International Experience: International Justice Mission
IJM is a nonprofit focused on human rights, law and advocacy to end slavery and human trafficking. IJM had an immediate need for crisis support after one of its attorneys and his client were murdered while arguing a case accusing local law enforcement officials in Kenya of corruption.
The team launched a global campaign to raise awareness of case and build support for IJM’s work. The campaign included projecting the victim’s face on a billboard in Times Square with a hashtag encouraging viewers to support IJM and pressure the US State Department to intervene.
Government pressure and world media coverage of the case helped pressure the Nairobi government to intervene to ensure that the killers were ultimately charged and sentenced for their crimes.
The agency team was subsequently engaged to develop a comprehensive strategic crisis communications plan for IJM that included training leadership in ways to assess and mitigate future risks and activate the plan in the event of a crisis.
Local Experience: Unnamed Well-Known Twin Cities-Based Foundation
Derive a values-oriented approach for a local Twin Cities organization to address the challenges of George Floyd Square, while providing support for the community in voicing their issues with fundamentally racist institutions. Design an executive visibility approach that supports the community without overstepping their power.
We led this philanthropy in taking the lead of the local community by mirroring the language of the Powderhorn Neighborhood Association in order to amplify the voices emerging in the local community. We helped this organization leverage their institutional power without overshadowing local voices to give additional support, visibility, and credence to the concerns of the community, without condoning violence and while calling for a peaceful resolution (with a full acknowledgment of the challenges of participating in any peace-making process with the police as an institution).
Regional Example: Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund
Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund (IMET) was created in 1996 to assist Illinois local governments with the investment of public funds. When the organization announced it had lost $50M+ by investing in repurchase agreements in which the collateral turned out to be worthless, a media firestorm ensued.
Position the values of the organization at the forefront and identify the solutions being pursued transparently. We supported IMET in naming their "fixing" actions, like suing the bad actor involved to restore the funds. With transparent, frequent communications to key audiences and thoughtful updates to media, we supported IMET in navigating this public loss of trust and restoration of reputation. IMET brought their audiences through the process of their fund recoupment. We crafted