Dentsu Aegis Network

Newsroom Editor

“When you see something that is not right, that is not fair, that is not just. Say something. Do something. Get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.” - John Lewis, U.S. Congressman

Everyone can be an ally, the question is how to become an effective one. This was the underlying theme during Insights and Lessons learned from John Lewis: Good Trouble, a virtual panel hosted by Dentsu Aegis Network’s DEI & Social Impact team and moderated by Deva Bronson, EVP, Digital investment, Amplifi.

Erika Alexander, Activist, Co-Founder, and Chief Creative Officer of Color Farm Media joined our panel to speak about what inspired her to create and co-produce; John Lewis: Good Trouble. Along with the other panelists Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Managing Director of North America Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture and Ken Byrd, Office Manager, Gyro, they discussed topics such as leadership, diversity, equality, inclusion democracy and activism.

Michelle Gadsen-Williams brilliantly said, “Today, we are dealing with a lot of the same issues that Congressman Lewis fought for during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Although we’ve seen progress, there is still a lot more work to be done. This film can be utilized as a tool to have meaningful conversations and keep Congressman Lewis’ legacy alive by walking the walk and taking action.” Here are some of the key takeaways:

How can one be an effective ally?

  • Acknowledge and understand that systemic inequality exists, and that we have to address this systemically and individually, and we must be committed to lifting each other up by advocating for and sharing growth opportunities for underrepresented individuals.
  • Practice active listening & learning
  • Do some self-reflection, better understanding your own identity and ways you have been aware of systemic patterns negatively impacting others
  • Take action, and continue to learn the actions that bring change

Why does voting matter? How can we engage the next generation?

Voting is not just our right, it is our civic duty. We need to reach the next generation through social media, print and word of mouth. Voting can be more difficult than it should be.  Here’s a checklist to make sure you can cast your ballot without incident in November.

First, make sure you’re properly registered to vote.  Check your registration here.

Create a plan for voting day:

How to make ‘Good Trouble’?

High voter turnout is an excellent measure of a thriving democracy, yet just over 50% of the voting-eligible population votes in presidential elections. How can you get into good trouble and help ensure everyone eligible to vote does so in future elections?

  • Help others check their registration. Encourage your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, clubs, and congregation members to check their registration status. It only takes a few minutes.
  • Create a voting day plan and know your rights.
  • Print and post voter information about your state at  your local schools, churches or other places of worship,  or other civic or community organizations.
  • Volunteer to be a poll worker at your local precinct. 

Erika Alexander closed the panel with a powerful statement that we should continue to remember as we approach Election 2020:

The people who say things don’t change, are not paying attention. Everyday things change around us, when you have clean water and turn it on, somebody voted for that, if someone picks up your child in the school bus, somebody voted for that. People voted those things in, that is the truth of voting right around you. I think America is so amazingly beautiful and strong, but we take for granted that these things didn’t just get here. The fact that we think we don’t have to nurture it or take care of it is a dereliction of duty. If you have a complaint, you have the right to voice that complaint but if you vote you can do something about it.