In celebration of Juneteenth, beverage company Diageo has launched a campaign that celebrates Black culture through food, drinks, and dynamic storytelling.
On Friday, the spirits and beer producer released a short film made in collaboration with Ghetto Gastro, a Bronx-based collective of culinary experts who use food to empower their communities. The visual, created by the Black-owned production company Equator, highlights the richness of Black gatherings and the cultural traditions centered on food. Ghetto Gastro was tasked with creating a menu that complimented and taste and spirit of CÎROC, Crown Royal, and the Tequila Don Julio brands. The dishes featured in the film include the Valid Green Salad, Glazed Sticky Wingz, and the Yuzu Cherry pie.
“It’s very important for us at Equator to align with initiatives with intention and work with like-minded creatives and collaborators, and the Diageo HBCU endowment was something we felt we could get behind,” executive producer/creative director Ashley Cimone said in a statement. “It’s the actions of large corporations that matter more than their words. This campaign was created with Black joy in mind, in honor of Black family, Black love and our resilience as a community. Juneteenth is a holiday the represents progress for all of America.”
The film continues Diageo’s commitment to amplifying Black voices and increasing diversity within the beverage alcohol industry. As part of this mission, the company has pledged to donate $10 million to create permanent endowments at 25 HBCUs.
“Black stories told by Black creatives offer honest and authentically nuanced perspectives,” said Phil Pearson, Diageo’s Director Brands in Culture & Multicultural Experiences. “These warm, joyful expressions of Black life preserve cultural traditions and keep them alive, while engaging every community in the brightness and beauty of the Black experience. DIAGEO, together with Equator and Ghetto Gastro, are proud to invite people across the county to welcome these recipes, cocktails and experiences into their homes, and make them a vital part of an unforgettably joyful Juneteenth celebration.”
The film was released on the same day President Joe Biden signed a bill establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. The annual holiday commemorates the day formed enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1866—more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.