How “Change Starts Here” tackles diversity & inclusion challenges


By Hailey Stangebye

 

We talk about diversity and inclusion a lot at Warhol & WALL ST. That’s intentional. We believe that the conversation about diversity and inclusion is never one with a distinct beginning, middle and end. Rather, it’s an ongoing dialogue that changes with every passing month and year. It’s about progress and change and empathy and understanding and a host of other components.

That’s what made our campaign with the Department of Public Safety, “Change Starts Here,” so relevant. While the ultimate goal was (and is) to improve community-police relations in Ohio, this campaign does not impose strict steps to a perfectly successful relationship. Instead, it focuses on starting a productive, empathetic dialogue between law enforcement and the community they serve.

“Often we find that diversity and inclusion efforts expand past the workplace. At the core, they involve bringing different groups of people who may be in contention together to see past their differences and find commonalities.”

“Often we find that diversity and inclusion efforts expand past the workplace,” says Chris Jones, COO of Warhol & WALL ST. “At the core, they involve bringing different groups of people who may be in contention together to see past their differences and find commonalities. For ‘Change Starts Here,’ we were tasked with helping rally community members, law enforcement and Ohio youth around a movement aimed at educating, inspiring and celebrating individuals and organizations in Ohio who are taking positive steps in their communities to locally improve the police-community relationship. With such a sensitive issue, it was important to identify and bring to light those people who were taking it upon themselves to make positive community change. We showcased positive examples and shared best practices that could be emulated by others who were also interested in proactively improving police-community relations, no matter their race, gender or location.”

Our campaign became a catalyst for productive dialogue through a strategic combination of creative and engagement. We created a brand that gave Ohioans a voice by encouraging them to tell us how to change the dynamic between the community and the police. The platform doesn’t place blame on one person or another. Instead, it focuses on how every individual can step up and reach across idealogical differences to find common ground. That’s a lot to ask of Ohioans (or anyone). But they bravely stepped up to the plate, which is one reason that this campaign grew to be so successful; we included our community in the discussion.

These conversations originated from the ground-up in target neighborhoods. We facilitated interactions between Ohio youth and law enforcement officers to build trust and understanding. This wasn’t a top-down press release from a distant official. These were heartfelt conversations at the human level.

Our approach to diversity and inclusion looks different for every campaign. Stay tuned as we analyze more projects to bring this dialogue to life.