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"When we invest in women, we invest in communities," says Lauren Conrad

By Aili Nahas
March 01, 2021 02:10 PM
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Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla
Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty

After a year fraught with heartbreak and unprecedented loss in the global community, The Little Market co-founders Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla are determined to be forces for good — and change.

"With the pandemic, the global movement for racial justice and #MeToo, we have a rare opportunity to make systemic change," says Skvarla, who with Conrad founded the non-profit online marketplace benefitting female artisans around the world in 2013. "We need to work as hard as we've ever worked not to lose this opportunity."

Adds Conrad: "It is more important than ever to support women. When we invest in women, we invest in communities."

In lieu of The Little Market's annual luncheon celebrating International Women's Day, the organization is launching a virtual speaker series, Conversations with Changemakers, beginning March 8.

"We created Conversations with Changemakers to raise awareness about issues that impact women globally," says Skvarla of the panel, which features notables like Charlize Theron, Jane Fonda, author and activist Glennon Doyle, Black Mamas Matter co-founder Angela Doyinsola Aina and famed civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.

"We thought a lot about whose voices are often missing from the conversations," Skvarla continues. "And we built around the idea that the smartest, richest, most compelling conversations happen when people on the frontlines are leading them."

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The series is sponsored by Zacapa Rum and Primal Kitchen, with T-Mobile as presenting partner and ATTN: as media partner. "Their support amplifies the voices and stories in these compelling conversations," says Skvarla.

Ultimately, "to fight for women's equality, you have to be prepared to play the long game," she continues. "We always keep an eye out for where women are making progress — fewer women dying from preventable pregnancy-related causes, fewer girls forced into marriage and more women with decision-making power."

"Last year, The Little Market provided one million hours of dignified work for women who come from some of the most underserved communities," she adds. "The bigger we grow, the more women can help create a brighter future for their families."