Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

“Strands For Trans” is the movement to create trans-friendly barbershops and salons. Started by a small NYC barbershop, Barba Men’s Grooming Boutique, the campaign galvanized the LGBTQ community and other seekers of equality during Pride 2017, by bringing attention to the discrimination transgender individuals often face when getting a haircut. Inspired by the pink, white, and blue colors of the trans flag, the campaign led barbershops and salons across the country to sign up as a safe space on the first digital registry. “Strands For Trans” fought the mighty foe of discrimination with a small budget and a big heart.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

Barba is located in Chelsea, New York City, the birthplace of the gay rights movement. Owner Xavier Cruz distinguishes Barba not just by the quality of its services, but by its commitment to the LGBTQ community it serves. When we discovered a growing pattern of news headlines about transgender discrimination at barbershops, we knew that we needed to take a stand and ignite change.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

The biggest concern in starting a nationwide movement out of a small business was the budget. Our solution: get scrappy. We connected Barba with FLUX, a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to secure a small $10,000 donation and stretched every last penny. We enlisted a small, volunteer army of industry pros to donate their expertise, from models and voice talent, to directors and photographers, to post production and PR. Most humbling, fashion icon Marc Jacobs joined the cause. Not only did he get his hair styled in “Stands For Trans” signature pink, white, and blue look, he lent his celebrity to rally support with the press and his millions of Instagram and Facebook followers.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

By far, the best part of this project was watching our “Strands For Trans” map go from just one single pin for Barba to a wide spattering of pink, white, and blue, all over the country. Within two weeks, we counted trans-friendly barbershops and salons in all 50 states—even the red ones. Nearly a year later, we continue to feel pride as this network of safe spaces has taken a life of its own, and continues to grow across North America and into Europe.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

We designed an incredibly easy way for any barbershop or salon owner to designate their business as a safe space in the world’s first digital registry. As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.” And thankfully, hundreds did. What started as an initiative to help the trans community feel welcome and accepted, sparked a trend of inclusivity that spread further and faster than Barba could have ever imagined.

LOVE BEATS HATE EVERY TIME Terri & Sandy

Credits

  • Co-Founder and CEO Terri Meyer Terri & Sandy
  • Co-Founder and CEO Sandy Greenberg Terri & Sandy
  • Creative Director – Copy Sam Mazur Terri & Sandy
  • Creative Director – Art Direction JP Gomez Terri & Sandy
  • Art Director Jeein Lee Terri & Sandy
  • Art Director Jaehyun Cho Terri & Sandy
  • Art Director Simin Lim Terri & Sandy
  • Copywriter Natalia Davila Terri & Sandy
  • Copywriter Kiersten Utegg Terri & Sandy
  • Integrated Account Director Lauren Rubenstein Terri & Sandy
  • Account Executive Pauline Zilch Terri & Sandy

About the Best Social Community Building and Engagement category

Best, most innovative, effective or creative use of a social community building-and-engagement PR campaign.