Give Racism The Finger

Give Racism The Finger was an anti-racism project that All Together Now ran in partnership with The Body Shop Australia, and was supported by Amnesty International Australia, Shift advertising agency, and JCDecaux during 2011.

The project aimed to disseminate an anti-racist message to this group by engaging young adults (aged 18-45) who are positive about cultural diversity and encourage them to have conversations with their ambivalent friends and family members about racism. It used social contexts, face-to-face discussions, online social media tools, and public arts to work towards its goals.

The goals for this project were as follows:

  1. to build the confidence of The Body Shop employees to speak about, and act on, racism and racial discrimination;
  2. to have a signed commitment from 20,000 of The Body Shop customers during the period of the campaign period who will speak to their family members about the effects of racial slurs on individuals and the community;
  3. to increase the number of All Together Now supporters;
  4. to build long-term partnerships with new people and organisations; and
  5. to execute a well-managed campaign.

All Together Now succeeded in reaching each of these goals.

The campaign

The campaign was launched in all 83 of The Body Shop stores across the country.

The concept of Give Racism The Finger was for each of The Body Shop staff to invite customers to dip their finger in some ink, and then put an imprint of their fingerprint on a board in the store, thereby making a commitment to speaking up against racism. Each participant received tips about how to speak up when they witnessed or experienced racism. Over time, the fingerprints created a powerful visual representation in stores of the many people who were willing to take a stand against racism.

By the end of the campaign, together we had collected 50,706 fingerprints in The Body Shop stores. This is 254% higher than originally anticipated.

This averaged out across the stores to one in three customers giving racism the finger, equating to 150,000 conversations across all customers who purchased an item. The Body Shop has estimated that around 300,000 conversations took place in total, when non-purchasing customers were also accounted for.

At the conclusion of the in-store campaign, The Body Shop store managers completed a survey in consultation with their team that would help us ascertain the success of the campaign. The survey results showed a marked increase in employees’ knowledge about racism as a result of participating in the campaign: they self-rated their teams’ knowledge and passion about racism before the campaign as 6.4/10 and after the campaign as 7.9/10, an increase of 23%.

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All Together Now imagines and delivers innovative and evidence based projects that promote racial equity.

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