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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Lift Every Voice: A Juneteenth Story

Finalist in Storytelling


When Juneteenth finally became a federally recognized holiday, a writer on the Walgreens creative team saw an opportunity for education and inspiration. But how do you mark a civil rights milestone with sensitivity? Through the eyes of a woman who shares weeklong celebrations with her family and friends, as Black communities have done for more than 150 years. By making a personal story feel universal, Walgreens connected with its audience across multiple digital channels and social media. 

The award-winning Walgreens LOOP content team fueled the effort with decades of storytelling experience and our passion for social justice. Honoring Juneteenth wasn’t a business ask — it was a creative-led project driven by our belief that this story was worth sharing. 

Dallas-based writer Bridgette Williams and illustrator Dani Knight thoughtfully designed and curated a Juneteenth card collection, then we complemented it with a behind-the-scenes look at their collaborative experience. The video tells the story of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery after the Civil War, by capturing their process, perspectives and the emotions that inspired the project. 

“We wanted something that I could give to my sons,” said Bridgette. “Something I could give to my aunts, my uncles and my cousins. But I also wanted something that my chosen multi-cultural, multi-ethnic family members would feel comfortable giving to me.” 

That authenticity fueled engagement, delivering on Walgreens goal to proudly promote DE&I values, honor Black culture and educate its audience about the complex legacy underpinning this unique collection.  

Strategy and Execution

While some brands saw Juneteenth as a chance to capitalize with a one-and-done tactic, the Walgreens teams collaborated on how to approach this topic thoughtfully, and reflected on how our story would add to the dialogue about bigger societal issues. Because Walgreens fosters a diverse internal culture, we collectively charted a course to enter the market in a mindful and respectful way. 

Our creatives’ first mission was to emphasize the authentic nature of the Juneteenth cards and story. In the card designs, Bridgette brought the words, like “Rejoice,” and Dani brought the vision by hand-lettering those words. Each card carries distinct meanings, empowering communities everywhere to celebrate, and Walgreens Photo debuted the collection on a new landing page. The personal subject matter and collaborative nature of Bridgette and Dani’s creative process was compelling, and the content team secured partnerships and concept buy-in with the African American Leadership Business Resource Group, our communications team, cross-functional DE&I squad, brand marketing, merchandising, and channel managers. 

After securing these partnerships, we quickly coordinated the logistics for the Dallas and Chicago video shoots. Our team effort paid off: Lift Every Voice: A Juneteenth Story launched on YouTube on May 27, 2022, as the first video on our community playlist. 

The strategy included key educational, promotional and e-commerce activations. We shared the video on the Walgreens content blog and partnered with our communications team to bring more of Bridgette’s story to life on the Walgreens Newsroom, our site for company news and storytelling. 

Our email team featured the video in its first DE&I-themed newsletter, sending to nearly 15 million inboxes. Typically, customers focus on value in these emails, but the team proposed the launch as a test-and-learn, asserting that an email open was meaningful in educating the customer about Walgreens positive community impact. 

Bridgette’s reflections on the generations of her family, what the cards meant to her, and her message to her sons — the first generation to grow up with Juneteenth as an official holiday — translated into audience-specific messages for our key social platforms (Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn).

The African American Leadership Business Resource Group rallied behind the video, screening it and sharing the cards at a global event that featured an interview with Opal Lee, who advocated to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The content reached thousands more via Walgreens internal newsletters. Building on our success, it was featured as the lead story in a National Association of Chain Drug Stores newsletter to industry peers and leaders. 

Juneteenth’s holiday’s significance endures and the cards, as well as the video, continue to help people learn about civil rights heroes and our collective history. 


The video delivered on its storytelling objective, exemplifying Walgreens core values as a DE&I leader and America’s community pharmacy.

The content outperformed in June 2022: On Instagram and Facebook, Juneteenth was our top post, with 4.4% and 4.6% engagement rates, respectively, both 31% higher than benchmark; the 16k Facebook views were 19% higher. In addition, the email drove more than 97% of the Juneteenth blog traffic, where the page was the site’s most viewed content between May 27 and July 31. 

On the Walgreens Newsroom, the average time on page was 2:52 — 32% higher than the monthly average. Furthermore, people continue to rate the story as positively affecting their brand perceptions. 

This collaboration also created new benchmarks: Our boosted LinkedIn post garnered 637,622 impressions and 98 reactions, and the Juneteenth e-commerce page drew 9,000 visits. 

Our teams joined together to show how Walgreens is for and of communities. The content team continues to integrate these learnings as we evolve our approach: We pull more personal storytelling into everything we do and build momentum from our partnerships and customer sentiment. 

Lift Every Voice demonstrates the power of one story. It resonated with our audience, capturing Walgreens efforts to build awareness around the complex legacy of marginalized communities. As one viewer commented: This Awesome commentary is long overdue, it’s so important, beautiful and refreshing! Thank you for bringing this to the forefront, so ALL can share in this experience because we all know that Melanated/Black history is American history! #HappyJuneteenth  


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