New Doritos’ initiative amplifies the voices of Black innovators

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Fans can win a limited edition Doritos SOLID BLACK bag designed by award-winning artist Megan Lewis. Pic: Doritos
Fans can win a limited edition Doritos SOLID BLACK bag designed by award-winning artist Megan Lewis. Pic: Doritos

Related tags Frito-lay north america Pepsico Doritos The PepsiCo Foundation National Urban League Black-owned

Doritos is taking its 2020 #AmplifyBlackVoices campaign to the next level with the launch of SOLID BLACK, a multi-platform initiative in which it will invest more than $5m to amplify the stories of Black joy, strength and resilience.

PepsiCo’s popular brand believes there’s boldness in everyone and is on a mission to champion those who are stepping outside of their comfort zone and pushing the limits. It is kicking off its SOLID BLACK initiative​ with the introduction of Doritos’ inaugural class of Changemakers, who are using innovation and boldness to drive culture and give back to their communities

Each Changemaker will receive $50,000 to continue this work, and their stories will be spotlighted across all of Doritos’ public channels, including its website, social media, packaging, and TV advertising.

Every Friday from 2 July, Doritos’ social channels will introduce the various members of the class of 2021.

“Doritos has long been a brand that believes in igniting and championing bold self-expression and authenticity,”​ said Stacy Taffet, VP of Marketing, Frito-Lay North America.

“We are proud to provide a platform and resources to innovators and creators who are making a lasting impact on culture and hope that their stories can inspire the next generation in the continued effort to create a more equal and diverse world.”

Commitment to communities

To further support Black entrepreneurs across the US, Doritos is donating $100,000 to National Urban League, the historic non-profit civil rights organisation dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities.

The League spearheads the efforts of its 91 local affiliates through the development of programmes, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than two million people annually nationwide.

The $100,000 from Doritos supplements the $10m commitment to National Urban League that The PepsiCo Foundation recently announced as part of its Black Restaurant Accelerator programme, which is providing 500 Black restaurant owners in 11 cities with capital, technical assistance and mentorship over the next five years.

These efforts are part of the even wider $400m commitment PepsiCo will invest over the next five years to advance racial equality within the company, industry and the communities it serves. 

Doritos is also inviting fans to get involved and win some prized swag.

The first 1,000 people to donate $10 or more to the League will receive a limited edition Doritos SOLID BLACK bag designed by Megan Lewis, an award-winning artist from Baltimore best known for her ‘Blk Women Period LLC’ series. Lewis was featured in Doritos’ 2020 #AmplifyBlackVoices campaign.

“The National Urban League is proud to be teaming up with Doritos on their SOLID BLACK initiative to help advocate for economic and social justice for the Black community​,” said Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League.

“Every donation helps to create a real, positive impact on Black-owned small businesses in communities across the nation.”

The Class of 2021

Doritos SOLID BLACK Changemakers

Anthony and Janique Edwards are co-founders of EatOkra, the go-to app for that connects foodies to local, Black-owned eateries and culinary events, while amplifying the dining experience for Black consumers.

Ari Melenciano wears a number of hats – as a Brooklyn, NY-based artist, a creative technologist at Google’s Creative Lab, a professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Graduate Programme and a researcher – who is passionate about exploring the relationships between various forms of design and sentient experiences. She is also the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution that is imagining, researching and building new media art, design, science, and technology through a Black and Afrocentric lens.

MsAshRocks is a California-based gamer and Twitch streamer, but more importantly, an activist who is dedicated to inspiring young women, particularly those of colour, and breaking down gender roles within the gaming community. She also is a strong advocate for mental health awareness.

DeForrest Brown, Jr. is a New York City-based musician, writer, lecturer and a representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign. He is specifically focused on Black innovation in electronic music, the ways in which people interact with technology and how it affects their lives.

Eric Williams is the founder of Nacho Bangers, a one-of-a-kind Mexican restaurant in Baltimore that partners with organisations that provide pathways for entrepreneurship, financial empowerment and social justice. His mission is to spread positivity through the enjoyment of food and music and connects local artists and the youth from around the world through his social media platforms and marketing.

Nic Stone is a New York Times best-selling young adult literature author who strives to bring diverse voices and stories to her work. Her books include Dear Martin, Dear Justyce, Clean Getaway, Odd One Out, Jackpot, ​the Black Panther​ novels, Shuri and Shuri: The Vanished, Blackout​ and the soon to be published Fast Pitch.

Sara Trail is a sewing teacher, author, pattern and fabric designer, and founder of the Social Justice Sewing Academy, a platform that empowers young people to use sewing to express themselves, create opportunities and educate communities.

The SOLID BLACK initiative was first highlighted during the BET Awards on 27 June in a new Doritos TV commercial. The TVC was created in partnership with BET and featured artist Luke James who appeared in last year's #AmplifyBlackVoices campaign.

Doritos is one of many Frito-Lay North America brands – the $17 billion convenient foods division of the NY-based snack giant.

PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes 23 brands that generate more than $1bn each in estimated annual retail sales. In 2020, the company generated more than $70bn in net revenue from its products that are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

As a global leader, it also focused on its ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of its business strategy and brands.

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