Impact Stories: The Academy Selects
Michael Tubbs, Founder & Executive Chairman, Mayors For Guaranteed Income; J. Hogue, Director of Design and UX, Oomph Inc, Jamie Escott, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing, Bluehub Capital; Jodie Dolan, Founder, Dolan & The Laundry Truck LA; Otto Bell, Chief Creative Officer, Courageous Studios; Jodie Van Horn, Senior Director of the Play Movement Lab, Purpose; Zak Yuson, Senior Advocacy and Communication Specialist, Advocacy and Communication at the Lego Foundation Jim Connolly, Creative Director, BBDO; Amy Merill, Co Founder / Digital Director, Plan C; Liz Loudy, Creative Director, and Rafa Rizuto, Chief Creative Officer, BBH USA.
The Inaugural Winners analyzed their unique case studies for social justice and improvements for a better tomorrow.
As part of the Inaugural Anthem Awards Conference on February 28, 2022, the Special Achievement Honorees were brought together by Jessica Lauretti to recognize the impactful work of their organizations and brands.
- Michael Tubbs shares the inspiration behind his organization
- J. Hogue describes how design approaches can help increase trust among organizations
- Otto Bells project, One Billion and Beyond proves to have had a positive output on less priviliged communities
- The impressive statistics of The Laundry Truck LA are revealed by Jodie Dolan
- Jodie Van Horn states the mission of Play Movement Lab at Purpose and gives insight on the unique collab
- Harsh realities of gun violence are revealed by Jim Connolly through the ad campaign “Teenage Dream”
- Amy Merrill informs that Plan C is accessible through mail and Telehealth for all 50 states
- Liz Loudy gives the powerful meaning behind the glass portrait
Watch the full discussion:
Read the full transcript below:
Jessica Lauretti 2:42
Hi, everyone and welcome to the First Annual Anthem Voices Conference. My name is Jessica Lauretti and I’m the Managing Director of the Anthem Awards. I wanted to start off today, by saying a few things. First of all, congratulations to all of the winners, and our Special Achievement honorees for the Inaugural Anthem Award season. This is a really special moment as we recognize the work of organizations and brands and individuals all around the globe have been making in this inaugural year. During the day today, you will see many of our amazing winners, but you can view all of them on our website at anthemawards.com. I hope you’ll go and take a look at all of the important work and incredible projects. We’re so proud of what we’re building at the Anthem Awards. We’re really humbled by the positive response and the extraordinary support that we’ve seen in this first season. From global brands and national organizations, to artists, creators and local individuals making an impact in their community. It’s also been incredibly inspiring to see so many interesting and innovative projects from around the world. It’s truly our distinct honor to showcase and highlight this work and to recognize its impact across industries and issue areas. We launched this platform because social good has become a dominant force in mainstream culture. We want to show the world that all corners of our culture, from sports and entertainment, to business leaders and celebrities. We’re all standing up together to say that it is time for systemic change, and that social good is what we value as a society. The ceremony for the inaugural awards will be immediately following this event this evening at 5pm. You will be able to view that experience online at watch.anthemawards.com. It will be hosted by Jay Ellis and will feature appearances and call to action speeches from our special achievement honorees, Naomi Osaka, Adam McKay, Megan Rapinoe and Dr. Jane Goodall. There will also be appearances in speeches from Bindi Irwin and all of our amazing Anthem Award winners including Trevor Noah, the cast of Sesame Street, LeVar Burton, Robin Roberts, and many, many more. At this time, we want to stop and take a moment to say that while today is meant to be a day of hope, and inspiration and celebration for the entire impact community, we also recognize that we are living through tumultuous times. We want to say that we stand with the people of Ukraine. With the anti war movement around the world, we also want to acknowledge all of the journalists who are on the ground covering the conflict. Before we get started, I want to say a few thank yous, so thank you to all of our presenters, all of our presenters today are winners and the Inaugural Award and just thank you for the work that you do and for sharing your work with this community. We want to say thank you to the Omidyar Network for their support and sponsorship of this event today. We want to say thank you to Hopin who is our official event partner for helping us put together this conference. Thank you to all of our judges, the Anthem Academy for all of their work and selecting their winners, it’s so much time and dedication on their part. Finally, just to say thank you to the entire Anthem Awards team, there are so many people behind the scenes, doing this work every day organizing this community. Thank you for everything that you’ve done to bring together the conference and our ceremony this evening.
