“Love, Simon” Sheds Light on LGBTQ Representation Onscreen

April 20, 2018

If you’re familiar with using pop culture to spark social change, it’s no surprise to see major awards ceremonies like the Oscars, hard-hitting documentaries or high-budget historical films with rock star casts spotlighting social justice. But the latest movie sparking a social justice phenomenon may surprise you: It’s a teenage romantic comedy. Love, Simon, was…

What Was Different about #Oscars90? Social Justice Front & Center

March 6, 2018  |  Activism

Awards season always spotlights the social justice sector, and that’s why it’s important nonprofits pay attention to events like the Oscars. What made this year’s 90th Academy Awards celebration so special was the focus on policy issues, instead of political jokes. While the rhetoric of previous Oscars has been full of jabs from Hollywood’s elite…

Friends of AndACTION Report from Sundance Film Festival

February 5, 2018

At the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Bob Redford emerged from the mist as Jacob Marley, forcing us to confront the ghosts of our past and our future. Eric Garner was among the most prominent ghosts from our past. For both a feature film, Monsters and Men, and a documentary, Crime + Punishment, Garner’s death in…

Hollywood Awards Season Shares the Spotlight with Social Justice

January 10, 2018  |  Activism

At AndACTION, we help nonprofits think strategically about how cultural moments spurred by film and television can strengthen advocacy-based communications. Hollywood’s TIME’S UP campaign, a follow-up to the #MeToo movement, changed the color and the conversation on the Golden Globes red carpet. Standing in solidarity with women, attendees donned all-black ensembles to declare the clock…

Nonprofits Take Note: Immigrants Are #HereToStay On Our Television Screens

December 6, 2017  |  Activism

In the frame of art imitating life, the entertainment industry allows its viewers to celebrate the immigrant in all of us. Television shows like Fresh Off The Boat, Master of None, Jane the Virgin and Superstore, and movies like The Big Sick, reveal the unique experiences of people who leave their homelands for the promise…

Flashback Friday: Deadpool and Advocacy in Unexpected Places

November 16, 2017  |  AndACTION in Action

A superhero film breaking box office records doesn’t sound, well, out of the box. What makes this “smart-aleck” superhero who exacts revenge on his enemies unique, however, is the fact that he’s also fighting cancer. In fact, the action begins when Ajax, the antagonist, offers Deadpool an experimental treatment for a cure. While Hollywood has…

Netflix Gives New Life to TV Shows (And Why Nonprofits Should Care…)

October 26, 2017  |  Monthly Media Roundup

The West Wing, an NBC political drama that ended in 2006, remains a Netflix staple with a serious fanbase. The West Wing Weekly, a podcast started by the show’s lead Joshua Malina, analyzes each episode, often adding political commentary or inviting guests (in this week’s episode, former Secretary of Education John King) to draw parallels…

Woke, But Funny…Community Building with Comedy

October 5, 2017  |  AndACTION in Action

The Season 4 premiere of “Black-Ish”, a sitcom about a modern African American family, sets the record straight about colonialism and brings to life “Juneteenth”, the celebration of the end of slavery in America on June 19th, 1865. In the episode, Dre, the family patriarch, is frustrated by the heroism attributed to the 1492 discovery…

Marshalling Support For Your Cause

September 25, 2017  |  Activism

(Photo credit: Open Road Films) In 1940, as the chief litigation officer of the NAACP, Marshall served as the defense for a young black man wrongfully accused of rape in a small Connecticut town. The highly publicized trial, which became tabloid fodder, spread falsehoods about black males as a threat to communities and resulted in…

Don’t Be “Insecure” About Using Pop Culture to Promote Your Cause

September 20, 2017

The mere existence of the show – not to mention its widespread popularity – is groundbreaking. “Insecure” features a black woman (played by Issa Rae) as the main character and creator of a premium cable series, among an all-black cast. The show presents social issues, overlooked by most television series, from the perspective of black…