“Just Like Me” introduces viewers to Black creatives who changed the game from behind the curtain. It stands as a guide for the creatives of tomorrow,” says the film’s director, TTK Harris.
The short documentary shares stories of triumph and inspiration from eight visionary black creatives who, against all odds, made it to the top of their game and are now throwing a line back to the next generation. And I’m happy to have played a part in the making of it. I’m even happier to announce join TTK in announcing its release!
“Sometimes it feels like you’re the only one discovering and carving out your path, without men and women who look like you, act like you, and are experiencing life like you,” noted Harris, who is also a well-respected painter and graphic designer.
“Hearing the success stories of Black creatives in the industry is rare. So, now’s the time.”
– TTK Harris, film director and graphic designer
A senior art director at Havas agency, TTK devised, directed, and designed all the visuals in the film during the first two years of the Covid 19 pandemic, leading a distributed team–with Havas supporting, and funding his efforts.
Supporting TTK’s “Just Like Me” film is just one of the steps that Havas is taking to build a more diverse, inclusive, and just workforce. According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), only 7.4% of entry-level marketers are Black, and Havas agency says they want to change that.
“Building DE&I into your company isn’t about reaching a specified destination—it’s an ever-evolving journey—and though we have a way to go, I’m proud of the progress we’re making,” said Myra Nussbaum, president, and CCO of Havas Chicago.
“While striving towards equity, it’s important that we acknowledge and respect the contributions Black creators make to culture. I’m proud we can shine a light on a few of those contributions and open the door for other Black creators to consider channeling their creativity and influence into advertising.”
TTK is especially thankful to:
• Justice Hall creative director and founder of The Fruit Mkt • Aleesha Worthington, VP of Brand at Scotch Porter • Dana Givens, painter, cordwainer and senior visual designer • Julian Alexander, founder and creative director of Slang Inc. • Professor Douglas Davis, author, and Principal of The Davis Group • John “JP” Petty III, Wieden + Kennedy executive creative director • Cey Adams, visual artist and founding creative director, Def Jam Recordings
The above creatives were featured alongside TTK, and they have his eternal gratitude for lending their time, likenesses, and personal stories to the film.
The new Complex documentary ‘Horse Power’ highlights how Hip-Hop took Polo Ralph Lauren and made it their own. So proud to say that TTK (@goTTKgo’s) art direction was commissioned for the opening sequence of the film! Sign up for TTK’s mailing list to keep up with more announcements like this.
To watch the film, click here. And remember to leave a positive comment about TTK’s art direction in the comments on youtube, under this instagram post, this tweet, and under this FB post.
If you haven’t snagged one of TTK’s Limited Edition shirts yet, I strongly suggest you grab the last few before they’re gone. Shop now at ArtByTTK.com. Thank you all for your support, always.
To our newest supporters, please remember to Follow TTK (@GOTTKO) on IG to keep up with his artistic endeavors. Watch the full film below!
My freelance communications work for the filmmaker Victorious de Costa involved bringing attention to the the Indiegogo fundraising campaign he launched for his film ‘Digging For Weldon Irvine‘. I booked him on interviews and today I’m sharing a bit about my favorite interview, which was on The Laura Coates Show.
‘Digging for Weldon Irvine’ is a feature length documentary, currently in production, about the life and influence of the enigmatic, highly sampled American composer, Weldon Irvine.
A Hampton alum, Weldon Irvine wrote the lyrics to ‘Young, Gifted and Black’, and was the bandleader for jazz singer Nina Simone. He was also a mentor to many hip-hop artists, including Q-Tip and Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Bars about Weldon can be heard in What’s Beef, if you listen.
A reminder of how little some things have changed, Weldon’s last major project before his passing was ‘The Price of Freedom’, a compilation featuring hip-hop, jazz, and R&B artists in response to the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.
Weldon’s own brilliant life ended abruptly when he shot himself in front of Nassau Coliseum in New York on April 9, 2002.
Director Victorious de Costa was in the midst of fundraising to finish off the balance of the film when he hired me to boost visibility of the campaign. One of the interviews I booked him for was in Washington, DC, on The Laura Coates show. Laura is a big Jazz fan who was eager to hear more about ‘Digging for Weldon Irvine.’
Listeners learned about the film that day, had an opportunity to donate, and speak with the director. Some callers even reached out behind the scenes with personal stories of their relationship to the composer, some of which may be included in the final cut.The fundraising video for the film features interview clips with Weldon’s family, DJ Spinna, and more. Victorious, an award-winning filmmaker and Sundance Institute member, has funded much of the film out of pocket. Still want to donate? Have questions about the film? Contact the director here. Have a great day and contact me if you want to discuss your need for communications consulting.
Lyricism is the foundation of hip hop music. Word is Bond explores the nature of lyricism via a number of artists who live the culture and practice the art form. From up-and-coming artists, to some of the most legendary figures the game has ever known, Jenkins and his editor Mariah deliver a film that takes you across the country and back — in an ode to the art of rhyming and its connection to community.
It was my pleasure to attend a screening of the film, and I encourage you to listen to some raw snippets of the Q&A with the director via my Youtube audio clip below. The film expected to be released in 2018 on showtime.
The words of my co-board member Martyna Starosta echo what many people say when they attend our WAM!NYC Justice in Media conference.
When I attended my first WAM!NYC conference, I walked into a room full of women & gender non conforming people & I thought “wow, this is it, we can have our own space for one day & talk about the issues that are important to us as media-makers & storytellers.”
Professionals who love creating, consuming, and critiquing media that deals with race, gender and more met up at our conference to get more tools, strategies, and ideas to do their work better. Read more about our keynote speakers below, and check back here for photos and other outtakes this weekend!
Chevon Drew, Board Member
Women Action & the Media,
New York City Chapter
WAM!NYC Gender Justice in Media Conference Keynotes
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide. Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers. Her latest one, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world.
Linda Sarsour is a leading racial justice and civil rights activist and one of the most sought-after media commentators on Islamophobia in the 2016 election. Sarsour is a Palestinian, Muslim American born and raised in Brooklyn. She is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPOWER Change. She has been at the forefront of civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending stop and frisk. She was instrumental in the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays, which helped make New York City the largest school system in the country to recognize two Muslim high holidays.
Ashley Nicole Black is a comedy writer and performer, currently writing for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Ashley started writing and performing sketch comedy at Chicago’s Second City. She is a proud PhD dropout from Northwestern University.
I spoke to a group of filmmakers about the importance of social media and digital communications! 🎥 I had a blast watching people’s eyes light up when I answered questions about how customized communications strategies can help them. I felt honored to be invited to speak. 🔻🔻🔻 Need a consultation ?
Reach out to me at chevonmedia.com/contact !