The Challenge

Black women and children in San Diego County and across the country suffer from higher rates of poor maternal and infant health outcomes, including low birthweight, preterm birth, and maternal and infant mortality. The County of San Diego partnered with Civilian to increase awareness of these inequities and promote initiatives that will contribute to the well-being of Black women and children.

Our Approach

To build an honest, authentic, and resonant campaign, we began by identifying and assembling a group of respected Black healthcare and community advocates to provide ongoing counsel as our Community Advisory Board (CAB). To inform our work, we collaborated with the 40-member CAB and conducted a community listening tour to understand the goals and experiences of recent parents and pregnant women. Our goals were twofold: to publicly acknowledge that racism is at the root of the healthcare inequities experienced by Black Americans; and 2) to provide Black mothers, fathers, and caregivers with the information and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy and advocate for themselves if they aren’t receiving proper care. The education campaign also included healthcare providers who are often unaware of systemic biases and what they may be doing to contribute to healthcare inequities. The campaign messaging focused on building trust and encouraging conversations about racism and bias between Black women and their healthcare providers and in the community.

The campaign was consistently guided by community input and participation. Advertising images were captured by a nationally renowned Black photographer and featured local models, and we developed messaging to speak directly to the Black community. We focus-group tested our messaging, creative concepts, and marketing materials to ensure they were hitting the mark and made any needed adjustments.

Our integrated, culturally resonant campaign, called Black Legacy Now, includes the creation and deployment of various deliverables across paid, owned, and earned channels. Paid media tactics include digital display, paid search, and paid social, as well as billboards, bus shelters, direct mail and posters. We are also using out-of-home in the areas surrounding health centers as well as geo-fencing to reach target audience members entering or leaving the area. Inside health centers, we are using in-clinic advertising, waiting room posters, and other educational materials. Civilian developed and continues to maintain and update a campaign website to serve as an accessible and educational content hub.

The Results

The Black Legacy Now campaign launched in fall 2020, delivered outcomes that far exceeded campaign goals, and won Silver at the American Advertising Awards in 2021. The combination of the campaign’s voice and stunning creative work has been instrumental in driving awareness of and support for the issue of healthcare equality not just locally, but regionally, statewide, and nationally as well. The campaign was cited as a major catalyst for our client being able to secure additional funding to educate and inform audiences about this issue for years to come.


  • Social
  • Branding
  • Media
  • Out-of-Home
  • Broadcast
  • Digital
  • Events
Our Work