Archive for June, 2015

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 20 – Samuel Leadismo, 30, Kenya

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our twentieth “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Samuel Leadismo from Kenya.

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The Dad Bio

My name is Samuel Siriria Leadismo. I’m the Founder and Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation whose mission is to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced childhood marriages of girls in the Samburu and Maasai communities in Kenya. We sponsor girls who attend private secondary boarding schools. I’m originally from Samburu County, Kenya, from the Samburu tribe, Black Cattle clan. The Samburu tribe is nomadic – moving from one place to another with their livestock searching for greener pastures. I’m a role model, advisor, and counsellor in our villages, always encouraging my fellow youth to continue their education. I’m working against early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by actively promoting childhood and adult education amongst my community members.  I attained a higher Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Zetech University. I’m a proud dad of a 4 year old daughter. 

Samuel Leadismo 1

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

One of the things I love most about being a dad is watching my child put to use the lessons that I’ve taught her. I feel so proud of my daughter when she does the little things without anyone telling her to do them – things such as helping clean up the house at the age of four, or just saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ When that happens, and I don’t have to tell her, I know she has learned that lesson for life.  She can make me cry when I have to go out of town for work.

My favourite thing about being a father is that I can work hard every day to leave this world a better place for my daughter and the community I work with.  Being a dad softens my heart, and makes me instantly more accountable and responsible to the world around me.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My dad is a polygamist and lived far from us, so it was my mother who influenced my life the most through kindness, compassion, integrity, calmness even in the face of extreme challenges, passion for life, humour, and unconditional love. During my mother’s last year, she asked me to guide and educate my younger sisters, and to fight for the right of all girls to enjoy the opportunities she didn’t have. I am proud of myself, our community, and the work we do through The Pastoralist Child Foundation.

Two other women have also influenced my life. One is Blake Valin, an American woman living in West Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I met her when she visited Kenya in 2005. She taught me how to be patient, understanding, and to fight for what I believe in. She paid all my high school and university fees, and helped my family. She taught me to never give up!

The other is Sayydah Garrett, the Founder and President of Pastoralist Child Foundation, who gave me the confidence to found our Pastoralist Child Foundation. We sponsor girls in high school, and offer community workshops to end FGM and child marriages.  We teach about teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, self-awareness, self-esteem, sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, sanitation, and the importance of formal education here in Kenya.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

I believe men and boys can play a role in preventing and stopping violence against women. Men can join women and girls in challenging violence and oppression globally and help create a place where people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, and communities can learn and feel safe by listening and caring for each other.

Some of the ways in which they can do this include connecting with other men and boys about their experiences with violence and with privilege and coming together with an agreement of honesty and respect by putting aside fears, and creating a culture where we practice understanding rather than winning, communication rather than fighting, sharing rather than defending.

I really love working towards ending violence against women because women changed my life by educating me, raising me and believing in me.  I hope many men can take this message to another level so that they can see the necessity of ending violence against women. I’m doing this through my charity work and am seeing progress as men in my community are moved by my ideas about ending violence.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Jana Stanfield, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our thirteenth featured artiste is Jana Stanfield. You’ve heard Jana Stanfield’s music on 20/20, Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, the movie “8 Seconds”, and radio stations across the US. Her compositions are sung by Reba McEntire, Andy Williams and others, and Jana has shared stages with fellow performers ranging from Kenny Loggins to The Dixie Chicks. Known as “The Queen of Heavy Mental,” Jana describes her music as “psychotherapy you can dance to.” For the past 15 years, Jana has made her living as a Keynote speaker at conferences and corporate events. She is a charter member of the international Positive Music Association which promotes Positive music artists and Positive music as a distinct genre of music. To learn more about Jana, follow her on Facebook or check out her videos on YouTube.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Jana-Stanfield-3Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

As a singer-songwriter I’m grateful to have a way to speak to many people at once, through the music. If music is well-written, it can deliver a message that enlightens people in a compelling way without being preachy. That is always my goal.

It’s been said that, “Hurt people…hurt people.” Many believe that abusers come from homes where they were abused and their mothers were abused. We’ve got to do all we can to stop this cycle in THIS generation, and I’m grateful to The Pixel Project for spearheading this worthwhile endeavor.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Ending violence is important to me because I don’t believe than any human being should be intentionally harmed. I believe people should be respected and cared for, not injured until they submit to another person’s will.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music has the power to influence people’s opinions, the way that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”. We know that phrase because it is in a song that many children learn. When we learn messages in song, the messages stick, and they last a long time, and it’s time that we use all the means we have to educate people that it’s time to end violence against women.

What actions can music artistes take to help end violence against women?

