CSPI/ The MilliGrammy Awards

/ CSPI/ The MilliGrammy Awards

Dietary sodium is a tricky thing to talk about. Getting the right amount of sodium is essential to life, but the average American diet contains dangerous amounts.

A high-sodium diet is a major contributor to high blood pressure, heart disease, and in turn, death. The culprits are everywhere –processed foods, soups, cereal, cheese – did you know BREAD is the single biggest contributor of sodium in the American diet?

With the Milligrammy Awards, the Center for Science in the Public Interest wanted to shine a light on the absurd amounts of sodium in fast and fast-casual menu items. In many cases, the dishes that might seem most innocuous are packed with more than twice the daily recommended sodium intake. Just ONE meal could have more sodium than you should eat in 2 days.

The FDA has proposed safe sodium limits, the food industry and restaurant associations are currently fighting those restrictions. So for now, it’s up to consumers to educate themselves.

President Obama and My Brother’s Keeper/ “Proud to Present”

/ President Obama and My Brother’s Keeper/ “Proud to Present”

As President Barack Obama exits office, he’ll turn much of his focus to his My Brother’s Keeper initiative – a program designed to close the achievement and opportunity gaps among young men and boys of color through mentorship.

In the wake of the 2016 Academy Awards and the #OscarSoWhite controversy, the President saw an opportunity to demonstrate the need to believe in the future successes of young black men not only in the film industry, but in all sorts of endeavors.

We created this film together with friends at Matter Unilimited, Getty Images, and DECON to run on the MTV Movie Awards.

Please, if you’re reading this and want to get involved or just learn more, visit IAMMBK.ORG

#IamMBK

2020 On-Site Optometry / Eye-Test-Imonials

/ 2020 On-Site Optometry / Eye-Test-Imonials

2020 On-Site Optometry is a Boston-Based Startup that provides high-tech mobile optometric services for businesses.

They came to us looking for some testimonial films from their clients and customers to be featured on their website. But we had another idea: Why not talk to the real beneficiaries of their services? Let’s hear it from the satisf-eyed eyes!

Together with director Dillon Buss of production company Minder and a handful of his art-school friends, we put together these Eye-Test-Imonials on a shoestring (and captured the real client testimonials, too). Special thanks to our friends at 2020 On-Site Optometry for having the courage to have some fun in a space that often doesn’t.

CSPI / The Happiness Stand

/ CSPI / The Happiness Stand

Imagine you’re standing in Starbucks at that little counter where you add cream and sweetener (what do they call that counter?) and the person in from of you has a Grande. Not a Venti, just a little 12-ouncer. The person proceeds to tear open sugar packets – first 1, then 4, then 10 packets – and dumps them each into the coffee.

Extreme? Well, that’s how much sugar in a 12-ounce can of soda. It increases your risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes and more. And yet soda companies spend BILLIONS of dollars a year marketing their products as “happiness.” We’re not buying that load of sugar.

CSPI / #sharehonesty

/ CSPI / #sharehonesty

obesity label

My friend and I were messing around with shareacoke.com one day, trying to see what words Coke would allow on their labels and which ones they wouldn’t. There were some surprises. You can share a coke with “Chubby” and “Lardo” which seems just plain mean. You can share a Coke with “Nobody.” You can even share a Coke with “Caution.”

You could not, however, share a Coke with “Obesity,” “Diabetes,” or “Tooth Decay.” No big surprise. So we thought we’d make a video about that – about how shareacoke.com won’t allow labels to bear the names of some of the problems associated with the overconsumption of sugary beverages. But the site also allows users to submit names or words that might be missing from their database. So to keep things on the up-and-up, we submitted the word “Obesity” just to see what would happen.

What happened next meant we had to start over and rewrite the video a few times, but each time it kept making the story more fun.

Interesting epilogue: about a week after we released this video, the word “Honesty” was also removed from the list of approved words on shareacoke.com.

See story from The Drum on Today.com on Digiday and on Mashable.

Cava Mezze Grill / Identity Project

/ Cava Mezze Grill / Identity Project

Cava Revised Tile

Cava Manifesto

Beautiful Cava Food

Flavor is a risk

Cava tile 3

Cava tile 4

The wildly popular Cava Mezze Grill was started in the DC Area by partners, Brett Schulman, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos, and the food they make is soooooo good. When Cava contacted friends at Preacher, in Austin, TX for an identity project, they were kind enough to enlist my help with some writing, and I really love how it all turned out. Look for Cava Grill coming soon to LA.

