Hope, Racism and Strikes

Authors: Kate Savin
  • Reading time: 5 min.
  • Posted on: November 23, 2020

Read on for a handpicked selection of the good, the bad and the one to watch in the world of social impact communications. This week, we’re highlighting hope for children, racism on Twitter, and Manchester’s student strikes. 

| NAILED IT: Fighting for hope

The Children’s Society has launched a brilliant new campaign highlighting their work in supporting young people who experience neglect, abuse and criminal exploitation. 

The campaign hangs on the idea that hope is the key to helping vulnerable young people. After a year of lockdowns, missed education and opportunities, the charity is asking the public to help with donations and messages of hope on their website. It’s a simple and effective campaign, because we can all relate to its core message – the power of hope – at a time when life is on hold and recent months have been dark for so many. 
Watch the campaign video here – we loved it.

| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Sainsbury’s Christmas ad causes a Twitterstorm 

Sainsbury’s has sparked controversy for – get ready – featuring a Black family in their first of three Christmas ads. 

A homage to the food and people that make Christmas special, the series represents not just different British skin colours, but families and traditions. It’s heart-warming and understated, but a loud minority on Twitter weren’t having it, as demonstrated in this post by @thevoiceofcolour on Instagram. Even worse, the Daily Mail decided to run the story with an ambiguous headline, presumably not to offend those who agree with the Twitternazis. 

This all raises a serious concern. Not only is overt racism still raging in the UK (as @thevoiceofcolour documents), but a backlash to perceived ‘woke culture’ is seeing racism slip into the mainstream.

You can watch the Sainsbury’s advert below:

| ONE TO WATCH: Manchester students strike back

University students have had a terrible year. First their education was disrupted by lockdown, then a dodgy algorithm decided first year’s academic fates. Those that got into university were told by universities to rent student accommodation as normal, only to find themselves doing their lectures online, whilst enduring enforced lockdowns with people they’ve only just met.

So it’s not surprising that some University of Manchester students have occupied a university building and gone on rent strike, calling for a 40% rent reduction. The University has made a small concession, pledging to reduce rent by two weeks for all those in student accommodation, but that hasn’t pacified protestors, who argue that it’s an insulting offer

Regardless of who wins in the end, it’s good to see protest is alive and kicking in an education structure that has long been accused of putting profits over education.