2015 was a monumental year for equality in our nation, where human rights were recognized and re-emphasized.
On Friday June 26, 2015, Americans celebrated the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Not only did the LGBTQ population rejoice, activists and brands around the country joined in celebrating. Many major companies, from Kellogg’s and Snickers to Macy’s and American Airlines, took to social media to congratulate America for winning marriage equality.In fact, Facebook named this Supreme Court ruling the second most socially shared and discussed topic of 2015 in the U.S.
Third on that list: the Baltimore protests for racial equality. As Facebook’s Year in Review exemplifies, equality is undoubtedly one of the forefront themes of 2015. Though we’ve seen gradual progress for civil rights and equality in recent years, this year is particularly notable because we’ve seen several instances of media and corporations joining the conversation and standing behind the social progress.
TIME Magazine affirmed the prominence of equal justice by listing “Black Lives Matter” as it’s No. 4 ‘Person of the Year’ in its most recent issue. What started as a sentimental Facebook hashtag in response to Trayvon Martin’s 2013 murder became the leading slogan for a civil rights movement which spread nationwide - from New York to Chicago, Baltimore and Missouri - where people demonstrated and protested against unjust police violence against black Americans. TIME’s recognition of Black Lives Matter as a forceful political movement proves that the nation is ready to push for equality more than ever.
In addition to the support from media outlets, we’ve seen a variety of industries endorse equality this year. For example, Pantone Inc. announced last month that its official “Color of the Year” for 2016 would not be just one, but two colors - Rose Quartz and Serenity. This decision to combine a rose tone with a cool blue was Pantone’s direct response to this year’s progress towards gender equality, as we saw with the case of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair.
In the same way that this color combination “challenges traditional perceptions of color association,” Pantone wants to challenge American citizens to embrace gender equality. While a color might seem insignificant, Pantone’s Color of the Year is decided by a collective of international representatives over the course of a two-day meeting, and the color they declare plays a huge role on new products created by fashion and design industries. This year, Pantone felt that consumers were ready for something radical, and reflected the nation’s growing comfort with gender diversity through their color selection.
While 2015 was a major year for civil rights we still have plenty of work to be done and are excited for this trend to continue into this new year with products that call attention to such topics. The following is a video that explains the current LGBTQ civil rights movement: