We kicked off the third season of our 2018-19 Spotlight Speaker Series a little differently this year. Instead of focusing on content creation or the principles of advertising, Bridget Todd showed attendees how to use their skills to help create change.
A self-described Digitial Activism Strategist (a title she is quick to say she made up to have something to tell family when they ask what she does), Bridget is known to many for her role as co-host of the podcasts Stuff Mom Never Told You and Afropunk on the How Stuff Works network. Prior to joining the How Stuff Works team, Bridget served as the digital strategist for Planned Parenthood, where she navigated daily public relations crises and online attacks, and curated heart-tugging stories to use to flip the narrative surrounding the “controversial” organization.
During her talk, “Everyone Is an Activist,” Bridget explained the key to success when it comes to online activism: compelling stories that hit home on a personal level.
“People care when it affects them, or at least feels like it does,” said Bridget.
She then brought her point to life by asking AAF board member Chris Gallant a few questions about his family and what’s important to him on a societal level.
When Chris expressed his concerns about preserving the environment for future generations, Bridget made climate control personal by adding, “Things may not seem that bad now, but taking care of our environment is important for the kids, like Chris’ son. Right, Chris?”
Forty-five minutes and numerous personal anecdotes later, Bridget concluded the chat with a 30-minute Q&A session. During that time, she reiterated the importance of the story-finding process and shared with a captive audience what it’s like to turn creative skills into tools for social justice, leaving us with plenty to think about on the way home.