As a result of the killing of George Floyd, police violence and racism are being talked about like never before. But these are much more than hot button topics — they’re the harsh reality for black men and women living in American today.
While this really is a rare moment in history with regards to the level of support that the African American community is receiving in the struggle for equality, words are simply not enough. It’s time for action that’s careful, decisive, and effective.
Part of the reason that action is so necessary right now is because of simple numbers. Black Americans are nearly three times as likely as white people to be killed by a police officer, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group.
And only 1% of all the killings made by law enforcement officers from 2013–2019 resulted in officers being charged with a crime, reported information compiled by Mapping Police Violence, along with similar data published by the Washington Post.
This unique moment in American history demands that people who seek change unite and use all of their resources to contribute to the larger goal of confronting injustice and making sure that we’re a more unified race who truly sees one another as equals.
Corporations Join the Conversation
All over the country, corporate America is trying to join the conversation about social injustice in the United States by making large claims that they’re against police violence and racism.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was quoted by CNBC for showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Apple published a statement titled “Speaking up on racism.” Nike created a video ad that read with “For once, don’t do it” and went on to say “Don’t turn your back on racism.”
Even though these and other companies are creating positive statements, the protests involving millions of people across the United States are about much more than that.
Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement are concerned with systemic inequities caused by racism, a cancerous problem that has been going on for centuries, since blacks were first emancipated from slavery.
And today those disparities are larger than ever, especially now that minorities in low income communities have been forced to take the brunt of the health and economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports a recently published NPR article.
While companies around the world are conveniently releasing anti-racist statements that show support and encourage progress for African Americans, it’s also becoming the norm to challenge corporate American to make sure they’re held accountable for their promises.
Social Media Influencers Challenge Major Brands
Although it may come as a surprise, social media influencers have been actively taking steps to hold major corporations accountable for their comments against racism and statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
These authoritative figures in the world of advertising have become increasingly more relied upon by major companies, because influencers can use their online status to have a major effect on the purchasing decisions of hundreds of thousands of people.
Bloggers, athletes, Instagram models, YouTubers, and celebrities with millions of followers are urging corporate America to weigh in on the conversation about racism in the United States and to remain accountable for their statements.
One prime example is Jackie Aina, a social media influencer with over 1.6 million followers on Instagram, where she recently posted a video that urged beauty and wellness brands to “PULL UP for real change or SHUT UP and retract their statements of support.”
In that same Instagram post, Jackie stated, “Be conscious that to ignore the role you have played and continue to play in depriving black people access to economic participation, demonstrates a lack of genuine desire for lasting change.”
The majority of Americans believe social media provides a voice to underrepresented groups, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center. So, now isn’t the time for companies to ignore the value or misunderstand the impact of the people who influence social media.
How SwayBrand Can Provide a Call to Action
During this radically changing time period, the values of SwayBrand have become even more relevant. This is especially true for companies and brands who have relied on the black community for monetary gains, even though justice and equal opportunity have yet to be fully realized in this country.
For anyone who sincerely wants America to heal, while creating a more inclusive future, it’s necessary to authentically connect with the black community. And our truly diverse team was created to help make that connection possible for your brand. Here’s how:
SwayBrand will provide an academically and professionally trained set of eyes, which are in tune with African American values, thoughts, and passions during this unique period in history. We can help you create the type of content that avoids pitfalls and hits the mark every time with regards to connecting with the black community.
SwayBrand will help you create a specific marketing strategy that’s unique to your brand, so that you have the power to find a voice that connects with the black community and continues to resonate. We will help you create a decisive action plan with regards to the steps that your brand needs to take during this time and guide you through this seemingly difficult terrain.
SwayBrand will amplify the voice and character that your brand has already created and extrapolate on the marketing strategies that you’ve designed, while staying true to our authentic connection to the black communities in America.
Right now, social impact is paramount. Tap into the SwayBrand community of authentikas, and let us provide the solutions and strategies that your brand needs to contribute to the larger goal of creating a more unified human race, where people truly feel equal to one another.
This post was written by Keith Howard. For more information about SwayBrand, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.