The Vision Council Raises $38,000 Through 'Open Your Eyes' Frame Vendue Auction

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council is pleased to announce that the organization’s Open Your Eyes Frame Vendue auction has raised $38,100 for the Equal Justice Initiative and My Brother's Keeper Alliance The week-long virtual auction featured frames with special significance, including one-of-a-kind or never released designs; high demand but discontinued designs; and iconic frames that speak to a moment in eyewear history, designed by leading independent designers. Additionally, several of the participating designers have pledged their intent to match the winning bids with their own donation.

The bidding kicked off on Friday, June 19 during a virtual happy hour hosted by Tarrence Lackran, director of partnerships and programming for The Vision Council, and the participating eyewear designers, and continued until Friday, June 26.

“I am filled with emotion to see how much support the frame vendue received from both participating designers and all who placed bids,” said Lackran. “The success of this initiative shows that there are many people in optical who are ready to see a change in the representation of black people in this world and in this industry. I personally am committed, with the support of The Vision Council, to put forth an agenda that amplifies voices that have been underrepresented in our industry.”

“We are always looking for new ways that we can help the causes we believe in and fighting the inequalities against the black community is definitely one of them. This is why we took this first step in donating a frame that means so much to me personally,” said Ahlem Manai-Platt , founder and designer at AHLEM Eyewear who donated the one-of-a-kind frame that earned her the runner-up spot in the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award which later launched her business.

Participating companies include: AHLEM, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Barton Perreira, Blake Kuwahara, Cazal, Christian Roth, Jacques Marie Mage, l.a.Eyeworks, Morgenthal Frederics & Robert Marc NYC, Nico Roseillier, Rigards, Selima Optique, and Thierry Lasry.

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI also produces research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform.

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK) leads a cross-sector national call to action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. The MBK Alliance was established to address the persistent opportunity gaps and social inequalities that are rooted in structural and institutional racism.

Additional questions can be directed to Tarrence Lackran at tlackran@thevisioncouncil.org.