Monday Stir

By Kyle O'Brien 

The Long Lens of Freedom from MullenLowe U.S. on Vimeo.

-In 2021, Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday. Now, as politicians and pundits attempt to turn Juneteenth into an “anti-woke” talking point, the Black employee resource group at MullenLowe, Black@MullenLowe, was inspired to craft a film, “The Long Lens of Liberty.” The film is set to one of Frederick Douglass’ most memorable speeches about liberation and invites others to experience what the holiday means to the Black community, through a visual journey showing the group’s members living their best and fullest lives. Black@MullenLowe hopes that the film’s message and imagery will stand in stark opposition to the current politics and rhetoric being used to twist a holiday the Black community has long honored for decades.


“Attempting to rebrand bigotry as an ‘anti-woke’ resistance movement is infuriating. Juneteenth is a legacy inherited from our ancestors who fought for the privilege to simply live free. Today, Black@MullenLowe honors that legacy and those lives through, ‘The Long Lens of Freedom.’ We poured our true selves into this film, and it took on a life of its own beyond our original intention,” said Joy Barnett, associate creative director, MullenLowe and Black@MullenLowe ERG Lead.

-Two team members at L.A.-based agency Zambezi, Angela Wells and Tommy Dunn, have created a website to help people find things to do on Juneteenth.

-Most brands didn’t know about Juneteenth until a few years ago, but their Black consumers and employees definitely did. That’s why it’s important that brands celebrate the moment without it feeling like diversity theater, writes Melanie Williams, svp head of strategy at Los Angeles-based agency, Quantasy.

-TV news outlets are commemorating the historic day by producing and broadcasting special programming dedicated to the Black experience.

-CNN on Monday, in a dual simulcast with sibling Warner Bros. Discovery network OWN, will mark the Juneteenth federal holiday with a concert special titled Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom.