These 12 brands are supporting the Black community with their Pride campaigns
This year, Pride campaigns have evolved. The coronavirus pandemic has forced Pride parades and brand across the U.S. to go virtual, giving brands the potential of global reach. And with the death of George Floyd inspiring millions to take action against systemic racism, many brands have revamped their virtual Pride plans to support the Black LGBTQ+ community.
In the U.S., Pride has close ties to racial injustice. Black LGBTQ+ individuals were a large part of New York City’s Stonewall Inn protests of 1969, the start of Pride. Many believe that the uprising was initiated when police tried to shove Black lesbian Stormé Delarverie into a police car.
These 12 brands are emphasizing and supporting the Black community in their Pride campaigns this year:
Netflix is hosting a “Netflix Pride” virtual event presented by Most, the platform’s dedicated social channels which promote content for the LGBTQ+ community. The event will be streamed on Netflix’s YouTube, The Most’s IGTV and TikTok on June 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern, and will feature famous Black LGBTQ+ champions including actress and activist Laverne Cox (star of Netflix’s new “Disclosure” documentary which is all about the history of trans images in film and TV), actor Tituss Burgess and singer Chaka Khan.
During the event, Netflix will raise awareness of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organization that defends the rights of Black transgender people, named after Black drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising, as well as LGBTQ+ organizations Outright Action International and the Trans Justice Funding Project.
"LGBTQ+ communities across the country are reflecting on the meaning of Pride this year," Netflix said in a statement. "Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, they are mobilizing in solidarity with the Black community to continue the fight for racial and social justice. Netflix is eager to recognize the unique challenges of these LGBTQ+ nonprofits while also amplifying the resiliency and strength inherent in the community."
Netflix has already announced a $5 million donation to Black organizations and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also donated $120 million to Black colleges and universities.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon is hosting a new virtual Pride festival called “Pride Inside” to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals. On June 27 and 28, anyone can visit PrimeVideoPrideInside.com for live musical performances from Betty Who, Vincent, The Aces and others.
The website will include other interactive experiences, including dance classes from choreographers Parris Goebel (“Savage X Fenty Show”) and Ryan Heffington (“Transparent: Musicale Finale”), makeup tutorials and conversations with 16 drag queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and content from Amazon Prime shows, including Amazon Music’s new documentary “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester,” a story about the queer disco icon. The Audible Sound Bath Studio will deliver peaceful sounds to calm visitors, and areas of the website allow visitors to make their own Pride floats, T-shirts and virtual flags. Visitors can create a profile on the website and invite up to nine of their friends to join with video at the same time.
Amazon’s other brands are celebrating Pride as well. Amazon Prime has a Prime Collection of LGBTQ+ movies and TV series, and Amazon Music is launching a Pride History skill for Amazon’s Alexa, with stories narrated by Melissa Etheridge, Tegan and Sara and Kim Petras, and has a Proud Playlist highlighting new music from LGBTQ+ artists.
Amazon Studios and Prime Video are donating to the Black AIDS Institute and the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network charities. Amazon has previously announced a $10 million donation to organizations supporting justice and equity.
YouTube’s VidCon and Skittles
YouTube’s VidCon, usually an in-person event celebrating the platform’s creators, has announced a “VidCon Now Proud Together” livestream event on June 27, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern on VidCon’s YouTube channel. The event will be hosted by BuzzFeed’s Eugene Lee Yang and Mayhem Miller (“RuPaul Drag Race”) with appearances from AmbersCloset, Jensen McRae, Kingsley, Gigi Gorgeous and Rebecca Black. The event is sponsored by YouTube and Skittles.
Throughout the event, viewers can donate to the LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund, which posts bail to protect individuals in U.S. jails. Google’s YouTube has also announced a $100 million fund to amplify Black voices on the platform.
Microsoft is doing a lot around Pride this year, with an emphasis on its own LGBTQ+ employees speaking out for justice on topics including systemic racism, sexism and misconceptions. Microsoft employees sat down with Dylan Marron of “Conversation with People who Hate Me,” the award-winning podcast in which Marron speaks with people who have clashed online. The three-minute video explores how communication can lead to change, even among people who disagree.
Microsoft is also sharing thoughts of LGBTQ+ employees on its social feeds and website, and on June 27 at 10 a.m. Eastern, will host a 24-hour long livestream on Mixer where gamers, performers and LGBTQ+ nonprofits will have discussions about racism, representation and rights.
“Global issues including the coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, and targeted violence have exacerbated the inequities the LGBTQI+ community already faces, making it all the more important to have a candid conversation,” reads the company’s Pride web page, which catalogues all of the company’s efforts.
Microsoft also has a range of Pride skins and T-shirts this year for its Surface and Xbox products, stickers and backgrounds for video calls with calls-to-actions and a way to donate to the Trevor Project through Bing with Microsoft Rewards matching donations.
The company is donating $250,000 to LGBTQ+ and racial equity nonprofits including Outright Action International and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. This week, Microsoft announced it will commit more than $750 million to diversify its workforce, suppliers and partners, and a $50 million fund to support Black-owned small businesses.
Global Pride 2020
Global Pride 2020, a collaboration between LGBTQ+ organizations around the world, has partnered with Facebook, Gilead, iHeartRadio, Revry, Time Out Group and We Are Social, and is working with the Black Lives Matter movement to amplify Black voices throughout the livestreamed event on June 27, which starts at 1 a.m. Eastern, streaming on Global Pride’s website and social channels. Influencer Todrick Hall is hosting the live event, which will also feature appearances from former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others.