At one time, people thought it was okay to beat their children in front of others, as though that was normal. It is no longer normal, and the same goes for violence against women. It is not normal, and not tolerable before the eyes of others, or behind closed doors. As more and more of us speak up, and share messages in our songs that empower women, it will become more and more abnormal to find out that violence toward women is still happening. I look forward to that day.

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 19 – Peter Rock, 47, USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our nineteenth “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Peter Rock from the USA.

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The Dad Bio

Peter Rock was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and now he lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two fierce young daughters, Ida (8) and Miki (6).  The author of six novels, most recently The Shelter Cycle and My Abandonment, and a story collection, The Unsettling, he has several works forthcoming, including the novel Klickitat and his novel-within-photographs, Spells.  He is also a professor, teaching fiction and non-fiction writing in the English Department at Reed College.

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

Watching the girls learn (e.g. How to read… and getting lost in books – amazing!). Also watching them wonder, hearing their questions—the way they apprehend the world, without the clutter of too much opinion and experience is an inspiration.

There are so many best things:  another one is just how bewildering and impossible it is, how I am always a little out of my depth, trying to figure out what is the right thing to do with them, to tell them—this relentless challenge is at once terrifying and vivifying.

And I just like the simple, instinctual way they reach out to hold my hand when we’re walking together.  Like that is a natural thing to do.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My father has always been devoted to my mother—sometimes embarrassingly so—and in that way served as an example of how to be in a long-term relationship.  He also coached soccer throughout my childhood, perhaps most notably for my sisters’ teams, and his advocacy for and interest in women’s sports was something I learned from.  Simply watching how his expectations of my sisters—in sports, academics, life—were no different than those he held for me and my brother:  that informed me.

Also, he was and is a huge proponent of daydreaming.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

I think this is a matter of being an example, but also being quick to question situations that are violent or tinged with violence or sexism.  This goes for situations out in the world, but also in terms of storytelling (as a person who writes and teacher of writing, I have many opportunities to raise these questions).

For me, it’s also a matter of demonstrating that being a person involves respecting all genders and identities, listening to them, to try not to be defensive or insecure.  I’m also married to a doctor who works long hours, so I tend to do the majority of the cooking and much childcare. So I believe that fluidity in “traditional gender roles” has also been an important learning experience for me, and a way in which I can advocate for similarities as opposed to differences.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Jake Roque, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our twelfth featured artist is  Jake Roque. Jake is a 19 year old Singer-Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Huntington Beach, California.  Driven by a passion for music, Jake taught himself to play multiple instruments and began writing songs, leading worship and performing at events in his hometown.  He has also grown an audience through the use of social media (YouTube and Vine), performed at venues like The House of Blues, Hollywood and been acknowledged for his talents from artists like Ed Sheeran, Colbie Caillat, Tyler Ward and more. Jake has a reputation for paying special attention to his fans and intends to release a debut original EP Summer of 2015. Check out Jake’s music via his YouTube channel and follow Jake on Twitter.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Jake Roque 1Tell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

My name is Jake Roque and I’m a 19 year old singer-songwriter/social media artist from Huntington Beach, California.  I have decided to take place in The Pixel Project’s Charity Concert because I want to use what I have been given to give back to great causes like the Pixel Project.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

Ending violence against women is important to me because I believe women deserve an exceptional level of love and respect from men, especially within the context of a relationship.  I’m honored to be making a stand to encourage others to work alongside the Pixel Project to end the various types of abuse that women experience.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

Music has an incredible power to influence those who listen.  Writing and performing music that is uplifting and speaks towards women in a positive light is important because repetition of an idea in music does affect one outlook on life.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Music artists can use the influence their music has on others to shape a positive view of treating others the way they want to be treated and artists can raise awareness and funds to help stop injustices in the world.

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 18 – Matt Hellman, 41, USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our eighteenth “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Matt Hellman from the USA.

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The Dad Bio

Matt Hellman has been an attorney for 15 years, having previously worked for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice. He is now the Executive Director of New Directions, the Domestic Abuse Shelter and Rape Crisis Center of Knox County, Ohio (http://newdirectionsshelter.org/). Along with his wife, Jill, who is the Director of Residential Life and Assistant Dean at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, he is the parent to three young children: a daughter (12), son (8), and daughter (4). They also have a dog who thinks that she is the fourth child. 

