“Be An Ally,” the fourth and final anti-racism PSA in a series that was developed by Emmy-nominated Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar and OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes creator Ian Jones-Quartey, launched today (Monday, April 12) on Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel and across the network’s social media platforms. The short features Greg Universe as he explains to the extraterrestrial Crystal Gems how important it is for all people (or Gems) to speak up and stand against racism.
“Be An Ally” was developed in partnership with Dr. Kira Banks, a clinical psychologist whose research examines the experience of discrimination, its impact on mental health, and intergroup relations. She is co-founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity and served as a racial equity consultant for the Ferguson Commission. Her vodcast Raising Equity explores what it looks like to intentionally raise children with an equity mindset – the knowledge and understanding of systemic inequities and to equip them to create an equitable society rather than accept the status quo.
“Allyship is about educating yourself, speaking up and working for change. It’s about being actively anti-racist,” said Dr. Banks.
The Crystal Gems Say Be Anti-Racist animated PSAs have each featured a different Steven Universe character. In October 2020, the first PSA, “Don’t Deny It, Defy It,” featured Garnet (voiced by Estelle) and focused on the importance of understanding how racism affects individuals and encourages audiences to not be racist. The second, “Tell the Whole Story,” with Pearl (voiced by DeeDee Magno Hall) premiered in December and explored how Black inventors, heroes, and leaders are often left out of history and challenges the viewer to ask themselves as they’re learning – who is telling the story? And, the third, “See Color,” with Amethyst (voiced by Michaela Dietz) was released in February 2021 and encouraged viewers to appreciate others without erasing what makes each of us different.
Viewers can find all the PSAs as well as links to social justice organizations, additional tools and information at www.crystalgemsspeakup.com.