The Agenda | Vol. 1 | Why We March | 01.24.18


Showing the world how impactful storytelling drives behavior

Welcome to volume one of The Agenda.

We live in strange times. The American president is a former reality-TV star who appears to be playing a game of nuclear chicken, all while waging war on the environment, immigrants, women, black athletes and anyone who criticizes him. Extreme weather events, rising sea levels and climate-induced migration demonstrate that climate change is no longer a looming global threat, but one that’s very much upon us. In many nations, LGBTQ people are still denied basic human rights. When the world is quite literally on fire, it can be tempting to say, “we’re doomed, so what’s the point?”

That’s precisely why the world needs Impact Relations. It might seem like things are heavy right now. They are. But you can find examples of compassion inciting action everywhere — you don’t even need to look that hard. Each month, we’ll share stories on solutions geared toward solving a specific UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). First up, Gender Equality (SDG 5), as we look at what’s next for the women’s movement.

From the Impact Relations community:

Photo by Mihai Surdu

#MeToo was undoubtedly the biggest social impact story of 2017. The hashtag campaign, conceived a decade ago by Tarana Burke and brought to prominence again by actress Alyssa Milano last year, changed the conversation around sexual assault and harassment. But it begged the question: why must the onus always be on survivors? Then, just when you held your breath for another awareness campaign to fade into obscurity, Hollywood women upped the ante with Time’s Up. Last month, Nora Eastwood of Yulu PR shared her thoughts on how #MeToo needed to evolve beyond a hashtag.

enso Creative’s #PassTheERA campaign

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands marched for equality in Women’s March events around the globe. American marchers used the occasion to highlight that they’ve been fighting for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment for nearly a hundred years. Fighting for equality when your Constitution doesn’t protect you from discrimination can seem futile, which is why mission-driven creative firm enso partnered with the ERA Coalition to educate people about the Equal Rights Amendment and move them to action. The campaign paid particularly close attention to millennials and Gen Zers, who were born after the deadline to pass the ERA expired, by speaking to them in a language they understood: memes. We take a look at how that campaign rolled out and the ripples it created.

From around the world:

Brittni Kellom, c/o Red Bull Amaphiko Academy

#MeToo has helped bring about an environment that encourages women to speak up about their experiences as survivors, knowing they’re not alone. But for kids, who don’t see a lot of other youth speaking out and whose abusers are often family members or friends, it can be harder to confide in someone or access the support they need. Bonnie Marcus interviewed survivor and Just Speak founder Brittni Kellom on the importance of developing survivors as advocates. Just Speak helps youth from ages 3 to 17 in developing resiliency skills, seeks to build healthier, trauma-informed schools and communities.

Girls Who Say Fuck’s “Men Who Take Baths” series.

Much of the conversation around  #MeToo and Time’s Up has focused on how men can evolve and support the movement — and we’re not talking about sporting a pin at an awards show or calling oneself a feminist without having any kind of understanding about inherent power dynamics and privilege. We love the creative approach Girls Who Say Fuck took with their “Men Who Take Baths” series, which put eleven different men in bubble baths and asked them six thoughtful questions about their gender’s role in advancing feminist causes.

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter

And finally, because not all of what #MeToo has brought to light has been positive (placing the onus on victims to come forward, stoking adversarial fires between older and younger women, outing men whose behavior may not have made the leap from creepy to assault), we take a look at Margaret Atwood’s op-ed critiquing #MeToo and confronting women who assert her support of #UBCAccountable makes her a bad feminist. What’s your take?

Well friends, this little bird can’t fly without you. We invite you to give us your feedback on what you’re digging, hating, or would like to see us cover in the future. Are you working on a cool campaign or know someone who is? If you think you’ve got a story that would be a great fit, we’d love to hear it — check out our submission guidelines and drop us a line.

Thank you for reading.

— Ashley Letts, Managing Editor


Want a copy of The Agenda sent straight to your inbox monthly? Subscribe here.