NEWARK, N.J., June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community SKITTLES® is teaming up with critically acclaimed historian, author, educator and influencer, Blair Imani, to promote LGBTQ+ visibility, spotlighting artists, influencers and creators through the SKITTLES QueeR Codes program in cities across the U.S. and at SKITTLESQueerCodes.com. The program includes partnerships with four LGBTQ+ artists across the country who have created original murals that express what the rainbow means to them and how they celebrate Pride. The brand has also partnered with five LGBTQ+ influencers showcasing their stories and experiences that range from drag performance to sign language performance, music, dance and makeup artistry.
"When SKITTLES came to me with this idea, I was so excited to be a part of something that's focused on shining a spotlight on the wide range of backgrounds and experiences in the LGBTQ+ community," said Blair Imani. "As a Black, bisexual and Muslim woman, I'm always celebrating and educating others about topics like intersectionality and visibility, and to get to work on a campaign that's focused on those topics while partnering with so many great LGBTQ+ artists and creators was something I was honored to participate in."
The murals will appear across the country including several communities where Mars Wrigley operates, like Newark, NJ, which is also home to the Mars Wrigley North American Headquarters. Additional locations include, Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; and San Antonio, TX. The murals will be on display throughout June, each one featuring a QueeR Code that, when scanned, will take you to SKITTLESQueeRCodes.com, a site filled with content and stories from the artists and other LGBTQ+ creators sharing the importance of Pride. There will also be various resources included from our partners at GLAAD, the world's leading LGBTQ+ media advocacy group, with more information on how allies and community members alike can educate themselves on how to best support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride and year-round.
The launch follows SKITTLES' recent announcement of its limited-edition Pride Packs returning for the second year in a row, as well as its renewed partnership with GLAAD. During the month of June, $1 per pack purchased will be donated to GLAAD (up to $100k). The limited-edition packs – featuring gray packaging on the outside and all gray candies inside that include the original five fruity flavors of strawberry, orange, grape, green apple and lemon – are available for purchase on Walmart.com, Target.com & in-store at Walmart, Target, Kroger, Albertson's and other select retail locations nationwide.
"SKITTLES is committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and with our QueeR Codes program we've focused on increasing visibility around the intersectionality of artists and creators within the LGBTQ+ community, to help shape a world that is connected, caring and celebratory," said Fernando Rodrigues, Senior Brand Manager, Mars Wrigley. "We're very proud to be able to use our voice and our platform to shift the focus during Pride month to celebrating and elevating LGBTQ+ voices and experiences, creating better moments and more smiles through the focus on visibility."
"In addition to giving back to the LGBTQ+ community through its Pride packs, SKITTLES is using its new QueeR Codes program to celebrate the work and voices of diverse LGBTQ talent, while drawing awareness to our community and the importance of Pride," said GLAAD Senior Director John McCourt. "By partnering with LGBTQ+ artists to bring powerful murals to cities across America, SKITTLES is helping to amplify necessary messages of LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance this June."
The focus on LGBTQ+ visibility is also being shared throughout the month amongst Mars Wrigley Associates. Mars Wrigley will be sharing stories and leading discussions around diversity and acceptance, specifically focused on the LGBTQ+ community during the month of June with its PRIDE! Associate Resource Group (ARG). The PRIDE! ARG has played an integral role in the development of the SKITTLES QueeR Codes program, and several Associates from the PRIDE! ARG are also featured on SKITTLESQueeRCodes.com in a special video compilation.
Mars is committed to fostering a culture where everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, valued and supported, through ongoing dialogue among Associates, policies and benefits, including non-discrimination protections, partner healthcare coverage, transgender healthcare benefits, parental leave and adoption assistance.
More about the LGBTQ+ artists and creators featured on SKITTLESQueerCodes.com:
About: ARRRTADDICT is a Puerto Rican artist originally from Ft. Lauderdale. She focuses on creating art that portrays the vibrancy of Puerto Rican and African American culture with loose lines, bold typography and bright colors.
Mural on display near the Moreland Ave NE and Euclid Ave NE intersection in Atlanta's Little 5 Points neighborhood
About: The artist also known as Marlon Davila is a 1st Generation Guatemalan born in Princeton, NJ. 7ove Child's work is Influenced by fashion the bright vibrant colors of his Mayan ancestry as well as the works of some of his favorite fellow artists. Infused in his art is his expression of present-day occurrences, Mayan ancestry and fashion.
Mural on display near the intersection of Ferry St, Merchant St and Wilson Ave in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood
About: Ayan Vasquez-Lopez (The Makeup Mariachi) is a non-binary Latinx mariachi musician, makeup artist, media producer, and drag performer based in Los Angeles, California. Through her work, Ayan strives to create authentic representation for queer brown gender non-conforming Latinx people in media and in real life.
About: Tenderoni is a Chicago based Drag King and has been performing nationally for over four years. Inspired by the music and fashion of the 80's and 90's, Tenderoni is known for his colorful, high energy performances served with a side of goofiness. His most recent achievement is winning the title of Drag Queen of the Year 2021.
About: Jakk Fynn is a trans masculine singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. He started out in post-hardcore bands but has since moved into alt-pop. Jakk endured a tumultuous upbringing, but always found solace in music. Unfortunately, he never felt represented in mainstream media and became determined to help make space. To date, he's been featured in Billboard, Vogue, Alternative Press, and more.
About: Gregor is a Deaf, Queer, Latino who was born in Brazil and raised in Florida. He moved to NYC to discover himself and started performing, acting, dancing, streaming games, teaching ASL and managing an online business all while studying psychology.
For more information about SKITTLES QueeR Codes, Pride Packs and what SKITTLES is doing to further visibility for those who identify as LGBTQ+ during Pride, follow @Skittles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT MARS, INCORPORATED For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.
Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 125,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world's best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M's®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN'S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world's pets through our nutrition, health and services businesses, including AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive. The Mars Compass, inspired by the Economics of Mutuality, is used to measure the company's progress in service of its purpose; The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today.
For more information about Mars, please visit mars.com. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
ABOUT GLAAD GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.