Anti-Discrimination PSAs features Wynton Marsalis

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) partnered with Wynton and New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center to produce two public service announcements (PSAs) on workplace discrimination. Each of the following 30-second spots aims to increase recognition and reporting of race discrimination at work by making viewers aware that it is against the law.

Both 30-second PSAs feature Wynton and focus on the value of diversity in the workplace and the dangers of discrimination. The PSAs were produced in cooperation with Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) and shot at JALC’s New York facility in October. The EEOC plans an aggressive push to air the PSAs on television and cable stations, on web sites and on radio. The spots are close-captioned for the hearing-impaired.

The announcements should help heighten awareness of race and color discrimination as the EEOC advances its national initiative to bring a fresh, 21st century approach to combating racism, which remains the most frequent claim filed with the agency. E-RACE (Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment) is an outreach, education, and enforcement campaign to advance the statutory right to a workplace free of race and color discrimination.

“The EEOC is proud to partner with Wynton Marsalis to convey this information,” EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp said. “His participation enhances our message and ensures that a broad audience will be apprised of the importance of equal employment opportunity.”

In the spots, Wynton speaks the following lines:

Whether it’s Beethoven or Basie, music blends different notes and different people into something very special. If we all played the same notes, the music would be boring. It’s the same way in the workplace. People come from different cultures and backgrounds, but to succeed, they need to work together as a team. It’s about equal opportunity.

When we choose musicians to play a piece of music, we don’t care what they look like; We care how well they play. That’s the way every job should be, but it isn’t always. Some people play a cacophonous tune called discrimination. It’s not just unfair, mean-spirited, and counterproductive; It’s also illegal. It’s really all about equal opportunity.

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  1. Divin Marsalis

    Tout ce que vous touchez se transforme en succès. Je le souhaite pour cette publicité. C’est génial!

    Madeleine on Jan 23rd, 2008 at 6:02pm

  2. hes Mr Marsalis

    I am with you 100% to say that is it not with the color of your skin that you can produce and give the best in your work, but with what you have in your heart and on your shoulder.
    Congratulations on what you give and bring to all of us,

    denise from canada

    denise chandonnet on Jan 21st, 2008 at 7:11pm

  3. Excellent and straightforward message beginning on MLK Day!

    A website commemorating the 35th anniversary of EEOC, includes interesting information about EEOC history and wonderful selections of children’s art.

    gloria on Jan 21st, 2008 at 11:00am

  4. Thank you Mr. Marsalis,
    Another strong voice of experience added to the struggle for truth. If discrimination were not so such a powerful means to maintain economic and political power, it would not exist.

    Rendy Kowal on Jan 20th, 2008 at 5:59pm

  5. Straight forward and to the point!!

    I think I will use these PSA’s as a “thought provoking opener” at the next meeting I facilitate. These PSA’s draw attention to and as well underline the importance of collaboration regardless of “whether you appreciate” my skin color !

    By the way I AM BLACK!

    I think it’s crucial that black people are not ‘forgiven’ their skin color but rather that others just get over and recognise that historically difference DID matter and that given this fact that NOWm it shouldn’t.

    This to me is the truest meaning of equal opportunity-
    From many a black person’s point of view I just AM and it needs no excuses. From many a white point of view ” I didn’t know it WAS a problem so NOW there should be no problem.

    There is a problem, that’s perhaps why Wynton attempts to address the imbalance of perspectives in his PSA’s.

    Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! We daily don’t forget what you represent! It is a little sad that some only pay homage to our Dreams for our children but once a year at MLK’s birthday and during a short February month called Black History Month.

    As an educator, I AM a representive of BLACK and in my class I always AM- in a school in Massachusetts others perceive me somehow as not!!

    In our position we continue to underline who we are and where we as popel have come.

    Thanks for the messages Wynton I spread the word also!

    me on Jan 19th, 2008 at 4:02pm