26 Sep 2016

Vote for Peace: Which Idea Can Help Heal The Racial Divide?

Miami Ad School Students in Atlanta, Miami, New York and San Francisco were given a challenge: use your creativity to help heal our nation by moving the conversation forward.

Pippa Seichrist • Co-Founder and Head of Innovation @ Miami Ad School

The history of race relations in our country goes back over 250 years, even before the birth of the nation.

As Americans, we long for "a solution." Something that will salve the wound and heal us as a community and a country.

The lessons of history tell us this is not how progress happens. The advances we as a culture have made over the past two centuries are the sum total of all the acts of civil disobedience and the protests of all kinds—from music, art and oratory to marches through cities too numerous to name. Countless men and women tirelessly asserting their dignity and equality in the face of institutional discrimination. 

There is no one solution. There are many small solutions.

We need many small solutions that build on each other. Protests are part of the process. But, how do we keep moving forward once the protestors go home? How do we encourage positive engagement and turn away from the anger and hatred that poisons the process of finding solutions? 

The students in Miami Ad School's US locations were challenged to use their creativity to develop initiatives that will move the conversation forward. Come up with "small solutions" that will build on each other and help take our society beyond anger and resentment—two frames of mind that rarely result in productive thoughts. This way, we can discuss the things that bring us together and the mis-perceptions that tear us apart. We'll be able to better understand where we're coming from and maybe even create solutions we've never tried before.

The seven initiatives below were conceived to be executed by students themselves, taking full advantage of the democratization of media we enjoy in the 21st century. Never before have individuals been able to positively affect the culture in such a potentially massive way.

Your opinion is an important part of this process. Your vote will help us select which ideas will be going forward. Click on your favorite on the ballot at the end of this post.


United Not Divided

Inexpensive stencils and chalk paint transform ordinary crosswalks into a plea to the best in all of us.


With the current state of race relations in the United States, we need a reminder of the importance of standing united within our neighborhoods and communities.

The #UnitedNotDivided campaign was devised to facilitate community action at a pure grassroots level. The installation is designed to work with existing standard stripped crosswalks and can be applied easily using temporary black and white chalk spray paint and an inexpensive stencil kit. The kit would be made available through a Kickstarter campaign with proceeds going exclusively to producing and delivering kits to the backers themselves.

Community organizations, local governments and even individual activist citizens are empowered to actively participate in this symbolic joining of hands across the breadth and width of our nation.


Color Conversations

Everyone talks about the need for a dialog on the issue of race.
Here's a YouTube channel where we can actually have one.

The need for an open discussion on race in America has been mentioned time and time again, in venues large and small, yet nothing ever seems to happen.

So, why not now, and why not here?

Color Conversations provides a place where we can have these much-needed discussions. We can meet as people and talk, without prejudice or agenda. Understanding demands honesty and an open forum where all voices can be heard.

Have a question you want answered? Tweet it to @ColorConvos using the hashtag #colorconversations. Also, check us out on Instagram: @ColorConversations.

See more videos at Color Conversations on YouTube.


In One Word

For those outside the American minority experience, one word can be the start of understanding.

Those outside of the African-American community will never be able to truly know what it's like to be in a black individual’s shoes.

However, one word can be the beginning of understanding. It can kindle the first embers of empathy.

We placed posters around Atlanta with a simple question: “What does it feel like to be black in America?”

We invite participation via the hashtags #inoneword and #blackinamerica to foster conversation via  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels.


1 Nation Generation

Stand for unity. Let the world know you stand with the 1 Nation Generation.

The 1 Nation Generation campaign is a response to the senseless violence that tears our communities apart. To make a real difference we must come together wherever we are gathered—in our families, our schools, our jobs and our communities. Only then can we begin to foster real change.

Our message, "Together, we can be the generation to end discrimination," challenges all of us to talk with our friends and families about discrimination. About why judging someone without knowing them can cause fear and hate. By creating an open dialogue regarding the issue, we can start to change perspectives, change feelings, and change our future.

If you're looking to help the nation heal, please help us share this message of hope and unity.

Get your t-shirt today!

"Baton Rouge General Nutritional Care Team members wear their 1Nation shirts with great pride. Many of the employees and their communities were affected by the recent violence in Baton Rouge, LA and were very excited to express their support for the victims' families. Many employees loved that the logo represented everyone and included all races, religions, sexualities and communities. They expressed that "we are in this together." 

– Sean O'Neill, Director of Food and Nutrition at Baton Rouge General - Bluebonnet


Black or Blue

What if opposing factions are, in the end, only after the same outcome? 

In the midst of our nation's debate on the racial issues that seem to intractably divide us, there' s a revelation. For all the antagonism and the endless tit-for-tat, at the center of it all is one common goal.

Today's virtual town square—Twitter—provides ample evidence. Behind the back and forth there is a yearning for reason, plea for peace. Peace in our communities, our cities and our nation.


I'm human. What are you?

A truth so simple, so profound and so taken for granted.

FACEBOOK: Through Facebook, supporters will be able to take a stand by donning the many colors that make up their world.
Upon joining the movement, the user's Facebook profile picture will take on noticeable coloration, with each pixel's color correlating to a direct skin tone match of each of their respective Facebook friends. Joining the movement will be their way of showing the world they aren't on the white side, or the black side, but the side we should all be on. The human side.

OUTDOOR ACTIVATION: Outdoor activations will allow people to bring their support to the streets and take a stand publicly. Each billboard will feature someone who has been personally affected by the country's recent events. As pedestrians walk by they are given the option to join the movement and sign the "visual" petition. With each person's contribution, a snapshot of their face will be taken and their unique skin complexion will be added to one small pixel on the billboard. One by one, strangers from all different walks of life will come together to form this united front. 
WWW.IMHUMAN.US: Billboards will reside in large urban areas as well as the communities that have been affected, including but not limited to Dallas, Baton Rouge, Miami and Minnesota. People will be driven to a microsite where they will be able to instantly upload their picture and their skin tone will be added to the outdoor message in support of uniting together. 

Beneath the current state of racial affairs there is one simple overriding truth that is mostly absent from the narrative: before we are anything else, we are humans—a single species of beings. The things that we believe divide us are all fictions. Lies that we have empowered with enough force to keep us apart.

Healing the rifts between us begins with acknowledging the heritage we share. The recognition of the common humanity within us all. 


Snickering At Racists

We think you're prejudiced when you're hungry.

In light of recent events, we've noticed a lot of racism on Twitter. We believe that there's no way anyone can be this racist for no reason. We're hijacking Snicker's popular tagline, turning it on it's head and aiming it right at the loud, arrogant and ignorant racists on the micro-blogging platform. So let's all start snickering at racists, they're entitled to some wholesale ridicule. #SnickeringAtRacists #EatASNICKERS #YoureRacistWhenYoureHungry


Over the next month we will be featuring interviews with the students and the judges’ reaction to their work. Find out which idea the Worldwide Creative Director of Ogilvy likes best. Why the Chief Creative Officer of General Mills thinks the idea of turning "Tweeting-haters into Tweeting-wonder-ers is awesome”. And why the Chief Operating Officer of Atlanta thinks the answer is found in making people "want to be part of the solution”.

VOTING HAS ENDED • RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON



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