How well colleges and universities reposition themselves around social justice issues and how they integrate social justice movements into their culture will determine where students attend, where employees work, where donors invest and how alumni engage.

Social Justice Branding

In 2004 Rex Whisman founded one of the first brand consultancies devoted to colleges, universities, school systems and organizations with education missions. Students at those schools and others around the world are now holding institutions to a higher standard and accountable for adhering to mission and core values. In light of recent political developments, social justice movements are anticipated to escalate.

Rex has devoted the past several years to researching social justice movements and the relationship of those movements to institutional brand, enrollment and other strategic priorities. Student-led social justice movements include racial justice, gender equality, divestment from fossil fuels, campus carry, colonialism and others.

Rex now reveals his pioneering research on the divestment from fossil fuels movement, and provides strategy for how institutions can reposition themselves around social justice and integrate movements into their culture.

Student Movements

During the 21st century nearly every college and university around the world has developed some type of a brand strategy in an effort to effectively position itself against their competition and to meet its strategic priorities. Those institutions that have created brand strategies based on institutional mission and core values have experienced the greatest success and have found their brand strategies to be sustainable.

Today nearly every college and university brand strategy is being challenged by students who expect their school to be true to its core values. Students are engaged in social justice movements including racial justice, gender equality, divestment from fossil fuels, campus carry, colonialism and others. How institutions respond to student demands will impact school image in the short term and school reputation in the long term.

Investigation

For the past few years Rex Whisman has conducted research on social justice movements in higher education and the relationship between those movements and institutional brand, enrollment and other strategic priorities. Those movements include racial justice, gender equity, divestment from fossil fuels, campus carry and colonialism. Rex’s most extensive research to date is the divestment from fossil fuels movement in higher education.

On hundreds of campuses all over the world, students are demanding that their institution divest from oil, gas, coal and tar sands. Students advocate that in order for them and future generations to live on a habitable planet, a reduction in carbon producing fossil fuels must take place. To ensure this reality, colleges and universities must play a significant role by divesting from fossil fuels. Student movements are expected to escalate around the world in response to the recent changes in administration in the United States.

Rex Whisman shares his insights, experiences and battle tested wisdom in his field notes from research on the divestment from fossil fuels movement.     

Consulting Services

Since 2004 Rex Whisman and his team have developed and executed sustainable brand strategies for colleges, universities and school systems based on mission, core values, stakeholder engagement and social responsibility. Clients have experienced record enrollment, improved retention, increased giving, re-engaged stakeholders and collegial communities. Now those institutions and others around the world are being challenged by students to live up to their values and brand strategy.

Colleges and universities are turning to Rex Whisman and his team to help them modify brand strategies to include social justice and integrate social justice into institution culture.