Creative agency We Are Social Singapore launched a virtual Pride island, created by studio Swipe Back, within Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing” game to promote the event. On June 27, Twitch creators, including ShubbleYT, ZoeTwoDots and Loveabilities, will livestream game sessions in the island with the hashtag #GlobalPrideCrossing, drive donations to LGBTQ+ organizations, invite people to watch Global Pride and re-share Black Lives Matter content. The island includes a rainbow march, club, catwalk and Pride clothing for avatars.
In 2019, Campari’s SKYY Vodka was the official vodka sponsor for NYC Pride and Los Angeles Pride parades, but this year, SKYY had to go a different route. The brand has a digital and social campaign called “We Are the Pride” that features pop star Kim Petras, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” talents Violet Chachki and Heidi N. Closet and others.
SKYY is also supporting the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ individuals and those living with AIDS.
“At SKYY Vodka, we are committed to supporting LGBTQ+ voices 365 days a year, not just during Pride,” said Bernadette Knight, senior marketing director of SKYY Vodka. “But this June, support is paramount. With celebrations canceled all around the country, it is more important than ever to increase visibility and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.”
SKYY has also changed its online Pride banner advertising to read: “Black Queer Lives Matter” and, instead of sending people to SKYY's website, they are redirected to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
Chipotle is turning to TikTok for its Pride celebration. Starting on June 26 at 2 p.m. Eastern, the fast feeder will host a Q+A “Lunch and Listen” session with Karamo Brown from Netflix’s “Queer Eye” and TikTok influencers about being prominent voices in the LGBTQ+ community.
Chipotle will donate a dollar for every viewer (up to $50,000) to the Center for Black Equity, and will give away 10,000 free burrito codes. Chipotle has already announced a pledge of $1 million to organizations that fight systemic racism, such as National Urban League, and made it possible for people to donate through its app.
“We wanted to transform our TikTok platform into a resource that both celebrates and educates people about Pride,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer at Chipotle. “Authenticity and inclusion are values that guide much of our decision making as a purpose-driven organization.”
To honor the origin of the Gay Rights Movement and the 50th anniversary of the New York City Pride March, which is all virtual this year, snack bar Kind placed a rainbow light installation in New York City’s West Village, adjacent to Stonewall Inn. The light installation was created by experiential agency Bankrobber, a sister company of Brooklyn-based creative agency Madwell. A livestream on www.kindsnacks.com/pride-lights showed the lights on June 27 from 9:45 p.m. to 4 a.m. Eastern the following morning.
Kind is partnering with the Ali Forney Center, which works with LGBTQ+ youth, 90 percent of which are people of color. For the second year, Kind is selling a special edition Pride bar, and donating up to $50,000 of sales to the Ali Forney Center.
“Kind is proud to support the global LGBTQ community, its allies and the important work of the LGBTQ Rights Movement,” says Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of Kind. “With our light tribute, we seek to keep the spirit of Pride Marches alive while inspiring future generations to continue demanding freedom, respect, and equality for all.”
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s has been outspoken about systemic racism in the U.S. and the need to defund the police. The brand has also been a proponent of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s natural that the ice cream brand would speak out now. In a blog post and social posts on June 24, Ben & Jerry’s called out a disturbing fact: Trans people are incarcerated at twice the rate of general population, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Ben & Jerry’s also highlighted that “128 transgender Americans were killed between 2013 and 2018, 80 percent of them women of color,” according to a Human Rights Campaign report. The brand calls on people to stand up for trans rights by supporting the National Center for Transgender Equality and encourage the senate to pass The Equality Act.
When June kicked off and protests began to break out around the country, Pepsi’s bubly decided to pause its campaign so that the focus remained on the discussions around systemic racism in the country. Now, it has brought its campaign back and added on support for the Black community.
The sparkling water brand’s #UnstoppablePride campaign encourages people to share their best parade strut on Instagram Stories and TikTok with bubly’s gif, which includes the hashtag #UnstoppablePride. On June 27 at 12 pm Eastern, bubly will collect all submissions and turn them into a seemingly never-ending parade line on bubly.com/UnstoppablePride. Influencers Mark Kanemura, Todrick Hall and others have been recruited to join in.
Bubly is donating $75,000 to both LGBTQ+ organization GLAAD and The Center for Black Equity, which supports LGBTQ+ people of African descent, and Pepsi Co. is matching employee donations to select LGBTQ+ nonprofits. Bubly is using black and brown stripes as part of its rainbow.
Philadelphia 76ers with sponsor Giant
This year, the Pride flag has gotten an upgrade with black and brown stripes to represent all LGBTQ+ people of color, and pink and blue stripes for people who identity as transgender, added to the traditional rainbow. NBA team Philadelphia 76ers is using the new flag in its logos on its social channels, and will host a virtual Philly Pride Day Parade presented by supermarket Giant on June 28.
The event will be hosted on the 76ers’ social channels and will look back at the team’s participation in last year’s parade and its Pride Night in February when former NBA star Jason Collins, the league’s first openly gay player, rang the Liberty Bell before the start of the game.
Bumble’s in-app campaign began on June 16, and asks users to nominate LGBTQ+ organizations that support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). The dating app will then select ones for $5,000 donations.
Bumble is also donating $1 million across the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Black Women’s Health Imperative, the Austin Justice Coalition and community bail funds across the U.S. Bumble continues to speak out in support for the Black community on its social channels.