From a true friendship…
The friendship between Christian Louboutin, Idris and Sabrina Elba is one of laughter, joy and mutual respect. Upon meeting several years ago the trio struck an instant kinship that goes beyond public appearances, one that is built on solidarity and shared values.
… to a worldwide initiative
The “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” collection was launched in June 2021 as a response to the global outcry against systemic racism and social injustice. Sabrina & Idris Elba and Christian Louboutin collaborated to imagine a dedicated capsule collection from which 100% of the proceeds from sales were donated to five incredible organizations supporting social equality across the world.
Instigating meaningful change and measuring the genuine impact of the donation was at the heart of the initiative for the Elbas and Christian Louboutin who imagined the initiative to support specific grassroot programs.
Thanks to the incredible support, more than €1 million has been raised in the first season and redistributed amongst the humanitarian relief charities identified by the three friends for their importance and impact to equality and their communities.
This first season was channelled into co-creating an uplifting two-chapter collection. The collection featured styles showcasing Strelitzia reginae “Mandela’s Gold” a beautiful plant that has come to symbolise empathy, hope and freedom Another highlight is the powerful statement Walk A Mile In My Shoes.
“The Walk a Mile in My Shoes campaign with Christian Louboutin, Sabrina Elba and Idris Elba was a miracle of its kind that came at the right time when love was needed everywhere around the world.”
—Rosaline Bangura, Executive Director, Be Rose International Foundation
“Thanks to the Walk a Mile in My Shoes funding we’ve received, Purposeful was able to pilot our very first Mentors Academy in Sierra Leone. We brought together fifty incredible young women mentors, and the convening centered on their healing, joy, solidarity, consciousness raising, and collective action.“
—Annie Murthi, Director of Finance and Operations, Purposeful
“We are very proud to be part of the incredible Walk a Mile in My Shoes initiative, and thanks to the funds raised from the collection we have been able to create new opportunities for young people to share their stories and have their voices heard. Our series of short films, ‘Walk in my Shoes,’ gave young people a platform to share the racial and social injustices they have experienced from authority figures such as teachers and police, as well as exploring their hopes for the future.”
—Jo Carter, Artistic Director, Immediate Theatre
“The Walk a Mile in My Shoes grant has played an important role in the sustainability of the Somali Hope Academy for the 2021-22 academic year. It is covering the enrollment costs for 402 of the 840 students.”
—Debra Frazer, Vice President Somali Hope Foundation
”We are grateful for the support of Christian Louboutin and Idris and Sabrina Elba. With the investment from Walk a Mile in My Shoes, The Gathering for Justice is building a Youth Justice Council, a platform for long-term, youth-led advocacy to reduce youth admission to detention facilities and prisons, increase alternatives and support release, while addressing other intersecting issues that impact the lives of Black and Brown young people in the US.”
— Carmen Perez, President & CEO, The Gathering for Justice
For Christian and the Elbas it was essential to use their positions to champion organisations who are already creating an unbelievable difference to those within their communities.
ABOUT THE CHARITIES
Proceeds from the Season I have supported Justice University, an intergenerational, intersectional and intercultural movement school for the 21st century, organized by The Gathering for Justice. The curriculum is designed to deepen social thought while also uplifting people who've been directly-impacted by injustice as the experts and teachers. Whether it's courses in Black liberation, Chicana feminism, organizing 101 or Kingian Nonviolence, the Justice University curriculum provides a foundational basis and connection to the legacy of the past needed in order to move forward collectively.
Proceeds the Season I have supported the Karo Kura Girls Circles across Sierra Leone. Girls Circles is a young women mentor led safe space program that supports 15,000 of the country’s most marginalised girls – including teenage mothers and girls living in very rural areas without school access. The initiative is underpinned by the Karo Kura media platform, a weekly radio drama and talk show rooted in Sierra Leonean culture that is changing beliefs and behaviours about girlhood a scale. The radio content is accessed by girls and mentors in the safe spaces of specially distributed smartphones, and by an additional 500,000 community members across the country.
Proceeds from the Season I have supported the Somali Hope Academy, founded in 2012 in Bursalah, Somalia to provide free education to the over 700 students enrolled. In 2021, they are celebrating their first graduating class. Proceeds have also been directed to their Community Education Committee (CEC) which works with local groups to offer a range of programs that includes CPR/First Aid, basic adult education, vocational training, health and hygiene courses, assistance with disaster relief, breakfast programs, and a well to provide clean water.
Proceeds from the Season I have supported Be Rose’s Flagship Free Breakfast program in Sierra Leone to ensure a nutritional morning meal for students whose parents cannot afford the expense. It will also support the Agribusiness program for widows, an empowerment project aimed to achieve two broad objectives; uplift the lives of widows and their families, and enhance food production to curb hunger, food insecurity, and poor health.
Proceeds from the Season I have supported Can I walk in your shoes? a multi-disciplinary arts production that will explore the hopes and dreams of young people living in poverty in Hackney, East London and identify the barriers they face to achieving their aspirations. Using theatre, film, and social media youth will explore the still prevalent social injustices they experience, and in doing so they will identify a future that has purpose and prosperity.
We hope you enjoyed the
Walk A Mile In My Shoes Season I collection and we will continue to share the results of the initiative with you!