A few housekeeping remarks. Just want to go through. So really, as we were putting together what we wanted to do for this Inaugural Season and how we could really highlight and recognize all of our winners, we thought one of the best things that we could do is really bring together people from across issue areas and different industries, from brands and nonprofits, journalists, filmmakers, creatives, so many different kinds of people working on so many different kinds of issues. We want to bring them all together on one stage to share what they’re doing, share what’s working, to connect and network and, and help develop partnerships so folks can work together. We’re going to have throughout the course of the day, you can see the entire schedule. On the registration page, we have six panel sessions featuring many of our winners, and then we’ll have five fireside chats that we’ll have throughout the day. We’ll also be moving between stages. This first session will be on one stage, the next session will be on another, you’ll be receiving announcements in the chat. We’ll give you a link to tell you where to go. The chat is open, we have Olivia from our team who is there to moderate please keep that a positive space. Feel free to converse with other folks in the audience. Also, just to say please follow us on social share what is inspiring to you that you’re seeing in this content today, you can use the #anthemvoices when you share that stuff, and make sure you tag us so that we can share it as well. Then we have two scheduled breaks, you’ll find those in the schedule. Then just one final announcement was that we are conducting a contest today, which is that we are so honored to have happened as our official event partner for the First Annual Anthem Voices Conference. Hopins mission really exists to make the world feel closer. We want you to share in the chat, what is one thing that you are hoping to connect with today that could help you create more of an impact in your community. We will be looking at all of the answers to that question throughout the day. Then, we’ll have an exciting announcement later on. Okay, so with that, we are going to start our first session, just roll right into it. I’ll be moderating this first session called the academies to last. What we really want to just start off the day by doing is show everyone the real breadth of work that has been a part of this Inaugural Season. We have tons of different people working on tons of different issue areas all together on one panel to share this work. Let’s start by bringing everyone up and I’m going to introduce our panel before we get started. Hi. Hi friends. So many amazing humans all here today, doing really wonderful work
I’d love to start by just welcoming and introducing our panel. First we have Michael Tubbs, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Mayors for Guaranteed Income. We have Jay Hogue, Director of design and UX with Oomph Inc. Jamie Escott, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing at Blue Hub Capital. We have Otto Bell, Chief Creative Officer of Courageous Studios, Jody Dolan, founder of Dolan and the Laundry Truck LA. Jody Van Horn, Senior Director of the Play Movement Lab at Purpose, and Zak Yuson, Senior Advocacy and Communication Specialist, Advocacy and Communication at the Lego Foundation. Jim Connolly, Creative Director from BBDO, Amy Merrill, co-founder and Digital Director of Plan A, and Liz Loudy, Creative Director of BBH, USA and Rafa Ruzito, Chief Creative Officer of BBH, USA. So awesome. Thank you all so much for being here. In the first half of this session, we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to get the mic for two minutes and to share some brief case study and overview of the work that they were doing. First of all, congratulations to all of you for being Inaugural Winners. In the first half, each person will come up and give a presentation of their case study and then the second half we’ll have more of a conversation. We’ll get started with the first half. First up we have Michael Tubbs the Founder and Executive Chairman of mayor’s for guaranteed income.
