Education Outreach Campaign
The ASHE ’68 SOCIAL IMPACT CAMPAIGN builds on Ashe’s life story and his courage amid a time when Olympic track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith were banned for raising their fists in a Black power salute during the ‘68 Olympics. Ashe’s journey is relevant decades later, as Black lives are still under threat and activism — like Colin Kaepernick's — is often punished. The ASHE ’68 story is subtle, going deep inside Arthur Ashe's psyche to illuminate the internal pressures he and many Black people face. It illustrates how activism can take many forms, as Ashe often maneuvered to win a seat at the table as much as he chose picketing outside. We’ll use the film and VR to inspire diverse audiences to learn about Ashe, derive courage from his example, and empower them to raise their voices for justice as Ashe did when promoting education for Black youth, dismantling Apartheid and calling out racism. His story, 50 years old, is as relevant today as it was then.
The objective of the Ashe ’68 impact campaign is to harness the momentum of the 50th anniversary of Ashe’s historic US Open win and use the moment to reach and engage new audiences: especially youth of color, tennis players and fans, as well as diverse audiences, and equip communities with innovative visual tools, including the Ashe VR Experience. It will tell the story of Arthur Ashe’s legacy, and his activism that called for freedom of oppressed peoples everywhere — including improved education at home and the end of Apartheid in South Africa. This media, along with accompanying materials such as a discussion guide, lesson plans, and short videos will spark engaged conversations about discrimination, structural racism, and activism in sports and beyond. The campaign also aims to inspire activism among both a) young people in sports and after school programs learning to advocate for their interests, and b) diverse groups looking for ways to build bridges between communities. The Ashe ‘68 social impact campaign will support ways for its audience to translate conversation into action.