Michael Stars stands for more than just a great tee. Early on, our co-founders, Michael Cohen & Suzanne Lerner, recognized that the women and girls buying their clothing were not just customers. In Suzanne’s words, “they are our daughters, sisters, mothers, and aunts – our society’s emotional and economic backbone.” The Michael Stars Foundation was founded in 2005 to support the company’s vision of creating an equal world where women feel confident and empowered to use their voice.
Nearly 15 years later, the Foundation has funded millions of dollars to support grassroots organizations providing critical pathways to equality in the United States and around the world. These pathways include access to mentorship, education, and economic opportunity. Since the introduction of our men’s line in 2014, the Foundation has become more invested in the role men play in solving the gender-based issues that Michael Stars and Suzanne have been supporting for years.
Right now, due to COVID-19, we are providing $10,000 grants to our most vulnerable communities. Each month, we are focusing on a different organization and cause that needs these direct funds to help offset effects of the pandemic.
Scroll down to learn more about some of our partner organizations and the work we have done together.
The Poor People’s Campaign is a grassroots organization led by Reverend William J. Barber. Having first been organized by Martin Luther King Jr., The Poor People’s Campaign is a national call for moral revival. Their goal is to wake the nation to the injustices facing the 140 million poor and low-income people in America — 43% of the country.
Justice for Migrant Women – along with Hispanics in Philanthropy – launched a COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund to provide emergency aid to the hard-hit farmworker community. Funds will help provide help provide food, diapers, rent assistance and emergency relief to the at-risk workers whose labor brings food to our tables across the nation.
FreeFrom creates pathways to financial security and long-term safety for survivors of gender-based violence. As cases of domestic abuse skyrocketed during stay-at-home orders, the organization set up a COVID-19 Safety Fund that will get $250 cash grants directly into the hands of those who need it to stay safe and pay for their basic needs.
One Fair Wage launched an emergency fund to support service workers affected by the Coronavirus and economic downturn. The fund will provide free, cash assistance to restaurant staff, delivery drivers and other tipped workers who were already struggling financially and are bearing the brunt of this crisis.
Actress and Founder of Joyful Heart Foundation, Mariska Hargitay, pictured with celebrity supporters in their Michael Stars & JHF collection tees
Transforms society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end violence forever. Since 2010, Michael Stars has partnered with Joyful Heart and its founder, actress Mariska Hargitay, on a collection of tees that raise awareness and funds for the organization.
Step Up teens at the Michael Stars Headquarters in Hawthorne, CA
Propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound and career-focused women. Since 2015, Michael Stars and its employees have helped support over 2,220 Los Angeles teens get the mentorship they need to become the next generation of professional women.
Co-Founder, Suzanne Lerner, at the 2018 Children Mending Hearts ‘Empathy Rocks’ gala
Combats bullying and intolerance by inspiring empathy in children through art and service-learning programs. Over the past three years, Michael Stars has partnered with Children Mending Hearts to help expand their arts education and anti-bullying workshops, reaching over 30,000 students in 1,200 classrooms around the world.
Co-Founder & A Call to Men Board Member, Suzanne Lerner, with Michael Stars staff
Educates men all over the world on healthy, respectful manhood. On Father’s Day, the Michael Stars team joined A Call to Men in their campaign to inspire healthy manhood around the world. According to Suzanne, ‘healthy manhood means standing side-by-side with women, so that we can all move forward together.’