Michael Tubbs 11:39
Thank you so much for having me, my name is Michael Tubbs. I’m the founder of Mayor Guaranteed Income, and also the architect behind the first Mayor lead guaranteed income pilot in the United States. When we talk about guaranteed income, we’re talking about something as fundamental as the notion that every human being on this planet deserves the opportunity to live with dignity. Every human being deserves the dignity of the economic floor, and the chance to live a life free from the scourge of poverty, of scarcity in a wrap. As someone who grew up as a child of a single mother, in poverty. I remember watching how hard my mother worked and worked and worked barely to get the inch ahead. I’m so excited now to be joined by 70 mayors in 27 states representing 26 million people. Leaving a national movement demanding basic dignity, dignity, an income floor for all people. The ability to breathe to fill this anxiety and to provide for the basic necessities needed to be a human. COVID-19 and the reckonings globally around ending white supremacy and racism have really centered the fact that far too many people in our country are needlessly suffering from lack and economic insecurity and from not having the agency to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. That’s the ethos behind mayor for guaranteed income. Mayors are the moral leaders of this country that can speak not just where we are where we shouldn’t be. We understand that this idea of a guaranteed income is deeply rooted in the American story from Thomas Paine to MLK to folks like Vice President Harris, who are all saying that folks need cash to build a floor to have a steady foundation to live the life of dignity we all deserve. We have a growing coalition of 70 mayor’s who are pushing this conversation forward with the premise so simple. Do you trust your neighbor to make good decisions with money like you would trust yourself?
Jessica Lauretti 13:36
Amazing, thank you so much, Michael. Next up, we have J. Hogue, Director of Design and UX at Oomph and Jamie Escott, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing at Blue Hub Capital with their project 1% for America.
- Hogue 13:53
Good morning, and thank you for having me. Congratulations to all the winners on this panel. 1% for America, or OPA is a nonprofit initiative built to remove financial barriers to US citizenship. Of the 9 million eligible U.S. immigrants as many as 8 million never apply. The 500 to $1,200 application fees force some to turn to credit cards or other high interest options. OPA wants to give this group a more ethical alternative to finance their citizenship. The online platform offers loans at 1% as well as financial education and community support. For borrowers there are no credit requirements in order to apply. For investors, they can donate or offer their support as a loan, which makes it possible to support even more borrowers. Crowdfunded and community supported, this project makes citizenship more attainable for millions of new Americans. Oomph and OPAs technology partners architected a platform that navigates complicated regulatory systems in the banking industry. The interface design simplifies the process but also provides flexibility to investors and borrowers on terms and payment methods. Our design approach aims to use color, typography and design elements to instill trust and authority for this new organization in a market where distrust is rampant. The results will fuel 50,000 or more loans and $500,000 in raised capital from small to large dollar investors in the first two years. From building cities, to developing new technologies to manning the front lines, and to launching small businesses that form the backbone of our communities. Immigrants have always fueled our economy. With 1% for America and a self sustaining community of borrowers and investors, more new Americans will complete their path to citizenship than ever before.
Jessica Lauretti 15:51
Amazing work thank you both for sharing. Next up, we have Otto Bell, Chief Creative Officer from Courageous Studios, with their project MasterCard, One Billion and Beyond.
Otto Bell 16:06
Hello, folks, good morning. Thanks for the chance to talk about this wonderful program. This was produced for MasterCard as part of their eagerness to bring 1 million people into the digital economy. There are far too many folks out there who are unbanked. The pressure that that puts on less privileged communities, especially on women is actually incredibly well documented. Just bringing people into a banking system can greatly alleviate pressures on their time, and resources. We went for this film project, we went as far afield as Tanzania, which during the pandemic was a hard thing to do. The film that I want to talk about today, and the film that the Anthem Awards specifically recognized was actually for our work much closer to home. In Harlem, MasterCard has partnered in Harlem with Grameen America. Grameen is a very well known organization giving out micro loans in India. I don’t think many folks are aware of the important work that they’re doing here in America. In one square mile in Harlem, we were able to find multiple examples of folks who are actively benefiting from this project. There was Sheila Black, who runs Lehi Clothing. There was Monet, who runs The Hair Hut, we had Lanice and Jeanine who are running Vegan Hood, all these folks are within blocks of each other up in Harlem, and are benefiting materially from the Grameen MasterCard joint initiative. This is a, this is a real project aimed at getting folks on to the banking ladder. There are no credit checks, There’s no collateral required for these loans. There’s not even a physical storefront that’s required. Sheila, this sort of compares our MC in the film, she runs her business from the back of a truck. So These are reels loans making a real difference to these folks, it also gets them into the credit systems, so they can go to a credit bureau and show that they have a track record of building credit. It’s all just based on social capital. The recommendation from a peer is enough to get you into the system and get you into banking. It was really just amazing to work on this important project. I will say. I think the films were made all the more powerful by having the right folks behind the camera. These films were made by a great Black Director here at Courageous names Akil Gibbons. They were sort of written and produced by folks who themselves had been locked out of the banking system in their early 20s and knew what that felt like. My hope is that that comes through in the body of work in the work in Tanzania, but also specifically, in the work in our own backyard here in New York up at home.
