Never Whisper Justice, Old Spice, and Stride, Inc. are teaming up to provide a free digital learning course to more than 200,000 students, 400+ school districts, and 7,000+ teachers nationwide. This follows this week’s screening of the award winning film, BLACK BOYS, at Brand Storytelling 2022 — a sanctioned event of the Sundance Film Festival. The film is also an integral part of Old Spice’s 10-year commitment to help increase high school graduation rates by +10% in underserved communities.
Never Whisper Justice, a disruptive social justice film company fusing bold storytelling with concrete, meaningful social impact, has teamed up with P&G’s grooming brand Old Spice to address systemic bias in education, while reimagining society’s shared humanity beginning with Black boys and their experiences. The partnership demonstrates how collaboration can ignite meaningful action.
In 2020, Never Whisper Justice (NWJ) produced BLACK BOYS, and the film became an official selection at this year’s Brand Storytelling 2022. It was chosen as one of the 15 films by the executive selection committee from over 160 submissions. The documentary celebrates the full spectrum and humanity of Black men and boys in America, while showcasing the effects of racism. The film also invites audiences to imagine a world in which Black boys experience true belonging and unlimited possibilities.
Along with the partnership, NWJ extended Frontlines of Justice (FoJ), an eLearning platform aimed to improve the learning outcome of tens of thousands of underrepresented students nationwide through personal and professional socio-emotional development. NWJ aims to provide the FoJ’s Black Boys Digital Learning Course to more than 200K students, 400+ school districts and 7000+ teachers for free by partnering with Stride Inc. Niyoka McCoy, Chief Academic Officer of Stride, says that “now is the time to take digital media in the classroom to the next level — we must elevate our students’ voices by connecting film and curriculum to foster critical conversations around social justice and racial equity through deeper learning. As the nation’s leading provider of online and blended learning programs, Stride’s mission is to provide a high-quality education for anyone — particularly those from underserved and historically underrepresented communities.
Supported by Old Spice’s School of Swagger initiative designed to increase youth mentor sign-ups, this partnership showcases how Old Spice’s investment in purpose-driven storytelling, community engagement and actionable initiatives has charted a new path for accelerating impactful-measurable change in the lives of young people nationwide.
Since the fall of 2020, Old Spice has been committed to a 10-year initiative to improve high school graduation rates for underserved students by ten percent. NWJ’s film BLACK BOYS is streaming now on NBC’s Peacock; it illuminates the dominant conversation and consciousness that some young people, particularly Black and brown boys, experience systemic barriers that result in unequal opportunity. Chosen as an official selection for Brand Storytelling 2022, BLACK BOYS is radically changing the cultural conversation but refuses to stop there.
Together, this partnership is dedicating real time resources and energy to increasing graduation rates by elevating Old Spice’s School of Swagger Initiative and bringing NWJ’s eLearning platform Frontlines of Justice to schools across the country. Frontlines of Justice (FoJ) is an online, video-centric eLearning platform designed to create social, racial, and educational justice through compelling film content.
“Awareness without concrete social impact is just advertising. Campaigns often fall short when they focus solely on raising awareness. We are filmmakers whose storyboard begins with impact first. When problems are systemic, our approach must create sustainable interventions,” says Jon-Thomas Royston, co-founder of NWJ.
“We’re excited that Brand Storytelling 2022 selected ‘BLACK BOYS’ as a feature film,” said Matt Krehbiel, Old Spice brand vice president at Procter & Gamble. “It’s great to continue our efforts to help young people succeed in high school and beyond by promoting the racial, educational, and social justice learnings to more students in schools nationwide.”
This social and educational impact component now attached to the commitment to increase graduation rates for young Black and brown men by 2030 is only the beginning. NWJ and Old Spice are not stopping at inspiring the conversation — they are committed to changing it through meaningful action.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.