Starting in June 2020, the Ad Council and NowThis partnered to host livestream conversations about critical topics involving COVID-19 and America’s reckoning with systemic racism. We’ll continue to update our Facebook playlist as new livestreams occur each Wednesday at 1pm EST—follow us there so you won’t miss the next one.
Model and entrepreneur Kimberly E. Stone joined our weekly livestream to talk about problematic beauty standards she is fighting to dismantle. From colorism in the beauty and fashion industries to challenging implicit bias, the discussion served as a reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
In conjunction with Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, musician and content creator Bryce Xavier joined us for a conversation on the social responsibility that artists have, and the power of art and music to combat mental health issues. To close the livestream, we showed the “Whatever Gets You Talking” rap video from our Seize the Awkward campaign—Bryce stars in the video, which is about the importance of talking about mental health.
Chef, entrepreneur and TV personality Melissa King joined us to discuss the importance of identifying anti-Asian biases and protecting Asian Americans, who are facing a fierce spike in racism during the pandemic. Afterward we showed our “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias.” video from the Love Has No Labels campaign, which features King and spotlights the urgent need to advocate for API and minority communities.
Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church Jacqui Lewis discussed the best practices for hosting a productive anti-racist workshop in your home, community or workplace. Lewis suggests using art, such as films, as an accessible starting point for talking about racism. To foster successful workshops, she recommended creating a safe space for conversation, committing to being a lifelong student on racism in America, and actively seeking ways to dismantle it in our day-to-day lives. At the end of the livestream, we showed “The Choice,” a thought-provoking film from P&G, one of the Ad Council’s founding partners on the Love Has No Labels campaign.
Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, joined us for a conversation about the power and impact of young voices, from the impressive work of student-founded initiative The Decameron Project to using storytelling as a tool for students to connect during COVID-19. Thomas reminded us all to avoid being color blind and discussed the importance of recognizing the unique, individual lived experiences of Black people. To close out the livestream, we showed the Black Lives Matter film “Rest In Power, Beautiful,” a powerful PSA that pays tribute to the Black lives lost to police brutality.
Ann Murdoch, who is president of the Transgender American Veterans Association, joined us just before the Fourth of July to celebrate transgender veterans and active servicemembers for their sacrifices, courage, and ongoing fight for equality and inclusion. According to Murdoch, the suicide attempt rate for trans people is about 40%, and unfortunately, trans lives are still not viewed as equal by some today. To close out the livestream, we showed our Love Has No Labels “Fight for Freedom” PSA to remind Americans that the notion of freedom that many celebrate on the Fourth is not truly afforded to everyone in this country.
YouTuber Amber Whittington discussed the ways social media influencers can use their platform to educate young people, especially within the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. Whittington hopes to shift the prevalence of “cancel culture” to an “accountability culture” that encourages education and helps others understand why activism matters.
Transgender opera singer Breanna Sinclairé talked with us about the devastating rise in murders of Black people by police, and she also shed light on the epidemic of Black trans lives lost. Sinclairé emphasized the importance of representation on the screen so everyone can see LGBTQ+ folks as human beings.
As Pride month coincided with nationwide protests against police brutality, systemic racism and racial injustice, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, joined us to discuss the intersectionality of LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement. He paid homage to the pioneers who paved the way for the civil rights movement and emphasized the power of using your voice to create a path to the future.
Harvard professor Alan Jenkins joined our weekly livestream to discuss the role everyone has to play in fostering productive conversations about racism and inequality, and how to be a good ally in the Black Lives Matter movement. Professor Jenkins suggested that we all ask ourselves questions like: “Are you listening? Are you lifting up other people’s voices? What are you doing to lift up BIPOC voices around you? Are you acknowledging the privilege that you have?” For more questions to help you self-reflect, check out this page on our Love Has No Labels site.