Current VPA News

Communications design juniors at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) are collaborating with the Saturday Morning organization to help further its mission to promote peace through philanthropy and by developing strategic partnerships focused on changing the perception that black lives are less important than others.

As part of their Project Management class taught by Professor Roderick Martinez in VPA’s School of Design, the communications design students met with Saturday Morning co-founder and SU communications design alumnus Keith Cartwright on campus. As a result of the meeting, the class plans to submit nearly 800 ideas to the organization before the end of the semester.

"Being able to include our brief as part of the class syllabus for the design students at Syracuse University reinforces the impact that we hope Saturday Morning will and can have in our greater community in the U.S.," says Cartwright. "We love the ideas that are being developed and look forward to making some of these a reality."

The class’s ideas include events, products, campaigns and initiatives. For example, Gabriella Hale ’18 thought of an idea to get younger girls more interested in joining the field of law enforcement. Through her research she found that female police officers are better at de-escalation and communication. She came up with the idea to introduce a limited edition Girl Scout cookie flavor called Justice. The new flavor would be accompanied by promotional ads and commercials and a Girl Scout patch for law enforcement-related service or instruction.

“Our class was given the opportunity to sit in a lecture with Keith where we were able to ask questions and get a better understanding of exactly what kind of ideas he was looking for,” says Gabby Carvotta ’18. “His main goal, which has now become ours, is to create and develop concepts that will inspire people and change the opinions and attitudes of many so ‘there will no longer be a need for this organization to exist.’ That is when we know we have done our job. As a class we are very excited to tackle this project, and it may be one of the most important design projects any of us will ever be a part of.”

Saturday Morning was founded in June 2016 by four prominent African American creative directors in the advertising industry, including Keith Cartwright, executive creative director at Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners; Geoff Edwards, creative executive of Creative Artists Agency; Jayanta Jenkins, global group creative director of Twitter; and Jimmy Smith, CEO of Amusement Park. The leadership team has been expanded as the group has grown to include Kwame Taylor-Hayford, managing director of Chobani, and Nicole Cramer, chief of staff for Saturday Morning, personal branding consultant, and entrepreneur.

Since its founding, Saturday Morning has asked the public to submit ideas “for inspiring positive change.” It is a nonprofit coalition for peace with a mission to change the perception that black lives are less important than others. Its products, programs and initiatives tackle issues from media representation to unconscious bias within corporations through strategic partnerships.

To learn more about the students’ ideas, visit the class’s Instagram @su_saturdaymorning.