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

Bedtime stories, hearing the same joke many times over, family-night movies, zoo trips, Christmas morning, catching fireflies, lost teeth, artwork on the refrigerator, calming thunderstorm fears, smiley-face pancakes, leaf-pile jumping, snowman building. Being a dad, or a mom, is one of the hardest things someone can do, but it can also be the most rewarding.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My father and mother have been married for over 40 years. Having been married for over 15 years, I can appreciate what that means; the good, fun, and happy times are sometimes intermixed with low points that are tough and sad. But my father, along with my mother, was willing to work through those challenges because they valued each other and the family unit.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

It is not enough for fathers and other men to simply not commit violence against women. Instead, one must look to the model being urged on college campuses of active bystanders. We need to use our knowledge, influence, and positions to ensure that we work to stop the violence that is being committed as well as advocate for the prevention of future violence so that persons of all genders, sexual orientations, races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses can lead violence-free lives.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Harold Payne, USA

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our eleventh featured artist is  Harold Payne is a multi-platinum songwriter whose soulful uplifting songs and husky heartfelt vocals have graced stages around the world. He has written songs for such diverse artists as Rod Stewart, Patti Labelle, Kelly Rowland, and Carlos Santana —literally from Peter Paul and Mary to Snoop Dogg. The launch of Harold’s Power of Positive Music series led him to performing with motivational speakers like Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Jim Cathcart (The Acorn Principal) & countless others. Most recently, Payne has been using his creative custom and improv song talents for organisations like National Speakers Association and Contagious Optimism Live. Learn more about Harold at www.haroldpaynemusic.com.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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Harold PayneTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I am a performing songwriter specialising in positive, uplifting music for entities like Contagious optimism live, empower music and arts (Posi Music Fest), and the Awakened World Film Festival. I also create custom and improv songs for conferences and special events.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?                                            

I believe that everyone on this planet deserves basic human rights and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. We need to lend our support in places where these rights and  opportunities don’t already exist.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?      

An inspiring and uplifting song can give hope and strength in the darkest hours or say something in a way that touches, moves or comforts someone to let them know that they are not alone. It can also encourage others to rally behind such an important cause.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Music artists can write songs that shine a light on the plight of those affected by these conditions & perform for events that champion this cause. Even the smallest steps can start a chain reaction in the right direction.

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 17 – Luke K., 35, USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our seventeenth “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad is Luke K. from the USA.

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The Dad Bio

I’m a pilot in the military, I play guitar and I’m a dad to an adorable little 1-year-old girl. My daughter is spunky and hilarious and, as someone very accurately described her, willful. She makes me smile every single day and absolutely completes our family. I can’t wait to see what kind of person she grows up to be. I’ll love her no matter what, but if I had my choice, she’d be a kickass rock star. 

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

I want to say the best thing is to come through the door at the end of the day and my daughter has this big smile on her face and she crawls at lightning speed toward me. You can’t beat that. But on a deeper level, the best thing about being a dad is watching my daughter grow up before my eyes and realising you can have a positive impact on her life. I love helping her learn new things—little things like how to turn on a light switch, play catch with a ball, stick her tongue out, or identify where her nose is. The look of excitement when she gets it – being a part of that is amazing.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

My dad taught me that you treat others with respect. It was just automatic. I could see it in how he treated my mom and my sister—he was always very caring and loving, and he’d talk them up all the time.

He was in the military, and when he’d come home from a three- or six-month long deployment, he would say how proud he was of my mom, being able to take care of the household. He would always say how smart my sister was. Subconsciously, I know I picked up on that. You can build women up with words.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

If I have a son someday, I’ll teach him that women are strong. This notion that you can say, “You throw like a girl” or doing something “like a girl” has a negative connotation—that’s just incorrect. Those kinds of statements promote the idea that men are superior to women, and I don’t support that.

It’s also teaching boys to have courage when they’re in very male-dominated situations when men tend to talk about women like objects, like sports teams or the military. It’s teaching boys to have the courage to stand up and offer a different opinion, to change the direction of the conversation rather than just going along with what everyone is saying. 

“30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015: Interview 16 – Nick Salvadore, 35, USA

Welcome to The Pixel Project’s “30 For 30″ Father’s Day Campaign 2015! In honour of Father’s Day, we created this campaign:

  • To acknowledge the vital role Dads play in families, cultures and communities worldwide.
  • To showcase good men from different walks of life who are fabulous positive non-violent male role models.

Through this campaign, we will be publishing a short interview with a different Dad on each day of the month of June.

This campaign is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2015 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.

Our sixteenth “30 For 30″ 2015 Dad, courtesy of our partner Name.com, is Nick Salvadore from the USA.

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The Dad Bio

My name is Nick Salvadore. I’m a software engineer at Name.com, where I’ve worked for the past three and a half years. I enjoy watching baseball, eating cookies, and slowly fixing up our 90 year-old house that we have owned for nine months. The majority of my free time is spent playing with my son and daughter; usually wrestling in the living room or kicking around a ball in the back yard.