Jessica Lauretti 19:36
Awesome, thank you so much, Otto. Okay, next up we have Jody Dolan, founder of Dolan and the Laundry Truck L.A.
Jodie Dolan 19:48
Hi, good morning. I’m so honored to be here and I am the founder of Dolan, a longtime fashion brand turned premium scrubs brand for the healthcare profession. I’m also the founder of the Laundry Truck L.A. which is a mobile nonprofit providing free laundry for people experiencing homelessness. The common denominator here is just our commitment and our focus on dignity, community and self esteem. Dolan is focused on designing the very most comfortable scrubs, perfect fitting scrubs, using the most advanced technology and textiles allowing these incredible badass healthcare providers to feel strongly seen and considered working these long shifts. Through Dolan we’re able to enable a 1 for 1 model. For each scrub purchase, we do a pound of laundry. In 2019, after volunteering on Skid Row, and with a shower truck, I was able to understand some of the needs of this community and see the gaps in services and using the dorm platform and our relationships, I was able to develop a solution to deliver clean laundry which is an everyday human need. We designed and filter built our very first trailer equipped with five washers and dryers almost completely self sustainable, just needing a water source. We now have two trucks to date. We’ve completed over 158,000 pounds of laundry, we estimate we served around 10,000, folks, and we often hear our services really restore dignity and humanity. Whether we’re serving a single mom sleeping in a car with five kids or a young kid that’s just been kicked out of his house sleeping on a church pew but on his way to a job interview or a chronically homeless older man. We know that homelessness has many faces. And if this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we all could use a little bit of help and kindness.
Jessica Lauretti 21:38
Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing. Next up we have Jodie Van Horn, Senior Director of the Play Movement Lab at Purpose and Zak Yuson, Senior Advocacy and Communications Specialist Advocacy and Communication at the Lego Foundation with their project Together for Play.
Jodie Van Horn 22:06
Thanks, Jessica. Hi everyone, I’m Jody Van Horn, and I’m the Senior Director of the Play Movement Lab at Purpose. Purpose is a social impact agency that uses public mobilization and storytelling to help leading organizations, businesses and philanthropies tackle some of the world’s biggest issues. Our mission is to build and support movements for a more open, just and habitable world. At Purpose, I lead our partnership with Zak and the Lego Foundation to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, develop and grow through play. We’re honored that our project together for Play has won the Anthem Award silver medal in the Education, Art and Cultural Awareness category for campaign brand. We run campaign interventions in four countries, Colombia, Brazil, Rwanda and South Africa in order to inspire and support parents and caregivers to value and demand playful learning experiences for their children while building political and institutional champions to unlock playful learning at scale. So from the favelas of Sao Paulo to the northern province of Rwanda, we’re working to ensure that all children, especially in vulnerable communities with limited access to time and resources are supported to develop the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and creative skills to thrive and succeed in an increasingly volatile world. In 2021, together for play reached more than 63 million parents and caregivers with messages and activities to help them value and engage in playful learning with their children. We achieve this by launching 12 geographically specific interventions developed and run by purpose country teams in collaboration with nearly 60 partners on the ground. This year, we will expand our efforts to boost children’s resilience and well being and we hope that you join us as we strengthen a global movement to build a world of play. Thank you.
