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The Unstereotype Alliance, convened by UN Women, heralds the rise of silent stereotypes as it is revealed that societies are awash with harmful stereotypes



The research, conducted in Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom, found that the most common stereotypes are those of gender (57%), race and ethnicity ( 52%), sexual orientation (45%) and disability (45%). And nearly two-thirds (63%) of people believe it has become a bigger problem in recent years. Despite this, the focus is only ever on the aggressor and the victim, not on those who stayed silent and let the stereotypes happen.

In response, the Unstereotype Alliance announced “Say Nothing, Change Nothing,” a global campaign designed to mobilize public action. The campaign, led by star of the Black Panther films, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and long-time women’s rights activist Danai Gurira, aims to raise awareness of the pervasive role harmful stereotypes play in society. . The goal is to encourage conversation on the issue and provide people with resources and educational tools to act proactively and safely. A helpful guide, Unstereotype 101, will be available from today that explains how to safely confront stereotypes and empower people to become bystanders rather than onlookers, with three quick steps to resisting stereotypes: Stop, See, Suggest.

Explaining his involvement, Danai Gurira said, “Breaking down stereotypes requires challenge. It is not always easy for people to speak up but, without change, harmful perspectives go unchecked. We all need to have the courage to stand up for what is right and to say something.”

Sara Denby, Head of the Unstereotype Alliance Secretariat at UN Women, said: “Over the past six years, the Unstereotype Alliance has brought together advertising industry leaders, decision-makers and creatives around a common goal: to end harmful stereotypes in advertising. Despite advances in the industry, stereotypes are commonplace around the world. They continue to stifle progress in all societies, deny human rights and diminish whole groups of people in ways that have real consequences. The launch of our Say Nothing, Change Nothing campaign aims to catalyze a positive movement against stereotypes. Collective action can help us drive the positive social change in society that we desperately need.

The Social First campaign will focus on speaking to Gen Z in particular, after two in five (44%) of 18-30 year olds said they would turn to social media for more information on the fight against stereotypes. A #IWishIHadSaid social media movement will be sparked by Danai Gurira, encouraging the public to share their own experiences of stereotyping and times when they wish they had spoken out.

The campaign was produced in partnership with Unilever as Vice President and Co-Champion of the Unstereotype Alliance. Aline Santos, Chief Brand Officer and Chief Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Unilever said: “Stereotypes happen around us every day. But we all have the power to change that, using our voices. The Say Nothing Change Nothing campaign stresses that it is everyone’s responsibility to help end the perpetual cycle of stereotyping. By sharing practical tools and encouraging conversation around this topic, we can give people the confidence to transition from spectator to spectator. Together, our voices can make a monumental difference in breaking down stereotypes and creating a more equitable world.

The Unstereotype Alliance has also released three films: The Candidate, The Game and The Winner, which address issues of race, gender and disability stereotyping and adopt a creative face-bombing effect. In each scenario, an aggressor inflicts a stereotype while a group of bystanders remain silent. As viewers choose not to speak out against the stereotype, the face of the abuser morphs into each of their faces, visually symbolizing that silence is complicity. Developed and produced by members of the Unstereotype Alliance, the films are another key asset in raising awareness of the issues.

Please visit www.break-stereotypes.org to download the Unstereotype 101 guide, a helpful resource for people around the world to safely challenge stereotypes and become proactive allies in driving positive global change.



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