by Renee Wang, AsAmNews Intern
Can acts of love be found in instances of hate?
From the murder of George Floyd to the 339% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the past year to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign seeks to explore the love that is born out of these horrific acts. The “Love Has No Labels” campaign has been committed for the past eight years to addressing bias and discrimination.
“We’re focused on actions this year, how simple acts of love can truly support a community and make a difference,” Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer for the Ad Council said in an interview with AsAmNews. “This year, rather than featuring one holistic story we’re telling individual stories.”
Arthur explains that the campaign emphasizes the power of the individual — how a simple act of love can go a long way.
The video portion of the campaign is a mosaic of stories, told through film. Each video describes acts of love from individuals like Bridgett Floyd, of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation; Maddy Park, of Cafe Maddy Cab and Barbara Paloma, of the onePULSE Foundation.
For Maddy Park, the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes spurred concerns about riding public transportation. Realizing that many members in the AAPI community had similar fears, Maddy’s act of love started with Cafe Maddy Cab. The charity has provided 7,800 essential rides in New York City and received $250,000 in donations.
These rides were offered to Asian women, LGBT, and the elderly, marginalized communities who are often subject to harassment on public transit. Park explains that transit is especially important in New York City as many people walk and do not own cars. Day to day, low-income populations are reliant on public transit to make essential trips like going to work, school or medical appointments.
In an interview with AsAmNews, Park said it is rewarding to read the stories sent through her program’s request form. She believes the program has been successful in completing its mission statement: providing rights for the community, and amplifying a message of hope restored.
“In our request form we ask if anybody wants to share their story, or leave a thank you for our volunteers,” Park said. “Being able to connect with the city in a way that is so human and personal … people are struggling but at the same time able to feel relief from taking [our] rides … that was a really special moment for us.”
Park said that when filming her PSA, directed by Justin Polk, she felt inspired by the amount of energy, talent and kindheartedness on set.
Arthur emphasized that this is not the kind of campaign requiring a script but rather a commitment to authenticity and meaningful action.
“The ultimate goal is for people to be really inspired, and realize the impact of one simple act of love” Arthur said. “By connecting people to acts of love that were born out of hate and violence serves as an inspiration as to what humanity can do.”
In addition to the films, the “Love has no Labels” campaign has a website of additional resources, featuring ways to learn, act and support different communities.
“The website is designed to start small and go big,” Arthur said. “We are hoping people come along that journey with us.”
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