Saving animals, white saviours, #Jamaica50

Authors: Jece Shunmugam, Kate Savin, Jack Maycock
  • Reading time: 5 min.
  • Posted on: November 30, 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 saving animals, white saviours, and the #Jamaica50.

Credit: Born Free

| NAILED IT: Nature’s closing down sale

The wildlife conservation charity Born Free has pulled an absolute corker out of the bag with their alternative Black Friday advert. Following on from the fantastically disturbing Creature Discomforts that came out earlier this year, this campaign frames wildlife extinction as nature’s closing down sale, with audiences given the option to adopt an animal that risks going extinct due to poaching, habitat destruction or climate change. 

Credit: Born Free

Taking a brash, tongue-in-cheek approach in charity comms can be scary, but if done well it pays off. By turning the narrative of wildlife conservation on its head, Born Free have made something both original and persuasive.

Adopt an animal here.

| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: How NOT to support the Black Community 

An Instagram page promoting Black businesses and using Black emojis has found itself in hot water after it was revealed that it is run by a white woman.

Created in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests in June, @independentblackbusinesses was intended to promote businesses run by Black people across the UK. But the use of black emojis across the page had led to accusations of digital blackface by followers who took these gestures to mean the owner was Black herself, compounded by her failure to disclose her background when participating in conversations about race. One business said:

“For days, I was speaking openly with you about a difficult issue that was affecting me as a Black person. You made it seem like we’re in the same boat, having the same experiences.”

The account was also seen directing people to Patreon and PayPal asking for money. This story is reminiscent of the Rachel Dolezal case, and again highlights how white people co-opting the experiences of Black people for their own benefit.

| ONE TO WATCH: Stop the #Jamaica50 deportations

On December 2nd, the UK Home Office intends to deport 50 people to Jamaica on a chartered flight. Campaigners from BARAC UK are attempting to halt these deportations through mobilising support for their legal right to remain in the UK. 

Today, BARAC UK had a significant victory, as the Home Office quietly announced that those who arrived in the UK under the age of 12 would no longer be on Wednesday’s flight. However, there is much more to be done!

Sign the petition to stop the deportation of the #Jamaica50!

Tweet @EHRC or @ECHR_CEDH to tell them the @ukhomeoffice are breaching equality and human rights law. Or tweet your MP using the #Jamaica50 hashtag.