#changethetune / Center for Science in the Public Interest

/ #changethetune / Center for Science in the Public Interest

Coca-Cola created their iconic “Hilltop,” ad in 1971, and in 2015, it was given a cultural shot in the arm when it was featured on the series finale of Mad Men. But in the 44 years since the original ad aired, sugary beverages have home from being a sometimes treat to being the #1 SOURCE OF CALORIES in the American diet. Think about that.

This film for the Center for Science in the Public Interest was created to spread that truth and #changethetune

Since the launch, “Change The Tune” has been featured on Time, Inc. CBS This Morning, The Huffington Post, Good, Boston.com, Buzzfeed, and AdAge, among others.

Raising Voices Against Rising Rents / MakeRoomUSA.org

/ Raising Voices Against Rising Rents / MakeRoomUSA.org

The rental crisis in this country isn’t something we hear our elected officials discuss very often. Rental housing, after all, isn’t part of the “American Dream” the way homeownership has always been. But in the wake of the Great Recession, more families have been forced into the rental market than ever before, pushing rents higher, while wages stagnate, and that dream of homeownership recedes farther and farther into the distance.

Today, in the United States, about 11 million families pay more than 50% of their income on rental housing, forcing them to make difficult tradeoffs for every other expenditure. These families pay on average 39 percent less on food and 65 percent less on healthcare than families who live in affordable housing.

The rental crisis is a crisis of this nation’s shrinking middle class, and our growing class of working poor. As a country, it’s crucial for us to learn more about it, and what we can do about it. MakeRoomUSA.org is working to make that happen.

I was fortunate enough to help friends at Matter Unlimited, New York develop the idea for this campaign for Make Room, and I’m deeply proud to watch as they’re bringing it to life.

The idea was inspired by rent parties thrown by friends in college. Each month, Make Room will introduce us to one of these real families struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising rents. And each month, a musical artist will come perform for these families, and an intimate group of their invited guests, in their rented homes. Carly Rae Jepsen and Grammy winner, Timothy Bloom were the first two with more to come each month. It’s a rent party with a reason.

#ConcertsForThe1st, presented by Make Room. Please visit MakeRoomUSA.org today. And let’s bring opportunity home.

The Skoop 1-for-1 Pivot Project

/ The Skoop 1-for-1 Pivot Project

Skoop_Website_Macbook_Air

Skoop is a company that makes powdered, whole-foods-derived phytonutrient blends. They’re truly incredible products and recently, they found away to get incredibler.

Thanks to a partnership with Salad Bars 2 Schools, a non-profit that provides public school lunch programs with fresh fruits and veggies, Skoop is perhaps the first 1-for-1 nutritional company. Each serving of Skoop sold means a serving of free fresh fruits and veggies is donated to a public school system in this country. Each bag sold, means 30 servings donated. At a time when school lunch programs count things like ketchup, pizza sauce, and french fries as a legitimate vegetable serving, this mission is crucial to our nation’s health.

To introduce the new mission, Skoop launched a completely new website that also showcases their unique “crowd selling” model and fundraising functionality. And they created some fun content to spread the word about Skoop products, too.

I’m very happy and proud to have partnered with Human Design, The Lot, and my good friends at Skoop, on this effort. It’s exactly the kind of work I wanted Daughters & Howard to be involved with. Expect amazing things to happen.

Fashion Project

/ Fashion Project

Most people who donate to thrift don’t realize what happens to their items when they do. Often, they’re bundled indiscriminately and shipped overseas for dimes on the pound.

Boston-based startup, Fashion Project saw an opportunity to disrupt this model for the benefit of both donors and charitable organizations. Items donated to Fashion Project are assigned an accurate market value based on designer, brand, wear and other factors. On average, those items can earn about 100X more than they would at thrift stores, and 55% of the net proceeds go directly to the charity of your choice. Any charity of your choice.

They’re also partnering with retailers like Nordstrom to reward donors even more.

I’m so very proud to do work like this for social entrepreneurship. Doing well by doing good.