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End Police Associations
Black Lives Matter LA

Kick cops out of labor

For far too long, police associations and police unions have protected police officers from being held accountable—even those who have terrorized and killed members of our community. Swell partnered with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to launch a campaign advocating for labor unions to sever ties with police associations for good.

End Police Associations – The Challenge

1 — The Challenge

Applying pressure and raising awareness

First things first: police associations are not part of the labor movement. Police are inherently different. Labor unions protect workers. Police assocations and police unions shield bad cops from accountability, lawsuits, and discipline leaving communities vulnerable to state-sponsored terror and murder. And yet police associations are members of labor unions hiding in plain sight and using workers’ struggles to mask their misdeeds.

End Police Associations – The Brand

2 — The Brand

Connecting power for the people

We had two audiences in mind as we developed this campaign: First and foremost, our goal was to apply pressure to the AFL-CIO and, by extension, all leaders in labor unions who have the power to effect change and create real police accountability and reform.

At the same time, we needed the general public to raise awareness about the issue to build a groundswell of support. That starts with ensuring people understand the difference between labor unions and police associations and how police unions shield bad cops from accountability and slow needed reforms.

Brand Identity — Our approach to identity utilized familiar elements from the larger Black Lives Matter brand including color palette and logo, but augmented it with collaged illustrations and a more impactful typographic selection that would work well in digital applications.

Amplifying a movement

The Black Lives Matter brand was already well-established so we integrated the existing brand into a new design specifically for this campaign while also creating new elements that help tell the story. A new typographic system to heighten impact and ensure usability across all devices. Additionally, we created an illustration system that uses collage to visually show the connection between the players involved and the policies implemented.

The Message — We focused on a clean and concise message backed by facts: that the relationship between police and their unions creates violence in our communities, undermines the wellbeing of a large portion of the labor movement.

End Police Associations – The Website

3 — The Website

A national campaign with a local angle

We built a website that both elevates the distinction between labor unions and police associations and spotlights relevant case studies from cities across the country.

Website Design — Make it popular, and make it meaningful, interactive and actionable.

End Police Associations – The Impact

4 — The Impact

A new conversation

We didn’t change the relationship between the AFL-CIO and police associations. But we did change the conversation, giving labor and abolishment activists a new way to talk about the harms of police in poor communities.

Case Studies

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