“We know there's massive inequalities in access to careers within creativity,” says Converse CMO Jesse Stollak. “If we create new pipelines of experience, we can open an engine for youth opportunity.”
This idea underpins the expanded Converse All Stars program. At its core, the program hinges on a robust community-focused ecosystem of mentorship, commission and funding; Converse's global network facilitates a capacity-building ecosystem that helps young creatives gain professional experience and opportunity.
“It is about giving creatives across mediums opportunities to accelerate and amplify the impact they are trying to make for themselves and for their communities,” says Stollak.
This generation creates with intent — they're operating with an urgency and focused on where the world needs change. We want to champion ideas that create more opportunity to accelerate this impact.
Converse All Star Captains was conceived for and by the Converse All Stars community during the course of nine months, with a core group of 13 individuals from nine countries steering its final format. The committee includes Harvard College Student Body President and Vice President, James Mathew and Ifeoma “Ify” White-Thorpe, who unexpectedly went viral in November 2019 for their groundbreaking and inclusive undergraduate council campaign.
“This generation creates with intent — they're operating with an urgency and focused on where the world needs change. We want to champion ideas that create more opportunity to accelerate this impact,” says Stollak.
In October 2020, All Stars will have the opportunity to submit individual proposals to the Converse creative network. Beginning in 2021, the first annual class of Captains — which will include Mathew and White-Thorpe — will each receive a year’s worth of funding for their ideas along with mentorship opportunities from the Converse creative network. This Captains' class will also be directly and actively involved in providing feedback for and insights into Converse brand work, selecting future All Stars and influencing the experiences and programming of the All Star Series.
“This is a shift of thinking: from witness to co-conspirator,” says Stollak. “While Converse footwear has been worn by cultural pioneers and changemakers in history, now we are striving to make change together.”
To learn more, including how to join Converse All Stars, visit converse.com/allstars