1.5M people in the U.S. are still legally enslaved because of an exception clause in the 13th Amendment that allows slavery to be used as punishment for crime even today. When we learned about the disturbing issue, which disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities, while allowing America’s prison industry to profit by exploiting incarcerated people — who produce $11bn worth of goods and services per year — we partnered with nonprofit advocacy organization Worth Rises to drive change and End the Exception.
After discovering 88% of Americans believe slavery was eliminated in 1865, we developed “Except for Me:” a multimedia campaign designed to both educate the public and draw the nation’s attention to the Abolition Amendment, which seeks to end the exception once and for all.
Comprising a social media series of 13 films that bring forward the faces, voices, and stories of 13 previously incarcerated people, and an experiential art installation, the campaign strategically launched around several key dates significant to the cause.
Beginning on Labor Day, and for the next 12 days, Worth Rises shared one of the 13 films on their social channels. Then, on Constitution Day, as America celebrated the most powerful grant of rights for its citizens, we joined Worth Rises for a public event in Philadelphia to install our “Except” wall.
Built by in-house content engineers, the 20' art display featured the word “Except” made up of mailable postcards, each with an image of one previously incarcerated person, a QR to their story, and a call to action. Additionally, the postcards allowed attendees to contact Congress members then and there, urging support for the Abolition Amendment. When all was said and done, we saw results: