Be You Be Great is an attitude & a way of living.
It is a power rooted in our conviction to work together & see realized a society that embraces us all for who we are in our diverse greatness.
I was on a call with my team back in late 2015, and we were talking about how to tie together all the work I do. How do we communicate a narrative that makes sense and that brings into focus all of my passions? It was a bit of a daunting task because, to some people (myself included sometimes), my work can feel scattered. I always have to remind myself not to spread myself too thin.
Prior to the call, I had jotted down a bunch of ideas for different digital campaigns. I saved "Be You, Be Great" for last not because I was confident about it but because I was sure it was a throw-away. After all, plenty of ideas are throw-aways en route to a really great idea. That's a part of the process.
So we're on the call, and I say, "The last one I'm not too sure about. It just kind of popped into my head. Be You Be Great. But I think it's probably too corny to stick."
"Hold up. That's perfect."
"Sam, you're corny."
"I mean ok but--"
"That's it. That's the one."
"Are you sure? I just kind of threw it out there..."
"Sam. It's the one. I'm telling you."
And they were right.
For me, Be You Be Great has always been about embracing a life that, despite all the twist and turns, is fundamentally built on a sense of balance and practicality. I believe we can, even though it's corny, work to build a society in which we can be ourselves and thrive not in spite of our multiplicity but because of it.
I believe we can do it.
I believe we will do it.
I hope that BYBG gives you a little nudge to keep going and a reminder that you are fully capable of whatever you set your mind to.
Even when I've doubted myself or my work and get into my own head with second guessing thoughts, it is y'all who've reminded me about the value of BYBG. For that, I will always be grateful.
BYBG is about a community of people. We are folks who lift as we climb, who believe our differences bring us closer together, and who are always down to put in the work.
Be You Be Great is about uplifting those around us in ways small & large.
It is so important to me that this is about all of us, not just me. Be You Be Great is all of ours. I'm proud to incorporate charitable giving into everything I do, especially this shop.
Through 2018, 100% of all t-shirt proceeds are being donated.
Through litigation, advocacy and public education, the NAACP LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice.
Getting Out & Staying Out is a Harlem organization that reduces recidivism (the percentage of former incarcerated persons who are rearrested) through education, job training & direct employment.
After this year, 15% of all shop proceeds will be donated -- that means all products, all the time.
I hope you'll join me in supporting these powerful organizations. They're phenomenal #BYBG