Jessica Lauretti 24:04
Thank you. Great. So next up, we have Jim Connolly, Creative Director from BBDO to present their work with Sandy Hook Promise, Teenage Dream.
Jim Connolly 24:18
Hi, everyone. Welcome. Thanks for having me. My name is Jim, Creative Director at BBDO. And yeah, I’m talking about a PSA recruit for nonprofit center Promise Local Teenage Dream. So if you’re not familiar with Sandy Hook Promise, they’re a nonprofit gun violence prevention organization, wishing to end school shootings. They’ve been working with BBDO in New York since about 2014. When we got a briefing about this PSA, it was different because schools in the US were still closed. But as schools we aren’t, we want to remind America of the physical and mental toll that school shootings are having on a whole generation of teams. And we knew that while school shootings were in the news and risk hadn’t gone away. Our idea was to take Katy Perry’s bubblegum carefree pop anthem, Teenage Dream and subvert it to show the dark teenage reality of school gun violence. PSA features 11 shooting survivors performing and reciting the lyrics of your iconic pop song. They are all from different school shootings all over America. As you can see on the slide there, you see a picture of Leah, she is a survivor of the Parkland shooting. You can see she’s holding up the phone. On that phone is a photo of her friend Nick, who, unfortunately, was killed, and she had to hide under his body to survive. All of the kids had heartbreaking stories like that. It was very humbling, and then getting to sit down and talk to these kids. It’s quite different PSAs what we’ve done in the past. It’s the first time we featured real shooting victims, and all of them were just amazing. PSA was actually getting these, these shooting victims together. On set, it’s a very, it’s obviously a very sensitive subject. Not everybody is willing to talk about that experience. This is Henry Rubin, who directed most of the previous PSAs. He was amazing. He’s had a lot of experience working with non actors in the past so, he was really incredible at creating a safe environment for these kids to open up on set as a nonprofit organization and a promise, and they can’t lead on paid media to get them to. So the aim is always to make films that get talked about. This one, this one did, PSA. Over a million views, 24 hours. The press coverage, we’ve got kind of equal to $3.5 million in media value. Perhaps best of all, Katy Perry herself, posted it to all my social channels, which was successful. Checkout Sandy Hook Promise for all because they’re the ones doing the amazing work. We just bought the ads.
Jessica Lauretti 27:14
Thank you, Jim. Next up, we have Amy Merrill, co-founder and digital director of Plan C.
Amy Merrill 27:25
Thanks so much, Jessica. I am the Digital Director and co-founder of Plan C, which is a nonprofit information campaign on abortion pills and how people are accessing them through the mail and Telehealth from all 50 states. What you need to know is this that at the same time that politicians are decimating access to abortion there is hope abortion pills are changing the landscape of access across our country. Medication abortion is a safe modern method. It’s five pills taken up to 11 weeks and backed by over two decades of research, proving its safety and effectiveness when used at home. The method has been around for 20 plus years. So why is this news? So much has changed during the pandemic and modern Telehealth has taken off in the 24 states that allow it to provide fast convenient home delivery often at much lower costs than clinic based care. In states where politicians have blocked access to telehealth abortion activists, physicians and online pharmacies are creating new routes of access under a human rights and equity lens the idea that your zip code shouldn’t determine your options. On the Plan C website, which earned a gold medal from Anthem, the guide to pills is our core resource. A 50 state directory on what’s available by mail as well as medical and legal hotlines, FAQs and more supporting an individual and making a decision that’s best for them. The site also speaks to medical providers and ambassador programs for volunteers as well. For the past six years, we’ve shared this evidence based inflammation to bring the option into the mainstream, just like it is all around the world. We know that this coming year we’ll see even more of these harmful political barriers, which is why spreading the word now is more important than ever. We also work by partnering with other nonprofits and reproductive health organizations as well as companies and brands, developing simple effective communications campaigns for their own communities using social media, billboards, events, press, you name it. Because what it comes down to is this, abortion pills belong to the people. They’re safe for self use. They’re available online and by mail, often for low cost or sliding scale and with free hotlines and support. They belong in the hands of the people who need them, full stop. If you share this vision, you can help by sharing out the website and the Guide to Pills, share app Plan C pills on social media or contact us to partner and get the message out more broadly. To learn more, visit plancpills.org Thank you so much.
