Bobby Martin

Abyssinian Baptist Church of the City of New York

Grant Awarded: $32,000

The Abyssinian Baptist Church (ABC) has a long tradition of community advocacy and empowerment. An important part of it's mission is to create a viable, dynamic and positive society in the troubled neighborhoods of Central Harlem.

Thanks to Sappi’s Ideas that Matter grant, the ABC was able to launch a striking and inspiring outdoor campaign in Harlem called “The Word on the Street” — inspired by Rev Dr Calvin O Butts III and designed by Bobby C Martin Jr. The aim of the campaign was two-fold. Firstly, it stimulated interest and created awareness for the ABC's mission to inspire a positive outlook and build a 'new' Harlem through the work of community outreach projects and public service bodies. Secondly, the billboards drove traffic to "The Word on the Street" website, which provides information about, and links to, these various Harlem organizations.

The billboards drove the message home that the ‘new’ struggle in the streets of Harlem is not one of outrage against oppression and inequality anymore, but rather one of inspiration and upliftment, best summarized by the copy: “Inspiring. Challenging. Harlem. Be nothing but great. KEEP THE FAITH”