As Nike commits millions to reform social justice, Converse is stepping up too.
Converse’s All Stars program is nothing new. Still, the sneaker brand is injecting new life into the initiative that focuses on a robust community-focused ecosystem of mentorship that helps young creatives gain professional experience and opportunity.
“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.”
For the past two years, Converse has helped the growth of the program rise and currently includes around 3,000 people from more than 27 cities, from Los Angeles all the way to Lima.
Now, for the first time ever, Converse is getting the public involved by gathering 250 creatives throughout the fall. New members will have a chance to speak, engage, and learn from some of the most successful creatives in their lane. Recent All Star speakers include heavy hitters like Issa Rae, Lay Zhang, Tobe Nwigwe, Jefferson Hack, Virgil Abloh, and Samuel Ross.
“With the All Star Series, we’re able to share this amazing creative curriculum,” says Stollak. “The programming is designed to provide access to real-world advice, building confidence and getting valuable feedback on ideas.”
Converse is cementing its cause by donating $1 million to its Converse All Star Captains program, which will help 13 individuals who “define new possibilities through creative action in sustainability, inclusivity, diversity and youth development — areas where progress is critically needed today.”