My Voice Carries Weight
by Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition
We are living in a tumultuous time. And, the mantra to use our voices to make a positive change in the world is even more relevant today than ever before. Each of us as individuals has the power to use the “voice” we were given to make a difference.
And, yes, I do practice what I preach. I am a professional advocate leading a national organization, The Creative Coalition. The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) nonpartisan charity of the entertainment industry dedicated to using the power and platform of the arts and entertainment communities in award-winning public service and advocacy campaigns. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of national public importance. Members include a renowned sector of the national leaders in the arenas of entertainment, arts, letters, business, policy, community leadership, and the media. The Creative Coalition maximizes the power of the arts to engage our citizenry in matters of public importance.
About five years ago, we became aware of this nation’s obesity epidemic. The more we learned, the more we became engaged. And, with more than 40% of the American population affected by this disease, it is truly an issue whereby the wide-reaching platforms of the entertainment industry can make a difference.
Recently, I found my own personal voice when The Creative Coalition doubled down on efforts to recognize the obesity epidemic through the power and platforms of television and film storytelling. I learned that I — personally — am not suffering from a lack of willpower, nor a plethora of bad decision-making. I learned that I have Obesity. I’m one of the four Americans among every ten who has Obesity. It feels funny to say it “aloud” or even write that sentence and own that I am one of the statistics.
Over the past year, I have encountered first-hand the hushed tones and exaggerated whispers when someone mentions the word “obesity” in a conversation. Whether it was during a business meeting when I was presenting the idea of magnifying the epidemic through the power of the arts and entertainment, or just in a conversation — when I said that Obesity is a disease that needs to be on the forefront of our nation’s health agenda, I was met with everything from embarrassed murmurs to laughing.
My journey in recognizing my personal connection to this issue has been informative, to say the least.
I’m proud, however, to be a catalyst in inspiring societal influencers to tell the untold story of Obesity; to open up the public’s eyes and ears to a movement that addresses a disease that has caused undue shame, humiliation, and morbidity.
It is for all these reasons that The Creative Coalition is making the untold story of Obesity a priority area where the arts and artists can make a difference. Our goal is to move the needle on this urgent issue that affects so many of us. We are amplifying the stories of this last whispered disease. We are challenging our industry to harness the power of the arts to create a new narrative to make it okay to talk about weight and its connection to health, without shame and blame, and okay to get help and support.
The Creative Coalition is utilizing the resources of the entertainment industry in numerous ways to get this issue into the forefront of our national health agenda. Most recently, we debuted a powerful PSA that spotlights the facts about obesity and COVID-19 and urges affected viewers to take action and check-in with a healthcare provider to find out more about how they can protect their health. We are also curating a short-film competition with our nation’s most profound talent to bring forth, “The Untold Story of Obesity.” These are just a few examples of how we are maximizing the reach of the arts to shine a light on one of the most pressing health and social welfare issues of our time. Our lead supporter in this campaign is Novo Nordisk, a worldwide healthcare company that believes in shared values and doing well by doing good — a shining example of a true business champion that supports the arts.
Featured Above: Obesity and COVID-19 PSA
I cannot forget that I’m one of the four. Personally, it’s neither an honor nor a shame. It just is. But, it’s not something that I will allow to just be. It’s absurd to think that in this day and age – at a time when we pride ourselves in being an enlightened and informed society – that we still cannot even talk about an epidemic that affects more Americans than any other disease. The more I learn, the more I am determined to change the conversation, challenge misconceptions, and increase understanding to help improve people’s lives, their wellbeing, and, most importantly, their health.
I am also the one who will continue to speak out. It’s my honor and privilege.
About the Author:
As CEO of The Creative Coalition, Robin Bronk spearheads successful advocacy campaigns that mobilize leaders and influencers to support social welfare programs, coalition building, and grassroots campaigns. For more information on The Creative Coalition’s Campaign to Combat the Obesity Epidemic, CLICK HERE.