In an email to all employees to kick off Black History Month, Elizabeth Morrison, Levi Strauss & Co.’s Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer made it clear — “We are history makers as we continue to strive for equality, fight bigotry and bias, and celebrate the joy and wonder of Black courage, Black culture and Black brilliance.”
All this month, LS&Co. and our brands are commemorating Black History Month through a series of partnerships with artists and activists, and sharing incredible stories that highlight a range of Black voices creating not just Black history, but history itself. Read on to learn more.
“Beauty of Becoming”
Following last year’s VOTE campaign PSA, the Levi’s® brand is once again teaming up with filmmaker Oge Egbuonu to share some of the most powerful voices of our time through a mini film series titled “Beauty of Becoming.” It launched January 28, with films planned for each month between now and June 2021 to honor Black History Month, International Women’s Day and Pride Month.
The series highlights activists like Naomi Osaka, Jaden Smith, Brandon Flynn, Carlos Montes and others, showing how their journeys to greatness have been punctuated by both triumph and adversity — fights for racial and gender equity, against the environment’s degradation and against the silencing of people with disabilities. Everyone featured tells a personal story of “becoming” through messages of advice to their 14-year-old selves, stories of how they arrived at who they are today, what they had to overcome and how they found the courage to do it.
The brand is also partnering with artist, designer and political organizer Fresco Steez to create a range of Black Liberation-inspired customization graphics on levi.com and a collection of patches and chain stitching options, available through Levi’s® Tailor Shops. There will also be an app-exclusive collection of Trucker Jackets and sweatshirts. Proceeds will go to Power U, an organization in South Florida that works to organize and develop the leadership of Black and Brown youth, as well as the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Recognize: Black Culture in Progress by Dockers®
The Dockers® brand believes that Black voices need to be amplified louder and not just during Black History Month but all year long. That’s why this February the brand is kicking off 12 months of content that will extend Black History Month’s conversations. The content series, called Recognize: Black Culture in Progress, highlights voices and actions of Black individuals who are making a difference with their distinct perspectives, style and commitment to finding purpose in their passions. The series will amplify Black stories, employ diverse talent and invest in opportunities.
February’s Recognize content will feature eco-conscious activists and surfers Selema Masekela and Ryan Harris as they talk about their passion for surfing, the lack of Black surfers and the cultural obstacles that prevent Black representation within the action sport. They also explain their mentorship network and their mission to promote climate action through their organization 1PLANETONEPEOPLE.
Celebrating Our Superheroes
Throughout February, LS&Co.’s Black employee resource group in the U.S., Project Onyx, is celebrating positivity and driving a series of activations aimed at amplifying Black voices across the company. Centered around four superhero themes inspired by the late Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther — Honor, Rest, Celebrate and Give Back — these Black History Month celebrations include a virtual performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a slate of virtual volunteering opportunities, an employee giving campaign supporting racial justice organizations, and moments of restful meditation for employees.
For more, tune in each week to Levi Strauss & Co. on LinkedIn this month for a special series amplifying Black LS&Co. employee voices from around the world. Our employees will talk about their personal heroes, what being honored means to them, what inspires them to bring the best of who they are to work every day and more.