Problem: Craft a thoughtful and meaningful message backed by a plan of action to support the Black Lives Matter movement
During the height of the BLM protests in Spring and Summer of 2020, many organizations were putting out statements about their own policies around race and committing to do better. Some were received well, many were not.
The statements often meant well, but without any kind of action or plan to change, most came across hollow and insulting to the black community. An Anime and Japanese culture convention called Kumoricon is probably not what comes to mind when you picture a high-stakes BLM statement. Yet, the Director of Publicity came to me to help craft just such a statement.
If you don’t know, Anime culture in the West has not been kind to people of color, especially black people. Perhaps it's because the extremely whitewashed aesthetic of anime reenforces racist ideals. Regardless, I wanted the Kumoricon statement to not only address the BLM movement as it related to the convention, but also wider issues in the community.
Kumoricon prides itself on being an inclusive community. Many attendees and staff are LGBTQ+, disabled, or otherwise marginalized. I felt strongly that Kumoricon should state unambiguously that our community to inclusivity extended to our black community members as well, and the board agreed.
I supplied a first draft that was looked over by many, many board members and assistants. We kept the process collaborative and were able to release a statement and plan of action Kumoricon felt proud to stand behind.