Aug 16, 2023
‘Reclaim the hoodie:’ Two Canadian organizations highlight Black youth excellence in powerful new campaign
Posted 1 day agoBreanna Marcelo Two Canadian organizations have created a powerful campaign aimed at showcasing the excellence of the young Black community and the discrimination they face in the
Posted 1 day agoBreanna Marcelo
Two Canadian organizations have created a powerful campaign aimed at showcasing the excellence of the young Black community and the discrimination they face in the Canadian workforce.
The (CEE) Centre for Young Black Professionals and Publicis Groupe Canada have partnered to launch a new brand platform called Black Youth Can and CEE’s first-ever major integrated campaign, “Who I Really Am,” just in time for back to school season.
“Black Youth Can is a powerful declaration that Black youth can accomplish anything they set their minds to. And with the support and backing of CEE, nothing can stop them from becoming who they want to be,” the organizations said in a statement.
According to CEE, Canada’s unemployment rate among young Black people aged 15 to 24 was a staggering 30.6 per cent in January 2021, despite showing high levels in education and skill.
Meanwhile, a survey by the 2022 Toronto Social Capital Study shows 76 per cent of Black Torontonians experience racial discrimination at least a few times a month.
CEE and Publicis Groupe Canada have spent the last decade working with partners and sponsors to provide and support the development and progress of Black youth. As a result, over a thousand Black youth have graduated from their programs and there is a 96 per cent program retention rate.
WHAT IS THE “WHO I REALLY AM” CAMPAIGN?
CEE’s first campaign,“Who I Really Am,” is a compelling display of nine CEE alumni success stories wearing a custom designed “Who I Really Am” hoodie. The hoodies were made by Grandslammer$, an apparel brand founded by Jason Blackwood, a fellow CEE alumni also featured in the campaign.
“The clothing acts as a canvas to showcase their individual stories, passions and successes – almost a powerful, wearable résumé. By flipping the narrative of what Black youth are presumed to be because of what they look like, and what they wear, this campaign shines a light on their brilliance one hoodie at a time,” the organization explained.
The hoodies act as a unique and distinctive way to launch Black Youth Can on the streets of Toronto in an effort to “reclaim the hoodie.” It represents the talent and ingenuity of Black youth across the country.
“Being part of Who I Really Am and seeing my story shared on such a big stage across the city has given me a whole new level of pride. I want Toronto to see what we have to offer,” Director, Producer and CEE Graduate Mike Regis said.
For more about the “Who I Really Am” campaign, visit their website here.
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