As LGBT equality, in particular gay marriage, dominates the airwaves, W Hotels Worldwide has rolled out a new fundraising and awareness initiative, “TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE”. The campaign, which combines W’s longstanding support of the LGBT community with the brand’s ongoing passion for music, includes appearances by Grammy® and Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson at a number of campaign events.
As part of the program, W Hotels around the country will host monthly TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE music events, in which a portion of proceeds will benefit the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Some events may even include surprise performances by Hudson.
The brand is also offering special room packages Hotels and Retreats across the United States. For each package booked, W Hotels will donate $10 to HRC as well as a one-year membership to HRC for participating guests.
Finally, with the launch of a “robust” social media campaign (#whrc and #lovehasnolimit) led by W Hotels, HRC and Hudson, W hopes to bring real and lasting change for LGBT Americans in all 50 states.
“W Hotels has always been ‘out’ about our support of the LGBT community, and we believe that equality, love and marriage are crucially important issues to many Americans, including our W Talent, our guests and our local communities,” said Anthony Ingham, Vice President, North America Brand Management, W Hotels Worldwide. “As someone who benefited from New York’s Marriage Equality Act, I personally believe that everyone in this country should be able to marry whomever he or she loves. We’ve recently seen incredible momentum around this issue, and we at W are proud to stand up alongside all of our guests in the fight for equality across the nation.”
To kick off the partnership, Jennifer Hudson performed at a TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE launch event at W New York – Union Square. She may also make surprise performances at select TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE events around the country. In addition, Hudson has committed a portion of the proceeds from downloads of her forthcoming “I Still Love You” remix single to the HRC on behalf of TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE.
“I owe a large part of my success to the LGBT community, who has embraced and supported me from early on in my career,” said Hudson. “That is why I am thrilled to join forces with W Hotels and HRC to use the power of music to promote LGBT equality. We have come a long way in such a short time, but now it’s time for the final push, perhaps the hardest one of all, to legalize same sex marriage and broader equality across the entire country. It’s time to ‘turn up’ the volume on this crucial human rights issue.”
Following the launch, TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE events will be held regularly at all W destinations in the US during the first week of every month. Open to both guests and locals, these events will also serve as fundraisers with a portion of proceeds from each event being donated to HRC. Through 2014, the percentage of funds will be determined by the number of states that allow same-sex marriage, and the percentage will increase each time marriage equality comes to a new state.
As a longtime supporter of HRC as well as many other LGBT advocacy groups, W Hotels are known as an LGBT friendly-lifestyle brand and is a top destination for same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies around the country and the world. In fact, in 2011, the W Hotels in New York City were the first to offer same-sex wedding packages when New York State passed marriage equality. W Hotels was the first hotel brand to have a presence in New York’s famed Gay Pride Parade and the brand has continuously offered unique LGBT package experiences since its debut in 1998.
TURN IT UP FOR CHANGE