I Challenge You – DO NOT READ THIS

In the literal sense, that was impossible, right?

For 774 million others around the world this particular challenge is all too easy. They simply cannot read.

Working at a public relations firm, we understand the critical role literacy plays in conducting business, but this is about more than day-to-day work correspondence. It’s about books, maps and signs, menus, websites, medicine labels, etc. Being illiterate in today’s world directly equates to limited opportunity.

Today is International Literacy Day and our pro bono partner Room to Read is asking individuals all around the world to accept the DO NOT READ THIS challenge by watching (and sharing) the video below. This powerful video challenges audiences with a seemingly simple task – do not read this message.

For nearly 14 years, Room to Read has developed strategies for delivering access to education in Asia and Africa and will have reached more than 10 million children by the end of 2015. Room to Read focuses on two areas they believe can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education. Working with communities and local governments, the organization develops literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children.

As individuals who are passionate about education and understand the value of a truly literate world, we invite you to help spread the DO NOT READ THIS message and inspire action within your networks.

This campaign has the ability to generate significant action starting today and can make a difference in the lives of more than 200 million children around the world who have not been given the invaluable gift of literacy.

Julie Ferriot serves as the global director of Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR), overseeing the agency’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the management of Ketchum’s pro bono partner Room to Read. In this role, she drives global engagement in volunteer and sustainability programs across Ketchum offices and affiliates. Since joining the agency in 2005 Julie has also served as Vice President in the Corporate practice. Julie is based in San Francisco.