Sunday’s red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards showcased much more than a typical Spring Collection.
A group of wonderfully talented social justice advocates – Tarana Burke, Rosa Clemente, Saru Jayaraman, Marai Larasi, Calina Lawrence, Ai-jen Poo and Monica Ramírez, along with Billie Jean King, joined A-List actresses on the red carpet in solidarity with #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements. If you missed it, you can read more about it here and here, and for more on each of these terrific advocates, check out Fortune’s raceAhead blog.
This event got the team at LightBox thinking. Last year, some 20 million people watched the Golden Globes. While we all may not have access to a red carpet or the celebrities that walk them, we can employ the principle behind it – using a moment where the eyes are on you to lift up, then share the spotlight with, the voices and ideas you want to highlight. We can do this even if we don’t have 20 million viewers! We can start by asking:
Who is in our sphere of influence?
When can we best leverage this influence?
How can we share our spotlight to move others to action?
With this formula, we can leverage our connections at a time when folks are most primed to listen, then share the spotlight or even move aside when necessary. Here are a few examples and ideas that emerged from the team at LightBox:
#HBD. Simply put, our birthday is a time when people in our circle are more likely to shower us with attention. By her 40th birthday, Holly Minch had set the goal of visiting all 50 states. She wanted to see how many people out there think – like her – that there’s more to the American Dream than endless “stuff.”
To celebrate her adventure, she created a “50×40” event and asked her friends to support New Dream through a $40 contribution to celebrate her 40th year or $50 to celebrate the number of states she’d visited. In the end, she raised more than $1,000 in support of a new American story – and gave her friends a fun way to show their love.
Facebook has an easy way to leverage your birthday attention to raise funds for causes you care about. For my friend Michelle’s birthday, I learned about and donated to Native Hope, a South Dakota based nonprofit whose mission is to dismantle barriers and inspire hope for Native people. Had Michelle not created a fundraiser tied to her birthday, I would have never known to support this terrific group!
Break Bread. Coming together over meals is a natural way to lift up the issues we care about. Southern Poverty Law Center got a $700 boost from Renee Alexander and a friend who hosted a F*ck Trump CrabFest in response to their crabbiness after the 2016 Election. Anna Ghosh started a gratitude-themed Facebook fundraiser for the community cooking school Eighteen Reasons, whose board she chairs, and it raised more than $500 from one meal.
Food themed events with family and friends can build on another strong connection: our kids and pets. It’s no secret how much we love them. Parent teacher associations, dog parks, play dates and yes, even cat video Facebook groups, can all be avenues to connect with people around shared values, and food is a great way to open the door.
Holiday Hope. “Every year my family does a Chanukah ‘buddy trade,’ says Ryan Schwartz. “People put together their wish list and it gets sent to everyone in my family. For the past couple of years, instead of asking for material things, I’ve asked for donations to really rad groups – and put together a short explanation of the issues. That way, my family gets to learn about cool progressive organizations they’ve never heard of – as well as issues they rarely think about!”
Amanda Cooper proved that even if you aren’t sure where to start a conversation, it’s important to try, and the results might just be surprising. “Last year, we hosted Thanksgiving, and I printed out all the guides about how to bring up the plight of indigenous people during dinner, and I committed to Color of Change’s pledge for courageous conversations. I tried, but I couldn’t really get it started,” she says. “But then after dinner, my father-in-law asked if he could turn on the television, and my husband said, ‘Sure, anything but the NFL,’ which is of course what he wanted to watch. In the end, he didn’t bother to turn on the television and we had a really nice conversation for the rest of the afternoon!”
Simply put, our red carpet starts where we have the most voice and where we are eager to share the spotlight. Don’t be shy. Roll out your red carpet!
Image courtesy of Ai-jen Poo.