Once in a while, I stumble on a thought-provoking LinkedIn post that forces me to reevaluate and dive deeper into how brands and organisations build their cultural equity. In this instance, it was a bitter-sweet realisation that there are no shortcuts to building Black socio-cultural currency. Let’s get into this, shall we?
Three months ago, Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo; Founder of Tag Agency shared a LinkedIn post expressing how lazy organisiations/brands have become when it comes to investing in culture and building sustainable communities. He shared:
“PSA: Chunkz, Filly, Munya, and Nella aren’t a shortcut into the culture.
It’s very common to see these creators used when brands want to ‘quickly’ access diverse gen-z audiences and coins. Rather than making a meaningful investment in culture and building community. We see the same talent and content formats rinsed and repeated. I know why, It’s because It feels like an easy win. The immediate numbers will be pretty good too, but it’s a flawed strategy because it isn’t building cultural equity. It's here today, gone tomorrow.
There is no such thing as a shortcut when it comes to working in culture. Play the long game.”
Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo on LinkedIn: PSA: Chunkz, Filly, Munya, and Nella aren’t a shortcut into the culture.… | 71 comments
This post garnered a lot of amazing responses from the likes of Ndubuisi Uchea, CEO & Co-Founder of Word on the Curb who shared his distaste for how brands and most importantly agencies have become lazy when it comes to getting into 'the culture'.
Alvin Owusu-Forwuo is a strategist, founder and youth worker who sits at the intersection of social impact, storytelling and youth culture. Alvin has worked with clients from the likes of Google, Facebook, BBC and more but in all his endeavours he has focused on creating social change through creativity, power-sharing, and strategic thinking.
Whilst working at BBC Children in Need, Alvin co-led the funding, design, and outreach strategy of the We Move Fund: a £10m 10-year investment in Black children and young people across the UK (a first-of-its-kind initiative in the UK).
Among the above and many more amazing things Alvin has done, he continues to authentically empower young Black people to engage with corporations. He is currently running events for 18-30 year olds in London who want to live in a city that supports all form of creativity for all people. This event is a 3-part series of workshops, explorations and design sprints on the future of Hackney's creative community. More details of events are here.
The wonderful work Alvin does intersects with our work at Voltage Revolution. At Voltage Revolution (VR), we believe that young people deserve every opportunity available to make the most of the future that is coming their way. However, we know that in this day and age, getting access to opportunities is a really difficult thing to do especially when brands and agencies have become so lazy when it comes to culture and are more focused on ‘driving traffic’ instead of diversifying their scope of talents. At VR, we understand how unfair this is and we want to change this narrative.
How are we doing this?
We've created a platform that provides young Black people in the UK with access to the people they need to know and the knowledge they need to have to get where they want to go while creating a safe space where they are supported with their mental health and well-being. We are providing:
Our programmes are designed for you to take your career into your own hands with our support. With our team of experts and professionals, you will have everything you need to decide which direction you want your creative career to go in. All you need to do is bring your ambition and drive.
If you're interested in finding out more about what we are doing at Voltage Revolution or getting involved, please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.
Written By Lauretta Afful, Content Marketing Manager at Do it Now Now.
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