Jessica Lauretti 29:51
Thank you, Amy. Last but not least, we have Liz Laude, creative director of BVH USA and Rafa Ruzito, Chief Creative Officer of BVH, USA to share their project with Chief Glass Ceiling Breaker.
Liz Loudy 30:10
Awesome. Thank you so much for having us in choosing our work. The term glass ceiling can be defined as an invisible, but very real barrier to advancement for women, especially those of minorities. On January 20 2021, the biggest glass ceiling in US history was shattered with the inauguration of Kamala Harris as vice president. She was the first woman, Black American and South Asian American to hold that position. To celebrate this historic moment we launched the glass ceiling breaker project. It’s a campaign that centered around this massive portrait of Kamala Harris made from broken glass. Working with the amazing missing pieces production company and our amazing client chief, we commissioned Swiss artists, Simon Berger, who has a one of a kind technique for creating projects by breaking glass with a hammer. It’s pretty incredible. As we were preparing to launch in January, the capital insurrection happened on the sixth. It presented the question Should we? Could we? Is it even safe? Despite all the hate that happened that day, moving forward with the installation ended up being exactly what women and girls needed. The portrait was then symbolically placed in the same spot as where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech. It was met with such a wonderful emotional response. It was a symbol of hope, and I remember a photo of young black girls in sweatshirts with a slogan, my VP looks like me, viewing the portrait. It was a moment that represented a line from Kamala Harris, in her acceptance speech, I may be the first woman to hold this office, but I won’t be the last. In that photo, you have the future looking at a woman who’s being celebrated by an incredible art piece because of her accomplishment, her accomplishments. That’s the point really, because the more we can celebrate the achievements of women, the more we give them the respect and the visibility they deserve. The more we can inspire more women and girls to keep on breaking glass ceilings, until there are no more glass ceilings to keep us down. So thank you.
Jessica Lauretti 32:11
Thank you so much. Thank you to all of our panelists for presenting today. Thank you for the work that you do. Now, we’re going to have a discussion so we can bring everyone back up to the panel. Everyone on this panel is working on so many different kinds of issues, really different approaches and executions, and so many different places with so many different communities. Can you share one thing that you’ve learned through this work that could help anyone working in the social impact space kind of across any issue area? You can just raise your hand if you want to jump in. Okay, Jodie,
Jodie Van Horn 33:05
I’ll break the ice. You know, I think this is true of any issue area. It’s something that I’ve learned again and again. Working first for 15 years on climate and environmental issues now working in children’s development and education. If you want the best solutions to any issue, you need to listen to those most impacted by the problem.
Jessica Lauretti 33:30
Thank you. Absolutely.
Jamie Escott 33:37
Just to pile on to that, you’re also never going to please all sides. You’d have to stick to your ideal vision, and just keep going. Regardless of all the different messaging you’re bombarded with. Relying on that direct source that Jodie mentioned, going right to the source and understanding what they need, and then sort of putting blinders on to the noise.
Jessica Lauretti 34:05
Jodie Dolan 34:07
All right, jumping in. I think, to not get stuck on perfectionism, and to just focus on action. Just jump in, you’ll learn no matter what if it’s right on target, great if it’s a little bit off, and you have to tweak it a little bit. It’s better just to be in this space listening and learning than to just be stuck waiting to get the perfect plan.
Jessica Lauretti 34:35
Absolutely all great advice. For any of you, did you like working in this space, did any of you have a moment where you really knew that you wanted to pursue a career in social justice, social impact work, and can you share that moment and what was maybe one of your first jobs working in the social impact space.
