MLK Week: Character & Culture – “We are caught in an inevitable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny”

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are caught in an inevitable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
MLK Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail


This week:

Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 90 this month, so this week we celebrate his work and enduring legacy of fighting for justice and liberation. And we remind ourselves of the work to come.  Rev. Dr. Steven Bland Jr. said, “We aren’t a nation that is divided, but a nation that is disconnected.”  This resonates even more today at this remarkable time in our country. As we strive to reconcile the disunited states of America, some brands are courageous enough to stand up for the beliefs and values that they hold near and dear.

Here are some poignant examples…

Race Relations
Hilarious AeroMexico Ad Trolls Border Wall Debate With Mexican ‘DNA Discounts’:
Surprise! You’re part Mexican!


Gender Issues
“It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions” of what it means to be a

Shaving company Gillette has been bombarded with both praise and abuse after launching an advertising campaign promoting a new kind of positive masculinity. Engaging with the #MeToo movement, the company’s new advertising campaign plays on its 30-year tagline “The best a man can get”, replacing it with “The best men can be”. The film, called We Believe: the Best Men Can Be, immediately went viral with more than 4m views on YouTube in 48 hours and generated both lavish praise and angry criticism.

“This commercial isn’t anti-male. It’s pro-humanity,” wrote Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights legend Martin Luther King. “And it demonstrates that character can step up to change conditions.”


And the backsplash…
Me Too Ad Cuts Deep With Men’s Rights Activists


Color Flood
A more subtle yet equally powerful way to affirm diversity

It doesn’t just have to be businesses serving as a force for good
Canadian Air Traffic Send Pizzas to US Controllers Without Pay:
…one of CATCA’s control centers in Edmonton, Alberta, had the idea of sending pizzas to the controllers in Anchorage, Alaska. The units are so close that they regularly interact and the Canadian controllers thought it would be a nice gesture of solidarity. The idea took hold, and other units along the border sent pizza to the controllers with whom they share airspace. But now, units have been randomly selecting other units to send pizza to, sometimes based on similarities they think they share.


And here is a sound rejoinder to do it authentically!
Brand Purpose Is A Lie:
Purpose is something you believe, not something you make up one day as a marketing strategy

“An individual has not started living
until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns
to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thanks this week go to Alan D, Ron A, Ron M, Meg M, and all you fine individuals and organizations willing to stand up for what you believe!

Please Pay it forward…

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