion can ever be too small. Being a finalist in the Change the World challenge means I will get to share my passion on a larger scale and hopefully inspire someone else to reach out in their communities. One person can make a difference and if we simply slow down and listen to what people really need — not what we think they need — we will start to see a change in communities around the world.”