Inspired by the passion, strength and undeniable power of women, Target has created the A New Day + Vital Voices limited-time-only collection of apparel, accessories and stationery, designed to celebrate female confidence, spirit and fortitude.
The pieces were designed by Target and inspired by Vital Voices’ mission to elevate women leaders and six women leaders in the Vital Voices network who are raising their voices to bring about positive change in the world.
For 20 years, Vital Voices has been identifying, providing training for and investing in emerging women leaders working to create change. The six women leaders who inspired the A New Day + Vital Voices collection have diverse personal stories that represent how a vital voice can make a significant impact.
The collection will be available for a limited time at select Target stores and on Target.com starting Saturday, September 29.
The Women at the Heart of A New Day + Vital Voices
Hailing from the U.S. and around the world, and from differing educational, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, these female activists, entrepreneurs and innovators drive positive transformation in their communities and beyond.
The six women leaders who inspired the collection are:
- Jamira Burley: After losing a brother to gun violence, Jamira became a social impact consultant and activist for youth engagement, criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention.
- Akanksha Hazari: Akanksha founded m.Paani, India’s first and only mobile-based loyalty platform, to help underserved Indian communities improve their lives using their mobile services.
- Jessica Hubley: Jessica is the CEO and co-founder at AnnieCannons, an organization that educates human trafficking survivors into software professionals.
- Chessy Prout: After surviving a sexual assault in high school, Chessy became an activist and author, publishing her memoir and launching the #IHaveARightTo movement.
- Ariela Suster: To disrupt the cycle of violence in El Salvador, Ariela established SEQUENCE, a handcrafted jewelry and accessories company that employs at-risk youth.
- Amira Yahyaoui: Amira has spent her life fighting for human rights. Today she’s creating Mos.com, a college financial aid app, with the belief that college should be an option for everyone.
Recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change, Jamira Burley is the essence of perseverance. Jamira’s ardor for personal and social advancement is undeniable; she leads with marked expertise on youth engagement, education reform, global citizenship, corporate social responsibility, gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform. As the first of 16 children to graduate from high school and pursue higher education, Jamira is a Temple University graduate, with a BA in International Business, Legal Studies.
Professionally, Jamira has worked at every level of engagement from the city to international, proving unique insight into how to engage impacted communities and create opportunities for shared leadership. So far, Jamira has trained and spoken to diverse audiences in more than 15 countries. She continues to make it her mission to employ her personal experiences as the driving force to improve the lives of others. Jamira is a human rights defender, social good strategist, and the Founder of GenYNOT.
Jamira participated in the 2018 HERlead Leadership Forum in New York, and was selected as a 2018 Global Leadership Awards Honoree, a 2018 VV100 member, and a 2017 VVLead Fellow. Learn more about her story from her Global Leadership Awards Film.
“We are this ‘Generation Next,’ where our dreams have no walls. We want to change the world. We know that we can do better. Therefore we believe that we must do better.”
Akanksha Hazari aspires to empower people in underserved communities to achieve the life they imagine. She’ s realizing her vision through her social business m.Paani, India’ s first loyalty platform for mass-market consumers and micro-businesses. “We’ re living in a really special moment – this moment of the possible,” says Akanksha.
Her journey is living proof of the power of possibility. Despite their humble beginnings, Akanksha’ s parents encouraged her to rise above the odds, and she did. She earned degrees at Princeton and Cambridge universities, then returned home to ensure that her opportunity would bring value to others. Akanksha remembers growing up with a daily reminder from her mother: “The value of your life is defined by the positive difference you make in the lives of others.” She says these words have shaped who she is and how she views the world.
While working in rural India she gained the breakthrough insight that would inspire her purpose-driven business, m.Paani. Akanksha realized that even in areas where infrastructure and service delivery were inadequate, there was one tool nearly everyone had access to: a mobile phone. She decided to turn access to phones into access to social goods, including clean water, healthcare, education and energy.
“The mobile phone is a very ubiquitous device now. In many ways it’ s the great equalizer,” says Akanksha. Worldwide, mobile phone penetration is highest among low-income populations, and telecom is the fastest-growing industry in emerging markets. In a world where 2.5 billion people don’ t have access to safe water or sanitation, more than 6 billion now have access to mobile phones.
Akanksha recognized the enormous possibility in mobile phone access and in 2011 she led a team of like-minded students to win the Hult Prize and $1 million in seed capital to develop the m.Paani business model. Two years later, she launched the mobile-based company.
m.Paani’ s loyalty platform empowers consumers by rewarding spend at in-network partners with points that can be redeemed for life changing rewards, such as water filters, the first reward the company offered and the inspiration for its name: m stands for mobile and paani means water in Hindi. For micro-businesses, being an m.Paani partner is an opportunity for revenue growth and modernization in a rapidly evolving retail environment. The bulk of m.Paani partners are micro-businesses, which account for 80% of India’ s retail market.
Through m.Paani, Akanksha is bringing a ‘data dark’ population into the light. Typical m.Paani users aren’ t plugged in to the digital economy; many don’ t have bank accounts or access to traditional financial tools or resources, such as credit or loans. But now, the proprietary data m.Paani collects is building a 360 view of this offline segment, enabling Akanksha and her team to deliver unique value and innovate new products to further empower users.
