Social Justice

Disability, Social Justice & The Power of Creativity

‘Justice for all’ are three words we, as Americans, solemnly pledge, affirming our allegiance to country and community. But when it comes to social justice for people with disabilities, there is still a wide gap.

Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin shares her voice in this video on struggles of people with disability and social justice.

This social justice isn’t for just a few thousand in a small minority on one part of the planet. People with disabilities are the largest minority market in the world.
People with disabilities are the fasted growing minority population in the world.
There are over 50 million people with disabilities in the U.S.
The disabled minority surpassed the US Hispanic population by 5 percent this year.
One out of every five people in America is disabled. More than likely, though, one out of every five ads is not inclusive. Staggering numbers of people with disabilities are out there – seamlessly integrated and living in our society, yet silently ignored and still considered on the fringe by advertisers. Though people with disabilities have physical or mental differences, they still clips coupons and shops at the grocery store, carpools with coworkers, enjoys dinner with friends and owns a home. I may be missing an eye and severely visually impaired, but sometimes I think I see more clearly that so many others – that people with disabilities cannot be ignored. It’s more than OK to feature them in advertising – it’s needed and it’s time.

Social justice is for everyone and can be achieved with creativity. “Creativity has the power to transform human behavior.” This is the new belief of Leo Burnett worldwide.
Leo Burnett’s CEO Tom Bernardin, and creative director Mark Tutssel wrote the book HumanKind to share the new focus of the agency and it’s people.

HumanKind is not about advertising or brand propositions or selling products, but a story about people, purpose, and changing behavior. It’s a look at marketing that serves true human needs and not the other way around. HumanKind puts laser sharp focus on the infinite power of imagination and its ability to change the way peole think, feel, and ultimately, behave.

When it comes to disability in advertising what matters most isn’t the inclusion of different abilities. Instead, disability in advertising can share what brings us closer together. Our human bond is what unites us. . . with justice for all.


3 thoughts on “Disability, Social Justice & The Power of Creativity

  1. Josh, your blog continues to educate and motive. This post does an excellent job of pointing out a level of discrimination that many of us where unaware of until now. Thank you and keep up the great writing.

      • Not sure how to answer that question. Thinking back, there are only three individuals with disabilities I have worked with in banking.
        Out of these three people, one is named Sandy and he was one of my mentors. Sandy is a mortgage banker in Chattanooga and helped me understand the human side of sales. Though Sandy had a few physical health issues, including walking with a cane, he never complained about it. He always had a positive attitude and could bring a smile to anyone’s face. Sandy was (and still is) consistently the top mortgage salesman/producer in Hamilton County, and writes a monthly column in a Chattanooga Home Publication.
        But back to your question, one way would be organizing an event within the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA). There are several networking groups in TBA and creating a networking group that not only connects people with disabilities, but brings issues out of the background and into the spotlight can be very beneficial.

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