1. What is the best thing about being a dad?

The best thing about being a dad is coming home to two smiling kids who are almost jumping out of their skin because they are so happy to see me.

2. A dad is usually the first male role model in a person’s life and fathers do have a significant impact on their sons’ attitude towards women and girls. How has your father influenced the way you see and treat women and girls?

I inherited my dad’s introverted personality, which probably explains why I ended up as a software engineer. I’ve spent the majority of my life intimidated to talk to anybody, especially women. I think the big impact my father had on my views of women was watching him interact with my mom. He was always very respectful and occasionally would surprise her with little things or with gestures that showed he cared. Like all married couples, they would argue occasionally, but there was never any name calling and both would let the other fully voice their opinions and views.

3. Communities and activists worldwide are starting to recognise that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. How do you think fathers and other male role models can help get young men and boys to take an interest in and step up to help prevent and stop violence against women?

I think the best method is to simply lead by example. It can be little gestures like opening car doors for their mothers or holding open a door at the store for a woman who has her arms full. It’s always amazed me how one small event can have a giant impact if it occurs at the right moment.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Hannah Wondmeneh, Canada

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our tenth featured artist is Hannah Wondmeneh. Hannah Wondmeneh is a singer/song-writer from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, a suburban city right outside of Toronto. Hannah grew up singing in church, started taking piano lessons at age 5 and wrote her first song at 9. For as long as she can remember, music has been the way that she expresses herself and connects to those around her. Currently a university student, she plans to pursue her music dreams full time after she graduates. For now, Hannah uses her YouTube channel as a creative outlet for covers and originals in her Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop influenced sound.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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HeadshotTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

I’m an aspiring musician singer/songwriter as well as a university student studying journalism and human rights. Whether through journalism or music, I want to give a voice to the voiceless and make a positive impact on the life of others. Being a part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was a no brainer.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

As an advocate for human rights, which of course includes women’s rights, it becomes very obvious that ending violence against women is such a vital part to healing families and communities cross-culturally. It’s an issue that is so widespread and common and so incredibly harmful.

As I get older more and more women around me have become victims and the issue becomes that much more real to me. I don’t want to hear anymore new stories. That’s why ending violence against women is so important to me.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

I think music is amazingly powerful in its ability to spread ideas, encourage understanding and create unity. It can help people know that they’re not alone and give people the courage to speak out. And that speaking out is really what is needed to end any kind of injustice. When it comes to violence against women, I think it’s about giving victims the courage to speak out and inspiring allies to raise their voices.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

As a musician I’m very conscious of the kind of effect I could have and choosing whether or not to make that something positive and meaningful. Speaking out against these kinds of injustices is exactly what I want to do with any platform I’m blessed to be given.

Supporting organisations like The Pixel Project, creating songs with empowering messages and telling difficult stories can help to make a difference and end violence against women. Be vocal about what matters, that’s the power of music.

The “Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert” Interview – Haley Blais, Canada

As part of The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert, we talk to the music artists who have participated in the concert about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women. 

Our ninth featured artist is Haley Blais. Haley Blais is a lonely musician dreaming of puppies and residing currently in Vancouver, BC. She can be found strumming on her ukulele whilst singing songs about breakups she never had, or looking up pictures of Harry Styles on Google. She has been praised for her lyricism and compared to the likes of First Aid Kit for her soft, fluttering vocals. When she’s not making music, she has a web series where she stars as herself every Wednesday on YouTube. Haley lives on the internet and sometimes in real life. You can follow her and her adventures on Twitter.

The Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert was held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide.

Donations begin at just US$1 and while the Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert Indiegogo fundraiser is still running from June 5th to July 5th 2015, donors can donate to get exclusive music and artist goodies ranging from personal Skype concerts to treat bundles for the serious music lover.

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unnamedTell us about yourself and why you have decided to take part in The Pixel Project’s Music For Pixels Summer Charity Concert.

My name is Haley and I’m a musician from Vancouver, BC. When I was contacted by The Pixel Project I was excited to get behind and raise money in attempts to support this great cause and bring awareness to the subject of violence towards women.

Why is ending violence against women important to you?

This is like asking why food is important to me – because it just is. Because I’m a woman, a decent human being who believes in equal rights and treatment of all people.

In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?

I think music is relatable for everyone – it’s a universal language. In my opinion, the thought that music could help end violence against women is a dream, but it will take much, much more than that.

In the meantime I believe music can inspire women to feel empowered and inspired.

What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?

Artists, especially those in the spotlight, can bring a subject like this to light and inspire others to as well through their music and the message portrayed, or supporting a specific charity. Artists can influence and inspire people/fans of all ages to become more aware on the subject of domestic abuse, etc.