Bedari Kindness Institute Supports “Just Say Hello” Campaign to Help Bridge Racial Divide

“Just Say Hello” is a campaign for small gestures with a big message: Say hello to somebody who doesn’t look like you. Now, more than ever, as we strive towards healing this nation and bridging divisions, it’s important to remind ourselves that small acts of kindness can make a big difference.

The campaign is inspired in part by the overwhelming movement to bridge the racial divide after the murder of George Floyd and countless others before him. It’s time for action, both big and small, to begin real conversations about race and equality.

The campaign launches during the first week of African American History Month with a 1-minute video spot to air across cable tv in Los Angeles, encouraging people to say hello to people that don’t look like them, especially during this time when our nation is so divided.

“This program won’t solve racial injustice overnight,” said Kerman Maddox, founder of Just Say Hello. “But it’s a small step in the right direction to start healing our nation and begin real conversations about racial equality in this country.”

The program is supported by major funding from both corporate and private sponsors including Amazon, USC, Jamie Montgomery, and Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who will be speaking at the press conference. Just Say Hello is also endorsed by The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute and The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

“Now is the time for all of us to work together,” said LA City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Let’s start by just saying hello to somebody who doesn’t look like you.”

“In this moment of challenge, respect and community is the path forward,” said Sam Garrison, Interim Senior Vice President of University Relations at USC. “This simple act of kindness builds on USC’s commitment to inclusion, and it’s an important value we want to emphasize both on and off campus.”

You can watch the LA This Week video here.