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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

The Assignment

Finalist in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


The Assignment is a digital content series that pairs queer and questioning young people with four amazing LGBTQ+ pros in the culinary industry with an assignment. Pairs learn to do multiple tasks: cooking and creating, to running a juice bar, to designing interiors and accessories. 

In partnership with Taco Bell Foundation, the goal was to illuminate a path for young queer people who may be struggling to see a future in which they can thrive. Through the series, we set our sights on igniting the imaginations of LGBTQ+ youth by presenting them with an entertaining and engaging vision for a future career – and provide them with the tools and resources to get started on their journey.

Strategy and Execution

For this series, we created cover images and profile photos for our primary social accounts: Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Each episode included episodic trailers that we launched weekly to drive traffic to our website and YouTube to view the full episodic episodes. 

The Assignment specific-graphics were also given to all talent to promote once each episode aired, that included quick tips from the corresponding episode. 

In the first episode, we visited Super Juiced - a queer, Black, and Brown-owned organic juice bar in Oakland, CA. We paired interns Angelica and Kaylena with co-owner Rana Halpern and gave them the assignment to teach us how to make almond milk from scratch.

For the second episode, we paired Marquice with pro chef Lazarus Lynch – the Chopped champ, author of “Son of a Southern Chef,” and the first queer Black Met Gala chef – and gave them the assignment: to cook from the spirit, no recipe allowed!

The third episode paired Joy with interior designer Sophie Collé and gave them an assignment: liven up the kitchen with some adorable DIY drink coasters (and use some power tools in the process).

And for our finale, we paired Phoenix with pro chef and “Top Chef: All Stars” winner Melissa King, and gave them an assignment: celebrate your culture through food (while discussing how they each found their queer community).

From casting to an all-women and nonbinary production set for a few of the episodes, diversity and inclusion were at the forefront of the stories we told and the folks behind the camera. A challenge was to also make sure that we were showcasing talent in their respective spaces - episodes were shot in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and in Brooklyn. 



We ran a paid media campaign ran from April 10th to May 5th, primarily targeting 13-34 year old LGBTQ+ members + allies. Secondary parameters were applied to engage users with culinary and design interests. 

Overall, we were able to:

Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube were our leading platforms that drove engagement to our target audiences. Instagram proved to be the most effective media partner in driving traffic to the Assignment. We were able to assess best practice in effectively targeting a younger demographic through Story ad placements.


Video for The Assignment

Entrant Company / Organization Name

It Gets Better Project


Entry Credits