Top Spot of the Week: Director Kevin Wilson, Jr., IPG DXTRA Team On Short Encouraging Parents To Discuss Racism With Their Children

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Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

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With support from anti-racism education non-profit WE ARE, the Ad Council, and the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), IPG DXTRA has introduced a new public awareness campaign, Dear White Parents, encouraging White parents to talk with their children about racism early and often.

“Children as young as four years old show signs of racial bias and racism, but we’ve also seen young children act as advocates for fairness, or equity,” said Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, executive curator of WE ARE, an anti-racism education organization that runs camps and workshops for children, parents and educators. “Teaching children to recognize and resist racism early are critical first steps to raising an anti-racist generation.”

For generations, Black and Brown parents have discussed racism with their children as a means of preparing them to deal with the racism they are likely to face in society. Conversely, in a survey about how people’s views of race were influenced by their parents, 65 percent of White adults said their parents rarely or never spoke with them about race or racism. However, respondents whose parents did speak with them about racism as children were more likely to have similar conversations with their own children, resulting in inter-generational impact.

The campaign aims to encourage White parents to help their children recognize and resist racism. The campaign features a website  with a curated library of age-driven resources and discussion guides, anti-racism workshops and discussions, and a short, unscripted film featuring four families introducing and discussing racism with their children. 

Directed by Kevin Wilson, Jr. of Chelsea Pictures, this film shares an intimate view of enlightening, sometimes uncomfortable, family discussions focused on parents helping their children understand racism through current events, as well as sharing their own stories about how they first became aware of racism. The ADL, a leading anti-hate organization, developed a custom discussion guide to help parents discuss the topics raised in the Dear White Parents film.

With narration by anti-racism educator Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, Dear White Parents asks the critical question, “How old were you when you first became aware of race?”

“I was six years old when I was called the n-word for the first time. It was a devastating experience and I remember it vividly,” said director Wilson, a Best Live Action Short Oscar nominee in 2018 for My Nephew Emmett. “Dear White Parents is about the powerful impact that everyday conversations about race and racism can have on children. The weight of these discussions has fallen on Black and Brown parents for centuries. We want to encourage and equip White parents to share in this responsibility.”

The campaign will be highlighted as part of the Ad Council’s Racial Justice Series, a platform designed to support creatives from like-minded organizations dedicated to dismantling systemic racism and injustice. Through the Ad Council’s support, the campaign will run and air in time and space donated by media outlets throughout the country.

The project was conceived by Margenett Moore-Roberts, IPG DXTRA’s chief inclusion and diversity officer, and it was developed and produced by IPG DXTRA, a global collective of advertising, marketing and communications agencies committed to leveraging its creative and strategic capabilities to deliver vital impact for people, businesses and society.

A multi-disciplinary team from across several IPG DXTRA agencies collaborated over the course of several months to create the platform. The collective included members from: The Brooklyn Brothers, strategic and creative lead, film production; Golin, integrated communications, content development, earned and social media; Hugo & Cat, website development; Resolute Digital, paid media; R&CPMK, celebrity partnerships, influencer engagement and talent; and Weber Shandwick, content development and creative consultation.

“I am inspired by the way our agencies have come together to build such a powerful platform to focus attention on creating a new reality around racism for future generations,” said Andy Polansky, IPG DXTRA chairman and CEO. “We’re committed to driving awareness and momentum for the people and organizations who have dedicated their careers and lives to fighting racism.”

Credits

Client WE ARE, ADL (Anti-Defamation League), Ad Council Agencies IPG DXTRA Margenett Moore-Roberts, executive producer, head of diversity & inclusion. The Brooklyn Brothers George Bryant, chief creative officer; Jackie Stevenson, global CEO; Cali Oliver, creative director; Saffron Renzullo, creative; Sasha Mantel, producer; Sarah Jones, managing director; Georgia Dixon, sr. client director; Will Sansom, head of strategy. Production Chelsea Pictures Kevin Wilson, Jr., director; Kenton Cummings, producer; Lisa Mehling, Pat McGoldrick, exec producers; Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, anti-racist educator and production advisor. Editorial The Den Eric Alexander Hughes, editor; Mary Ellen Duggan, exec producer; Kayla Hashimoto, assistant editor. Color Freefolk Paul Harrison, colorist. Postproduction Untold Stories Music Gavin Brivik Audio Wave Studios, Parv Thind, sound engineer. Illustration I LOVE DUST

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