How #RethinkLabels Made us Rethink Video Advocacy

How #RethinkLabels Made us Rethink Video Advocacy

We recently had a client ask us to share examples of our advocacy work. It seemed like a pretty straightforward request, but the more we started thinking about it, the more existential it became. What exactly constitutes advocacy work? At any given time more than 50% of our clients are non-profits, and 100% of the work we do for those organizations is driving for change.

Take #RethinkLabels for example. After serving on the board for The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio for only a year, Tony Weber wanted to create a short film that would help the organization reach more people with it’s mission to eliminate bias, bigotry and racism. We wanted to create a piece that started a dialogue.

RethinkLabels-poster

The production team traveled out to Camp Wise where The Diversity Center was holding a week long retreat for students. We set up our equipment, met the smart, put-together students we would get to interview and asked the first question, “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?” That was all it took to open the floodgates. A few hours later, we had more than enough footage to create the unbelievably real, raw 4-minute film that silenced a crowd of 900 at the Diversity Center’s Humanitarian Awards Dinner.

Since it debuted in November, the film has garnered attention far and wide. Praise from high profile organizations like the Human Rights Campaign has poured in. Educators have reached out and asked us to incorporate the piece into their curriculum. And The Diversity Center has created new programming around labeling and bullying.

At a time when sexist and racist slurs seemed to be everywhere—even to the point of coming from the mouths of our political candidates— we felt compelled to produce a high impact piece that asks people to #RethinkLabels. And so we did.

When you think about it, advocacy basically means having something to say, supporting a cause, driving for change. And by that definition, every time we pick up the camera on behalf of one of our tireless hard-working non-profit clients, video advocacy should be the result!