By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

February 26, 2024 | 5 min read

Courageous Conversations’ newest campaign presents the educational and democratic risks associated with free speech suppression.

A nation fraught with censorship must contend with its consequences and ask itself: will future generations know who Dr Martin Luther King Jr or Ruby Bridges were?

Tackling these questions head-on is a new short titled ‘America Erased,’ a collaboration between Courageous Conversation Global Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting racial equity and social justice, and the creative agency Wieden+Kennedy New York. The initiative aims to catalyze a movement spotlighting the dangers inherent in censorship, advocating for an education system that accurately represents the nation’s history.

The film opens in an elementary school, in which students appear puzzled by a threadbare curriculum. A narrator highlights the paradox of American values, stating: “We are an America confused – we say we value liberty, but remove Dr King from classrooms. We value bravery but rip Ruby Bridges from textbooks. We believe in the American dream, but erase the dreamers who paved the way for our dreams.”

The film symbolically represents this dilemma as an American flag fades to white.

Recent years have witnessed a concerning trend as numerous states have enacted legislation prohibiting specific books. This eradication of the narratives and contributions of marginalized communities erases crucial parts of American history. The 2021-22 school year alone witnessed over 2,500 book bans across 32 states, with this unsettling trend persisting into the 2022-23 school year, according to data from the World Population Review.

Recently, Florida barred the use of state and federal funds for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at state universities.

To bring attention to this critical issue, Wieden+Kennedy New York enlisted the expertise of Glenn Singleton, founder and president of Courageous Conversations, an organization focused on providing training for the understanding of racial justice, according to its website.

The collaboration resulted in the creation of ‘America Erased,’ a multi-faceted campaign comprising a compelling film directed by Omar Jones of Riff Raff Films, a dedicated website ( and impactful social posters that show key historical figures ‘erased’ from history books.

'Erased' poster

Suggested newsletters for you

Daily Briefing


Catch up on the most important stories of the day, curated by our editorial team.

Ads of the Week


See the best ads of the last week - all in one place.

The Drum Insider

Once a month

Learn how to pitch to our editors and get published on The Drum.

“This work is so personal for me and the full team behind ‘America Erased.’ Denying students and their freedom to learn about important American history will have severe consequences on current and future generations,” says Macaihah Broussard, creative, W+K New York. “This work speaks to that. It encourages all to live up to your values and teach these stories about our heroes so we never see our true history erased.”

America Erased began rolling out in early February amid a particularly critical Black History Month.

It follows previous projects from W+K, such as ‘The Myth,’ created by Asian employees to combat anti-Asian hate in 2022, and ‘We Still Matter,’ a reflective piece on the last decade of the Black Lives Matter movement developed by one of the Black Employee Resource Groups.

Interested in creative campaigns? Check out our Ad of the Day section and sign up for our Ads of the Week newsletter so you don’t miss a story.

Creative Wieden+Kennedy Creative Works

More from Creative

View all