Nicole Kidman, Gabrielle Union, Willie Mays + more in New PSA for The Respect Challenge

Nicole Kidman credits her parents. America Ferrera thanks her fifth grade teacher. And Willie Mays recognizes the impact of his father.  To kick-off an online campaign and contest called The Respect Challenge, the national nonprofit Futures Without Violence has produced a PSA that features top celebrities expressing their gratitude to a person who taught them a valuable life lesson – a lesson in Respect.

The PSA, a key ingredient in the national Facebook campaign which launches on Monday, September 10, features responses from such VIP talent as  Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Gabrielle Union, America Ferrera, Joe Torre, and Willie Mays.  Aretha Franklin’s iconic song, “Respect,” provides the soundtrack for the video. The PSA will also be available on Facebook, and YouTube.

“There’s never been a better time for a national conversation about Respect,” says Esta Soler founder and president of Futures Without Violence.   “Whether you’re on the political campaign trail, or just headed back to middle school,  let’s stand up to bullies and remind them about Respect.”

The interactive Facebook campaign, designed to celebrate everyday role models and heroes, provides an opportunity for the public to write an online thank you note, or post a thank you video about the person who taught them Respect. Two lucky entrants will earn a donation of $10,000 to a school or nonprofit organization of their choice, as well as a VIP trip to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  After the initial entry period  (September 10 – October 12), fans will be invited to vote on 10 finalists who have submitted a compelling written note or a video.

Scheduled for an online launch on Monday, September 10, The Respect Challenge was introduced at the San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers  game on Sunday, September 9, when the Giants hosted their annual program,Strike Out Violence Day. Baseball legend Willie Mays, featured in the PSA, made a special appearance during the festivities.

Futures Without Violence, a national nonprofit and social change organization with offices in San Francisco, Washington DC and Boston, created the campaign with the generous help of AKQA, one of the most-respected ideas and innovation agencies in the world. AKQA’s San Francisco Media team not only provided strategic consultation but secured more than $400,000 in donated online advertising space for the campaign and contest.

Wildfire, a division of Google, and a leading social media marketing software provider, also volunteered their services to design and implement the Facebook application, and America Online’s in-house creative team offered their services to create compelling online banners and advertising units.

Macy’s, the founding partner of the RESPECT! campaign, has a strong history of support for education and awareness programs that promote positive solutions for healthy relationships.

“We hope that the positive stories generated through this campaign will remind us of the life-changing role that parents, teachers, coaches, and so many other mentors can have on shaping young lives,”  said Martine Reardon, Macy’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.