The Cannes Lions Experience infuses students with inspiration that lends itself to the University of Miami School of Communication’s program of exploration and excellence. But this year, inspiration flourished into action.  

Societal Reform CorporationBranches of Bravery and Change the Ref, organizations established in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, shared tear-jerking experiences during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. UM SoC students returned to Miami with clear objectives to uplift those affected by the Parkland tragedy.

“As part of the youth, I feel the need to stand up for myself and my peers. I was inspired by Kai Koerber (Societal Reform Corporation), Madison Leal (Branches of Bravery), and Sam Zeif (Change the Ref) to help their cause because I want to make sure their message keeps being heard in order to make positive change for the future,” said senior and public relations major on a pre-law track Elisabeth Hofer. “Especially impactful, was their reminder that they are giving a voice to the people who no longer have one, so it is our responsibility to keep their voices loud and their messages clear for the entire world to hear.”

This impact drove the participating students to reconnect with the three organizations after Cannes with the intention of establishing a working relationship. The non-profits eagerly welcomed the collaboration and encouraged the students to include Shine MSD, a like-minded organization dedicated to fostering unity in the aftermath of tragedy, in the on-campus effort.

Together, the four trail-blazing organizations and UM SoC students organized Parkland Survivors: The Power of Taking a Stand, an impactful conversation to take place at the University of Miami on Nov. 5 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Cosford Cinema. From mental health issues to political activism, students are at the forefront of this youth-led discussion.

“They [the students] were determined to work with these organizations and it became my obligation and duty to make sure that they had the tools to make it happen,” said Meryl Blau, assistant professor of professional practice, adviser of Adgroup and the Cannes Lions Experience.

Presented by PhilADthropy and AdGroup, Societal Reform Corporation, Branches of Bravery, Change the Ref, and Shine MSD will be at the University of Miami for the moving eventMinimum $5 donations will be collected upon entry.