Courageous Conversation Global Foundation, with help from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, is launching its new “Not a Gun” campaign in Austin, Texas, to help drive meaningful transformation in the community. At the heart of the campaign’s anti-lethal message is the idea that it’s not a gun that the black man is holding, it’s a candy bar.
Local media placements will run from February 25 to March 22.
“Unconscious bias towards black people has been problematic among police for such a long time,” said Glenn Singleton, founder of Courageous Conversation Global Foundation. “To spark change and to ensure we all get home safely, we either need the police and the community to solve it together, or we need policy change. One way or the other, something has to happen.”
It’s Not a Gun, It’s A Sugar Bomb
“The ‘Not A Gun’ campaign brings to life the issue of police officers taking black people to be holding guns when, in reality, they’re in possession of something harmless,” said Rony Castor, an associate creative director at GS&P. “Unconscious bias is a growing epidemic affecting this country, and we are hopeful that campaigns like this by Courageous Conversation will inspire police and community members to become trained and educated in a way that ultimately changes the narrative, saves lives and makes everyone feel safe.”
“For a black man, a routine traffic stop shouldn’t make you feel all alone and make you wonder if you’ll walk away alive,” said Anthony O’Neill, an associate creative director at GS&P in San Francisco.
Survival Options for Police and People
Coming out of this campaign, CCGF will partner with law-enforcement professionals to develop a training seminar called “Survival Options for Police and People” geared specifically to improving relationships between police departments and communities. Visitors to notagun.org can sign up for the training as well as sign a petition that encourages more effective unconscious-bias and de-escalation training for all police officers.
To prepare for the campaign and training, Courageous Conversation Global Foundation and Goodby Silverstein & Partners consulted Khalfani Yabuku, a retired Atlanta police commander, and author of When the Thin Blue Line Begins to Blur.
“In talking with police officers, they know there’s a problem of mishandling of force against black people,” said Singleton. “The only way to solve it is for the community and police officers to come together as one. We are hopeful that ‘Not A Gun’ will lead to productive conversations, tangible actions, and will help in ending the problem completely.”
Goodby Does Good
“Not a Gun” is one of many socially-minded national campaigns created by GS&P. Most recently, the agency introduced Lessons in Herstory, which aims to rewrite the fact that 89 percent of the content in history books today focuses on men.
The Agency by the Bay has also taken on issues such as sexual assault on college campuses with the “Unacceptable Acceptance Letters” campaign and online bullying with the “I Am a Witness” campaign, which included the first emoji linked to a social cause.