By Michael Davies, Marketing & Partnerships Executive, OPEN Media.

October saw the launch of the second collaborative Black History Month campaign from OPEN Media and the Anthony Walker Foundation, entitled ‘See Me Now’.

At OPEN, it’s vital to us that we use our platform for good. We pride ourselves on using our powerful national reach to deliver important messages and shine a light on causes we feel passionate about, such as the great work the AWF does.

The Anthony Walker Foundation was established after the racially motivated murder of Anthony Walker in Liverpool, 2005. Since then, the organisation has worked to promote racial justice, diversity and inclusion and runs a support service for those who have experienced hate crimes across the region.

The month-long campaign opened with a launch event, held in the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool, at which many of the participants from the campaign as well as other important local stakeholders attended for a night of insightful talks and networking. The inspirational messages then ran across our nationwide portfolio, in key cities such as London, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as across both organisations’ social feeds.

Some of those who took part in this year’s campaign were Liverpool FC and Everton FC Footballers, Joe Gomez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. In addition, some of Liverpool’s leading political leaders featured, including newly elected Mayor Joanne Anderson and the city’s first Black MP Kim Johnson.

To round off the campaign we had representatives from across the OOH industry, as well as leading figures from the worlds of science, entertainment, law and sport.

We asked Ben Osu, Strategy Lead at the Anthony Walker Foundation, to tell us a little bit about how the campaign came about, the effects it’s had and also why it is so important to celebrate this important month.

“This stems from the campaign we did last year, called “You cannot be what you cannot see”. That phrase is so very true for a lot of people, especially black people, when they look at specific industries for people who represent them, but don’t really see them.”

“What we wanted to do was display positive black role models from those industries – lawyers, accountants, engineers, sports stars & scientists. If there’s an industry where there’s an underrepresentation of BAME people, we wanted to showcase those who are doing really well and exceeding in that area.”

“We’re so glad that we managed to get Kim Johnson & Joanne Anderson on board this year, as two powerhouse females within the city region, who have both made history over the years as the city’s first black MP and also first black mayor.”

“It’s important we celebrate role models from our communities and show younger generations that they can achieve.”

“There are still so many industries and sectors in the UK and around the world where Black people struggle to breakthrough and move up into senior positions. This campaign is just one method we’re using to inspire the next generation and change the status quo.”

To read more about the amazing work the Anthony Walker Foundation does, visit their website here: https://anthonywalkerfoundation.com/

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