H&M Partners with The Marsha P. Johnson Institute

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday August 5, 2022
Originally published on August 4, 2022

Elle Moxie & MJ Rodriguez at last year's event
Elle Moxie & MJ Rodriguez at last year's event  (Source:Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, affordable fashion giant H&M has partnered with The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, a non-profit organization that aims to protect and defend the human rights of Black transgender people.

Held this week at H&M locations in Columbus, Ohio and Dallas, Texas, approximately 20 LGBTQ+ students at each event will receive hair, makeup, styling, and a photo shoot in addition to a "fresh and fabulous for fall" shopping spree. Focusing on supporting Black trans and non-binary youth, the events hope to uplift students and instill confidence in advance of the start of the new school year.

"Now more than ever, LGBTQ+ youth, but particularly Black transgender teens and young adults, need our support," said MPJI Founder and Executive Director Elle Moxley via a press release. "We've strategically selected these locations to reach out, to be there for our community in places of the U.S. where attempts to erase the community are growing. Amidst the hate, these events bring a bright spot to our participants, so they feel more than seen, they feel loved, cherished, and celebrated for their inherent value. We are grateful to H&M for their continued support and commitment to serve the LGBTQ+ communities in meaningful ways."

In Columbus, Ren Davis, Resource Researcher for MPJI, and Phantazia "Tazer" Washington, MPJI National Strategic Program Coordinator, will participate in a fireside chat where they will share their experience in the Black and transgender communities and offer insight to the participating students.

In Dallas, actress, activist, and model Dominique Jackson will team up with H&M to show her support and participate in a second chat with Executive Director Elle Moxley, who will share her experience as a leading activist and organizer in the Black and transgender communities.

"I'm thrilled to support MPJI and H&M for this very important and needed event, as well as meet the youth of our community," said Jackson via a press release. "Now more than ever we need to show LGBTQ+ youth that they are seen, loved, and most of all supported."

H&M's partnership with MPJI is just the latest example of the retailer's ongoing commitment to equality for transgender and non-binary people. Through their support of The Trevor Project, the ACLU, the UN Free & Equal Campaign, and as a signatory on the Human Rights Campaign Business Statement Opposing Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation, they reaffirm their commitment to the community. Furthermore, H&M has made a generous donation to MPJI to support its mission of protecting and defending the human rights of Black transgender people.

"As a member of the LGBTQ+ Community, this partnership, as well as all the work being done by various groups that H&M helps to amplify, means so very much to me, our colleagues, and customers," said Carlos Duarte, President of H&M Americas, via a press release. "Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community and our rights is at the core of our values at H&M and we are proud to lend our support, now and in the future."