The historical event #BloggersGiveBack took place at the FIT Design Entrepreneurs Collaborative on Nov. 13, 2018.

A highly curated and diverse group of 200 of New York City’s top influencers and bloggers including Jessica Markowski, Lynn Anna, Laura Arumugam and Sophie Turner. Models, celebrities, modelling and PR agencies, media and brands with a combined global reach of well over 20 million, have come together to provide clothing donations to Housing Works and in partnership with the media, redefine the terms “Blogger/ Influencer” as being someone who only works for their own benefit, to being someone who can affect positive change in society. 

That powerful last statement is what hooked my interest in this project/event. As someone who has grown up in an internet-infused generation, I was relieved to see a positive message about the subject. It is not often that we are told the positive influences in or about the media. My generations and future generations to come have endless access to blogs, articles, video blogs (vlogs) and so on. These may seem harmless but they do shape the person watching. They have an invisible power and agenda that is injected into your mind every time you read or watch.

That last statement mentioned that usually these ‘Bloggers/Influencers are seen as people who only work for themselves’. The rest of this article goes to show that this does not have to be the case. The power they hold can ignite a change that would start influencing people for the better.

Bloggers Give Back was formulated through recognizing a need for applying a social responsibility, diversity and sustainability component to Blogging/ Influencer Marketing.      

Bloggers have a reputation in society as being selfish and narcissistic and this simply isn’t the truth. Participants gathered together to change the conversation. 

The celebrity-infused subject matter expert panel discussion was led by event co-producers Catherine Schuller, renowned diversity fashion event curator of Runway the Real Way, Sarah Hamel-Smith plus-sized model and digital influencer at True Model Management and Urszula Makowska, actress, influencer and social media expert. 

Panelists included Nev Schulman the host of MTV’s show Catfish, creative director Laura Perlongo, Khrystyna Kaz winner of America’s Next Top Model, Chrissy Monroe founder of Survive to Thrive Global and VH1’s show Love and Hip Hop, Kahlil Martin NYC socialite and CEO of D17 Productions Management Corp, Kristen Luong designer of sustainable fashion line KROMAGNON and Scarlett Hao the first Chinese curvy fashion influencer.

Participants discussed the importance of diversity, sustainable fashion practices as well as ways to awaken the social responsibility component in influencer marketing/ blogging.

Here are some quotes from the event and the people who attended:

“#BloggersGiveBack is a brilliant idea that I hope continues to grow and help young people understand the potential they have to make positive change.” – Nev Schulman, executive producer and host of MTV’s Catfish.

“A great night for a great initiative. Proud to be part of such an inspiring community of content creators taking the time to invent new ways to give back.” – Laura Perlongo, women’s advocate, host and creator of Facebook’s We Need to Talk.

“With the implosion of social media, we have shifted from a consumption based to an interactive based media paradigm. For the first time in history, people are able to tell their own stories to mass audiences. The event has awakened bloggers and influencers to their power to utilize their voices to affect positive social change.” – Sarah Hamel-Smith.          

“Today, we are here to thank those who have supported us from the beginning and to give back to the community we are a part of, but also to do make a positive change with our voices utilizing social media to assist those in need. We have the voices. We have the power. We have the influence. We have the social media presence. Let’s do something positive together.” – Urszula Makowska.

“In the spirit of gratitude and sharing, we have come together to create an uplifting and joyous event to deliver a strong message about unity and caring.” – Catherine Schuller.

We had an event that had a purpose. Sometimes through all of our ups and downs, we forget how important it is to help. Help others in need. I was certainly very proud to have been invited to such a powerful movement!” – Jessica Markowski

It is great to see such positive comments from this event and I hope to see more of them in the future. The world and the people on it need to realize the positive impact they can make. #BloggersGiveBack

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