Rafa Rizuto 35:08
Hi, okay, so I can say a few things about someone coming from advertising, right. Growing up in Brazil, you know that these issues are everywhere. This is something that I keep telling the agents, I really do believe that we can use our creativity not just to sell products and services, it’s to create an impact in the world. Right, whatever that is, you know, like, since I had this epiphany many years ago, I think this is something we can all do. You know, it’s such a powerful industry that deals with powerful brains with money. What if we used that to, I think that the audience is looking for this is not how brains do products and service, how they behave? They impact the world like sustainability. So what’s the purpose? I think the learnings that are talking from the ad industry, I think we really have a power, you know, to create an impact.
Jessica Lauretti 36:09
Zak Yuson 36:13
Yeah, I can share my first job was being a teacher for elementary school kids on an island. From that, I learned that just by showing up, you’re really making an impact on children. I think that was a really clear call for us, or for me, rather, that we have to show up for children. And that’s why I’m still in this space, some 20 years later.
Jessica Lauretti 36:36
Jim Connolly 36:37
I just want to say something. I think working in advertising can be quite difficult. Sometimes, we’ve had that kind of moral dilemma of certain things we’ve worked on. I think when you do get an opportunity to work on a purpose brief or for an organization or nonprofit, then you know, it really makes the job fulfilling. That’s the most rewarding part of the job for me. That’s awesome.
Amy Merrill 37:10
I can share. I was 22, when I lost my father to a rare disease so, I had this wake up moment, just as I was stepping into my career, and I was in the Bay Area growing up, and I was seeing kind of the explosion of tech, but also a passion for change and social change and seeing what we were capable of. I, in hindsight, see it as a real gift that I had this really deeply impactful moment in my own life at a time when I had to reckon with, what, do I want my own legacy to be? Or just how do I want to spend my time here on Earth, knowing that life is short, and you have this opportunity to make it count. I got to step into the career with that kind of intention because of this devastating thing that had happened in our family.
Jessica Lauretti 38:02
I think that, you know, personal experience is something that drives so many and motivates so many to do this kind of work, stand up for injustice, become activists, things like that. I just think it’s such an interesting time that we’re living in where, you know, when I was growing up, or as in high school in college, it never really occurred to me that this could be a job that I had. That I could pair my passion for social justice with what I did with my time every day. I think it’s just a really interesting space and time that we’re living in. Do you have any advice that you would give to young people who are, you know, potentially looking to pursue a career in social impact work? Liz,
Liz Loudy 38:52
I think it’s surrounding yourself with the right people. Whether it’s your co workers, team members, who you partner with, people who believe in the same work and champion it. Because, with this kind of work, whether it’s a project and an ad campaign, or if it is your actual day to day job, you’re going to be met with challenges. I get backlash. The right people are everything. They’re going to inspire you to keep going when you’re met with anything challenging. They’re going to really be there to support you and remind you that what you’re doing is really important and it needs to be out in the world. Otto?
Otto Bell 39:40
How would you start that? I think anybody coming into the sector should be incredibly aware of how mutable and evolving it all is. Right? A purpose seems to be often treated as a kind of unknown, unflagging, unchanging commitment. The truth is, it used to be enough to say that you were involved in it or giving money to certain projects. Then I think more and more people demanded to see the actual results, or outcome of a company organization’s commitment to a charity, I’m speaking from, from an advertiser’s point of view. Then you have these seismic events, like, you know, what’s going on right now. Which changes, you know, for a long time, we’ve been having a conversation about, almost at the top of the hierarchy of needs, about self actualization, about bringing your authentic self to work, and so on. Then you see, the basic tenets of shelter, and survival kind of upended. And what does that mean, for our industry in the type of campaigns that we tackle, and the kind of messages that we want to communicate over the next year? I mean, the big thorny challenges that we’ve been looking at haven’t gone away from climate change, and indeed, the events that are happening in Europe could accelerate those concerns that we have as well. Whether it’s equity or climate change, or any of the big, longer burning issues. But I just think that it is not an unchanging industry. I think it continues to move very quickly. Anybody entering into it needs to really become a student of these various, you know, shifts that continue to happen each and every day.
