During the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic and racial unrest, Black-owned businesses were shutting down nearly twice as fast as other businesses throughout the United States. This inequity would undeniably leave a lasting impact on the ability for Black-owned businesses to thrive, exposing systemic inequities that have plagued our communities for ages.
We immediately took action. Using our Content to Commerce model, we set out to build a social-driven platform that could drive both commercial value and equity for Black-owned businesses who were being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Without a brief or brand assignment, we enlisted partners to help us drive engagement, social action and cultural conversation around Black-owned businesses during the key cultural milestone of Black History Month 2021.
We used talent, stories, and recipes inspired by the best selling book “The Rise” by Marcus Samuelsson to create a custom, content-driven, social impact campaign suited for the moment.
With Uber Eats’ support, we were able to construct a fully integrated, mission-driven ecosystem.
Presented by Uber Eats on Vox’s Eater, we launched a four-part original series titled “On the Rise.” Hosted by Marcus, “On The Rise” takes viewers on a journey into the thriving world of African-American cuisine to highlight the power of Black chefs as multidimensional forces shaping American culture.
We partnered with Dawn Porter (director of The Way I See It and Good Trouble: John Lewis) to bring the story to life, authentically.
We enlisted Sage to build the #BlackBusinessesMatter Matching Fund for meaningful, lasting impact.
We worked with James Beard Award winners Nina Compton, Rodney Scott and Kwame Onwuachi and James Beard Legacy Network member Leticia Skai Young-Mohan to represent the vast, personal and diverse stories that contribute to Black cuisine.
In one month, “On the Rise”raised $26 million towards Black-owned businesses and created a conversation that led to public participation (with individual donations matched with a 5X multiplier). We enrolled 25 Black-owned restauraunts on the Uber Eats platform generating nearly $1 million dollars in orders.
The series itself had over 4.3 million views with 99% positive sentiment.
The awareness raised $605K in donations to the#BlackBusinessesMatter Matching Fund with over 100 grant beneficiaries.
The results point to real impact around this urgent and critical issue, and the beginnings of an equitable platform that can be replicated across industries and communities. We successfully broke down any and all industry barriers in our way at the time, helping to construct an equitable and sustainable platform with a purpose.