On August 31, 2016, Jesse Lipscombe was the victim of a verbal racial attack in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, while he was shooting a PSA for the city downtown. The attack was caught on camera and the video quickly went viral.
Jesse was hurt by the incident, and disappointed that this kind of racism continues to exist in our city. But he was even more struck by the amount of love and support he received from his community, the entire country, and even the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Ultimately, he decided to turn a negative incident into a positive.
Two days later, Jesse and his wife, Julia Lipscombe, met with Edmonton mayor Don Iveson, and the #MakeItAwkward campaign was born.
It can be difficult to call someone out on their racist remarks or question their motives. Speaking up in the face of prejudiced beliefs or off-colour jokes can be AWKWARD. We believe, however, that it’s important to start difficult conversations and engage in honest dialogue about racism, prejudice and hate.
#MakeItAwkward is about speaking up SAFELY in the face of discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or a physical or mental disability. It’s about pledging as individuals, as businesses, as institutions and as governments, to make our environments as inclusive as possible as we work toward a society that is fair and equal for all.
Let’s #MakeItAwkward for anyone who thinks discrimination has a place in society.