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IntoAction

IntoAction is a left-of-center communications organization that spreads left-of-center messages  through internet memes and graphics through email and social media. It is a subsidiary of Task Force, a Los Angeles-based for-profit public relations company owned and run by former Obama administration official Yosi Sergent.

IntoAction played a role in the 2020 elections by spreading state-specific memes about voting information. [1]

Founding

Into Action was first formed in January 2018. The original iteration of the organization was a free art festival in Los Angeles organized by Yosi Sergent. The timeline was deliberately selected to run through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the one-year anniversaries of President Donald Trump’s inauguration and the inaugural Women’s March. [2]

The event involved left-of-center celebrities such as John Legend, Rosario Dawson, and Piper Perabo and featured a 40,000 square foot gallery space that included the work of over 200 artists. [3] The event had submissions from over 3,500 artists. A majority of the artists put their work up for sale, splitting receipts between the artist and unspecified charities. [4]

The founding event was free to the public. The art featured advocated for left-of-center positions on issues including income inequality, immigration, gun control, and police violence. [5]

Election 2020

IntoAction held another art festival in August 2020. The nationwide virtual event was cosponsored by the anti-gun organization March For Our Lives and Sankofa Justice and Equity Fund, which was founded by far-left activist Harry Belafonte. [6] The event featured left-of-center celebrities including John Legend, Stacey Abrams, and Common. [7]

The event focused on creating support for left-of-center positions on racial issues, gender issues, and youth issues. The event also focused on artists who created art in order to promote left-of-center political views, while encouraging individuals to register to vote through the March for Our Lives website. [8]

After the event, IntoAction became an organization for left-of-center artists to spread online artistic messages. IntoAction joined the Voting Rights Lab to spread state specific memes and graphics about voting and the importance of counting every vote. They graphics spread on the internet through email and social media, generating a claimed one billion views. [9]

Leadership

The head of IntoAction is Yosi Sergent, who also runs the organization’s parent company, Task Force. When Sergent worked on the Obama 2008 campaign, he co-commissioned the famous “Hope” poster. [10]

Previously, Sergent worked in marketing and communications for Toyota. He joined the Obama campaign in 2008 after an Obama campaign advisor noticed his work. [11] After the campaign, Sergent was tapped to work in the newly created Office of Public Liaison in the Obama administration. Later, the office was renamed the Office of Public Engagement. [12]

In 2010, Sergent left the Obama administration and founded Task Force. Task Force creates memes and gifs among other online materials to spread messages for left-of-center clients and nonprofits, including Amnesty International, the Women’s March, and the MacArthur Foundation. IntoAction is a branch of the company. [13]

References

  1.      Ball, Molly. 2021. “The Secret History Of The Shadow Campaign That Saved The 2020 Election”. Time. https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/. ^
  2.   Dafoe, Taylor. 2018. “Artists And Celebrities Unite To Battle Injustice At LA’s Sprawling INTO ACTION! Festival”. Artnet News. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/into-action-los-angeles-1197617. ^
  3. Dafoe, Taylor. 2018. “Artists And Celebrities Unite To Battle Injustice At LA’s Sprawling INTO ACTION! Festival”. Artnet News. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/into-action-los-angeles-1197617. ^
  4. Dafoe, Taylor. 2018. “Artists And Celebrities Unite To Battle Injustice At LA’s Sprawling INTO ACTION! Festival”. Artnet News. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/into-action-los-angeles-1197617. ^
  5.         Gronner, CJ. 2018. “Into Action – A Celebration Of Community Power + Cultural Resistance”. Blogtown By Cj Gronner. http://www.blogtownbycjgronner.com/2018/01/into-action-celebration-of-community.html?m=1. ^
  6. “March For Our Lives & Sankofa Present “Into Action” Featuring John Legend, Usher, Stacey Abrams, Billy Porter, And More”. 2020. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/march-for-our-lives–sankofa-present-into-action-featuring-john-legend-usher-stacey-abrams-billy-porter-and-more-301108165.html. ^
  7. “March For Our Lives & Sankofa Present “Into Action” Featuring John Legend, Usher, Stacey Abrams, Billy Porter, And More”. 2020. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/march-for-our-lives–sankofa-present-into-action-featuring-john-legend-usher-stacey-abrams-billy-porter-and-more-301108165.html. ^
  8. “March For Our Lives & Sankofa Present “Into Action” Featuring John Legend, Usher, Stacey Abrams, Billy Porter, And More”. 2020. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/march-for-our-lives–sankofa-present-into-action-featuring-john-legend-usher-stacey-abrams-billy-porter-and-more-301108165.html. ^
  9. Ball, Molly. 2021. “The Secret History Of The Shadow Campaign That Saved The 2020 Election”. Time. https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/. ^
  10. “What We Don’T Know About How To Shift Culture: Yosi Sergant”. 2020. WWDK – What We Don’t Know Podcast. https://www.wwdkpod.com/read/what-we-dont-know-about-how-to-shift-culture-yosi-sergant. ^
  11. “What We Don’T Know About How To Shift Culture: Yosi Sergant”. 2020. WWDK – What We Don’t Know Podcast. https://www.wwdkpod.com/read/what-we-dont-know-about-how-to-shift-culture-yosi-sergant. ^
  12. “What We Don’T Know About How To Shift Culture: Yosi Sergant”. 2020. WWDK – What We Don’t Know Podcast. https://www.wwdkpod.com/read/what-we-dont-know-about-how-to-shift-culture-yosi-sergant. ^
  13. “What We Don’T Know About How To Shift Culture: Yosi Sergant”. 2020. WWDK – What We Don’t Know Podcast. https://www.wwdkpod.com/read/what-we-dont-know-about-how-to-shift-culture-yosi-sergant. ^
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