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The B1Example campaign, developed by and for Boston youth, aims to inspire young people to redefine the notion of what it means to have street credibility and earn respect. Called B1Example: Redefine Street Cred, the campaign will be rolled out during the summer of 2010 on the MBTA and Facebook and with advertisements on television and in Boston movie theaters.
"This campaign provides an important space for young people to express themselves and communicate in a very personal, heartfelt way their thoughts on violence prevention," said Mayor Menino. "We all need to work together to find a solution to the violence plaguing our communities and the voices of our youth are an important part of that solution. These young people are showing great leadership by setting a positive example for their peers and I could not be more proud of their efforts."
The campaign, which has been a year in the making, was the result of Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Division of Violence Prevention ongoing work. The idea behind the campaign is for young people to challenge each other to be themselves, to show how their positive actions and behaviors can prevent violence, and to be an example to younger kids in their communities. Boston teens have been centrally involved in every aspect of the project, with a Youth Media Council comprised of Boston teens age 13-18 working closely with the BPHC on all aspects of its development.
"The real appeal of this campaign is that it has been youth-led, from start to finish," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "The young people developed the campaign message, the content, and the dissemination strategy. This is their campaign and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to it and funded it."
The teaser campaign utilizes "B" messages such as "B Creative," "B Smart," and "B You," and will be followed later this month by a series of photographs and testimonials from Boston youth. It includes a 30-second commercial that will begin airing next week featuring Roxbury resident Russell Ferguson, who krumped his way to fame as the 2009 winner of the reality show So You Think You Can Dance. A B1Example street team of 30 teens will promote the campaign online and in the streets, hosting public art sessions, community events, and managing the Facebook and MySpace pages and YouTube Channel.
A launch party to officially kick off the campaign will take place Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at Artists for Humanity in South Boston, where they will announce a video contest encouraging Boston youth to submit a video showcasing how they are being a positive example and redefining street cred. The winner will be featured in a commercial that will be aired in Boston movie theatres in August.
The campaign is funded by a $200,000 donation from the 1199 SEIU union, $100,000 from Tufts New England Medical Center, and in-kind contributions from Karmaloop, the Boston-based online streetwear boutique.