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Black Lives Matter to launch site for black-owned businesses

EVOLVING: Black Lives Matter launches BackingBlackBusiness.com

BLACK LIVES Matter have announced that it has formed a creative partnership with J. Walter Thompson (JWT) New York, which kicks off the launch of BackingBlackBusiness.com, a site that allows people to easily discover black-owned small businesses throughout the United States.

Black Lives Matter and JWT New York will work together to "plan their 2017 communications and events; a year which the organisation wants to make about building Black power."

Speaking on the partnership, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter said: “We’re thrilled to partner with J. Walter Thompson and in particular this effort to uplift and sustain Black businesses. Right now, we need to invest in black businesses more than ever.”

The agency will be tasked with creating "game-changing campaigns that will inspire, inform and influence behaviour." JWT New York will also be tasked with moving the movement beyond the '#BlackLivesMatter' hashtag that made it famous.

“Working in advertising, I believe that the messages we push out have an impact and that we have a responsibility to try and shape culture positively." said Lynn Power, CEO of J. Walter Thompson New York. "I am really glad that our partnership with Black Lives Matter is giving us the opportunity to play a truly active role.”

The first piece of work from the agency is a web tool called Backing Black Business which aims to reframe the importance and the role of black-owned small businesses for the Black community in today’s political landscape. It also hopes to draw attention to the large and often underestimated racial disparities in business ownership.

The Google map-based tool gives people the opportunity to use their money to support local black-owned businesses in order to have a national impact. The beta site also launches today with over 300 businesses, and also allows black owners to add themselves to the map.

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