Spotlight on Brixton advertising school graduates

Brixton Finishing School, the scheme to diversify entry-level talent in advertising and media, has launched a new initiative – the #BrixtonRising campaign.

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Brixton Uprising, the initiative celebrates 40 of the school’s most promising graduates and rising stars.

“While the campaign highlights the tremendous work that graduates have put in to achieve their goals, it also serves as a stark reminder that, although 40 years have passed since the uprising, there is still a large divide between the mainstream narrative, shown in the recent Sewell report on institutional racism and the actual lived experience of Black, brown and underrepresented communities in this country,” the school said.

#BrixtonRising will highlight their early successes of 40 recent graduates from the school, 

From a junior strategist at Rapp, programmatic activation executive at Manning Gottleib, and nanny at Mother, to an art director at CDM, marketing assistant at KFC, production exec at LEGO Group, and a copywriter at Amazon, all of the young people featured in the #BrixtonRising campaign have graduated from the school in the past four years.

Created in-house by Keda Bamber and Demi Chang, graduates from Brixton Finishing School’s Class of 2020, the campaign will be amplified by support from the programme’s mentors and partners.

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Graduate Leila George is one of the 40 featured

Brixton Finishing School founder Ally Owen said: “This month marks the anniversary of 40 years since the Brixton Uprising and the subsequent publication of Lord Scarman’s report and its commentary on institutional racism.

“Four decades on, we have another report that does not accurately represent the lived experiences of our young people.

“With our #BrixtonRising campaign, we want to place the narrative clearly on the talents that deserve it – the talents that are breaking into our industry, enriching it with their dynamism and keeping it future fit and relevant. Working life on average spans four decades.

“Our graduates are at the beginning of their journey. It is up to us, the industry, to unite and drive positive change and make the next 40 years count.

“We cannot drag our feet any longer.”

Brixton Finishing School offers a free 10-week programme for 18 to 25 year olds – a mixture of lessons and real-world advertising experience.

Its focus is on finding and developing untapped talent, the school says.

“We don’t give out places based on work experience or qualifications.

“We want to make these roles feel accessible to anyone who has the talent and drive to succeed.

“We believe that there is a huge pool of talent that needs to feel encouraged to pursue jobs in creative, digital, and tech industries, no matter what your background.”

The school also offers its free online Ad-Cademy to young people all over the UK.