Jessica Lauretti 41:35
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, we used to the way that a lot of corporations, for example, used to approach this work as corporate social responsibility, right, where they had their business model and the work that they were doing over here, and then maybe they donated to some nonprofits to kind of offset that on the other side. Now, the way that I think culturally we’re looking at this is to have a real integration, especially from the business perspective between a brand’s voice a brand’s business model, and the way that they show up every day in society in terms of sustainability, equity, a variety of
Otto Bell 42:12
It’s typically the customer that forces that. I would say, as well. In the case of corporations being involved, there is a degree of productivity, but I think it’s driven mostly by the consumer. Yeah, absolutely.
Jodie Dolan 42:31
In my case, actually, I always thought I just have a fashion brand. It’s so all consuming that there was no really there’s no room or space for anything else. Then developing a laundry truck and getting into the community, it actually completely redirected the brand and our focus. It had an effect, like a halo effect on the whole company. And it made us rethink everything we were doing and change our mission. The other way, I think being in this social space can have the power actually to sort of redefine everything that you do, because it is so meaningful.
Jessica Lauretti 43:08
Absolutely. I want to be mindful of time for this session so I have one last question. You know, as I said, in the top, and we were kind of discussing it here, we’re living through tumultuous times, you know, the global pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, wildfires, climate crisis. It seems like every few months, we have a new once in a generation crisis that we are staring down and trying to solve for and trying to live through. Let’s try to end on a hopeful note. What does everyone do to prioritize your mental health while you do this work? How do you stay hopeful? How do you stay motivated? How do you stay engaged when you can often be confronted with something that feels very heavy and bigger than maybe what you can do?
Rafa Rizuto 44:07
Stay out of social media.
Jessica Lauretti 44:10
Good one. That’s a good one. Jodie?
Jodie Van Horn 44:13
Yeah, I think this is probably also my advice for a young person getting into this sector, which is to cultivate parts of your life that aren’t all about the social impact work that you do that it’s important to keep some balance. Truthfully, I am not always hopeful. One trick that I have to stay motivated is to celebrate the incremental victories because the problems can seem so big, and so systemic and so long term that it’s important to remember to celebrate even small wins along the way.
Amy Merrill 44:57
Jody, I love that. I think it also resonates with a gratitude practice of being sure to pause and acknowledge all the things that are working. Yes, I think it’s really part of the exceptionality of this time is that we know so much about all of these other things that are happening at once. I think one other perspective, my spiritual practice, lets me ask the question of what if this were not happening to us, but happening for us? So, what is it catalyzing? What is it raising up to the surface so that we can deal with it and build the world that we want to see?
- Hogue 45:37
That’s great. And I just wanted to add that someone had said at the top about surrounding yourself with people who have the same mission or have a lot of the same values. And I think that is also a way to remind you that you’re not doing this alone. You’re not the only person who has to shoulder this burden, where all the impact we’re making is going to be far greater if we’re doing it together. I think that’s probably one reason why we’re all here too is that we had a team behind us who really cared and wanted to see some of the same results that we all hoped to see.
Jessica Lauretti 46:15
That’s great. Any final thoughts?
Jodie Dolan 46:18
Yeah, I second that, and just being here today, and being inspired by all the work everybody’s doing. It’s really so gratifying to be amongst this group. It does keep moving everything forward, you know, being surrounded by like minded people doing wonderful work.
Jessica Lauretti 46:43
Amazing. Well, thank you all so much for being part of our session. Thank you all so much for the work that you do every single day and your community. Congratulations on being a winner. I hope everyone will take a look at our website and check out all of the winners. I know when I sent the link to my mom, to see what I had been up to. She said, this really gives me hope, and really makes me feel really inspired by all the amazing people out there who are doing this. I think sometimes we get stuck in our own busyness and what we’re doing and so just so grateful for you all to come together to share. And just take a moment to reflect on everything that everyone has accomplished and, you know, continue to organize and build new ways that we can work together and strive for a more equitable world. Thank you all so much.
Jamie Escott 47:38
Transcribed by https://otter.ai