In the next three years Akanksha aims to scale m.Paani to reach 50 cities in India, and then expand across emerging markets, including into Africa and Southeast Asia. As she balances rapid growth with continuous innovation, she remains focused on her vision: to run a purpose-driven company that builds products that enable underserved communities to invest in their own future.
Akanksha was a Global Leadership Awardee, and an inspiration behind the Target limited time collection, A New Day + Vital Voices.
2017 Fellow, CEO of AnnieCannons, Inc
Jessica is an attorney and entrepreneur serving as CEO of AnnieCannons, Inc. and running her own legal practice in the Bay Area. After earning a BA and Master’s from Emory University and attending Stanford Law School, Jessica worked at Latham & Watkins LLP and Dickstein Shapiro LLP, advising internet, cloud, and digital media companies on general commercial matters, with a particular focus on privacy issues, IP management, and distribution strategies. She previously served as General Counsel at Stride Health, Inc., where she also worked as Interim Director of Operations. Her role as CEO entails the management of AnnieCannons’ impact outsourcing business and co-management of nonprofit operations. Her legal practice specializes in e-commerce and privacy law in the Bay Area, where she works to guide tech startups through their lifecycle with profitable responsibility. She also writes novels and was introduced to the global issues of human trafficking several years ago through her work as the President of Women of Stanford Law. She has been interviewing and gathering stories of human trafficking survivors around the world, and is currently represented by Trident Media Group for a narrative nonfiction piece that highlights the stories of trafficking survivors from around the globe and how existing technology could have helped them.
Jessica was one of the women who served as inspiration for the limited-time Target Collection, A New Day + Vital Voices.
2018 Fellow, Author, Activist
After surviving a sexual assault in high school, Chessy became an activist and author, publishing her memoir and launching the #IHaveARightTo movement.
Chessy Prout is a high school sexual assault survivor. Raised in Japan, Chessy matriculated to St. Paul’s School‚Äîa boarding school in New Hampshire, where her father and sister attended. There, as a freshman, Chessy was the victim of a sexual assault. Chessy’s case and eventual trial garnered national and international media attention, as her assault was part of a ritual competition at the school called the “Senior Salute.” Two years later, in Chessy’s pursuit for justice, she decided to step forward publicly in August 2016 and launched the #IHaveTheRightTo initiative with the organization PAVE, for which she is an ambassador. In this initiative Chessy encourages survivors and others to assert their most important, basic rights, and uses her voice to let other survivors know that you are not alone.
Chessy Prout was an inspiration behind the A New Day x Vital Voices limited time Target collection.
Ariela experienced the pain of El Salvador’s violence firsthand. During the civil war, her father worked for the government and became a target for trying to secure a peace agreement. After a treaty was signed, Ariela’s teenage brother was kidnapped and held ransom for over a year. While her brother was being held, Ariela was attending college in the U.S. She graduated and made a name for herself as a fashion editor in New York. She returned to El Salvador in 2011. “Coming back was not easy, but after so much suffering I wanted to find a way to break the cycle of violence,” said Ariela.
Six years ago, Ariela established SEQUENCE, a handcrafted accessories company that exclusively employs young people who are most vulnerable to gang recruitment. Her main workshop is located in the town of Tepecoyo, on the outskirts of San Salvador. “Young men join gangs out of a need to survive, lack of opportunities and fear,” said Ariela. She’s already employed 46 young men and women. “At our workshop, we provide a safe working environment, and give staff access to the tools and opportunities they need to grow.”
SEQUENCE offers training and education opportunities, including basic computer lessons and graphic design. The social business also encourages and assists its young artisans with financial support to graduate from high school and earn a university degree. SEQUENCE products are sold globally online and through corporate partnerships and collaborations.
Focusing on prevention has become the key elementfor Ariela’s work. Last year she visited a high security prison in El Salvador, where she spoke to a crowd of thousands of incarcerated gang members. “I learned that the structure of violence creates an endless cycle that traps and disempowers young men. It reassured me that my purpose is to focus on youth before they embark on that violent path.”
In 2017, Ariela plans to expand her workshop and hire 30-40 new artists. She is also launching a university tour that will inspire young people to create social change through a for-profit model. “I continue to be inspired by the resilience, hopefulness and courage of our young artists. Our products are the economic engine that we use to create change and make a difference in the lives of our SEQUENCE family.”
In Tunisia, 27-year-old blogger Amira Yahyaoui has been a tireless advocate for freedom of expression for over a decade. She comes from a family of human rights activists; when she was 16, her father, a judge, was forced from his job for speaking out against then-President Ben Ali.
While still a teenager, Amira was tailed by secret police and beaten for her activism; ultimately, she sought refuge in Paris and was banned from her homeland for four years. Following her country’ s revolution, Amira became an independent youth candidate in Tunisia’ s first free election.
“Before, I was an activist against,” she says. “How can I now build? We have to engage ourselves as youth, and then engage the work.”
Amira created an NGO, Al Bawsala, which is monitoring the constitutional assembly and advocating for human rights. She also launched the Tunisian Parliament Monitor to protect the free expression of the Tunisian people. As she says, “We have this huge responsibility to show to the world, and to the Arab world, that we can succeed. Even if we are focusing in Tunisia, we are doing it for the entire region.”
The A New Day + Vital Voices pieces at Target were designed to capture their strong and confident spirit, inspired by the very items that build their confidence and help them tackle the challenges ahead. Find out more at www.target.com/anewday+vitalvoices.