(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced the start of “Flip The Script,” a positive visual campaign aimed to dispel common myths about men of color and combat negative imagery that frequent the media. The #FlipTheScript campaign, developed by Mayor’s Office on Fathers, Men and Boys and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education strives to disrupt societal norms of how men and boys of color are perceived and how they perceive themselves.
“All too often, we see men of color in media and elsewhere represented in a negative light – this campaign gives us the opportunity to change the narrative and tell the real stories of men of color as role models in our communities,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re encouraging residents to share their images as fathers, husbands, and mentors and join us in flipping the script.”
The initiative will highlight positive imagery of black and Hispanic fathers with their children in ads posted at Metro stations, on buses, and on train cars throughout the District. The stations include Farragut West, L’Enfant Plaza, Anacostia, Benning Road, Eastern Market, Columbia Heights, and others.
“This campaign is rooted in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showing that men of color, specifically black men, are just as involved in their children’s lives as other men” said Director Jason Wallace. “It is more important now than ever for us to change the narrative on how our men of color are perceived in the media. Being a husband and a father are the two greatest jobs I will ever have – I know that men throughout our city feel the same way.”
Reports have shown that media over-represents the association between black and Hispanic families and criminality, while overwhelmingly depicting them as absent in the lives of their children, despite reports from the CDC proving otherwise. This misrepresentation can reduce the self-esteem of boys of color, create stress, and aid in conditioning young men to model the stereotypical behavior depicted in the media. These inaccurate portrayals reinforce implicit biases especially among viewers with less real-world experiences with black and Hispanic men.
The initiative partners with social media influencers @TheBlackManCan, @TheDadGang, @StrongBlackFathers, @1JohnnyBailey, @Fatherhood_Fraternity, @DadIsntANoun, @SwaggerDad, and @Black.Fathers.Matter to amplify the message.
The Office on Fathers, Men and Boys is encouraging residents to upload their proud “Daddy and Me” photos to social media using the hashtag #FlipTheScript.