Case Study


Promoted and Assisted in the Production of Groundbreaking Documentaries That Showcase Youth and Social Justice Issues

About the client

Discovery is an American multinational mass media factual television conglomerate based in New York City. Discovery serves members of "passionate" audiences, and also places a focus on streaming services built around its properties.

Under the Discovery Communications, Inc. umbrella lie more than 50 entertainment brands and a global viewership of three billion. Discovery originally retained Raben to create productive relationships with traditional civil rights groups. Our scope of work with them quickly expanded and we worked with creativity and dedication on two of their documentary projects, RISE: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper and Hate in America.

In 2014, Discovery Communications decided to make RISE, a documentary that chronicled the lives of boys and young men of color and the interventions that made a difference in their lives.

Movie promo with young black man standing with large "RISE" letters behind him.

Raben identified programs designed for boys and young men of color, directly and through federal agency contacts, for Discovery to feature in the documentary. We helped develop the framework for the film and advised on the trailer and the script. Raben also brokered a partnership with the White House — and helped secure an interview with President Obama for the film. We worked with Discovery on the premiere of RISE at AFI DOCS, (the premier documentary film festival in the US), curating a guest list of influencers from leading civil rights and social justice organizations and elected offices, as well as identifying and securing high profile speakers for a panel following the screening.

President Obama being interviewed about the film
Raben helped secure an interview with President Obama for the film.


We harnessed traditional and non-traditional media to ensure good coverage for the premiere. Raben assisted with social media outreach by pushing the event out through our networks and pushing key validators to promote the film on social media.

Two Tweets. First from Oprah, which reads, "Loved it. Thanks to you ALL for watching with me." Second from the White House, which reads, "You matter. You count. You have talent"

LatinX, Faith, and Local Communities Outreach

The Spanish language rollout of the film helped to solidify Discovery En Español’s position with the Administration and Latino civil rights groups. Raben worked with Discovery and the White House to coordinate a second White House screening and panel discussion of RISE in Spanish that included representatives of major Latino organizations such as National Council of La Raza and League of United Latin American Citizens. In particular, we assisted the White House with outreach to Spanish-language press and secured interviews.

We created three local fora to address issues raised by the film. For the fora, we created discussion guides, selected accessible community venues, curated audiences of local educators, parents, and students, and conducted press outreach. The successful execution of these forums helped to involve local community leaders in the My Brother’s Keeper work, demonstrate Discovery’s commitment to diversity and to changing the narrative around men of color, and solidify Discovery’s relationships with third party groups.

Finally, Raben built out four panels at the 2015 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference sponsored by Discovery and tied into the themes of Rise. The standing room only panels included celebrities, members of the Obama Administration, members of Congress, and key media figures. The panels focused on the economy and creating jobs in the African American community, furthering the My Brother’s Keeper movement, combatting the school-to-prison pipeline, and promoting education and opportunity.

Stop Hate Campaign

Discovery made the documentary series Hate in America in early 2016 and hired us to work on the premiere. We helped them create a successful event at the Newseum in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, featuring Congressman Clyburn and Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Raben then worked with Discovery to conceive and launch a campaign called “Stop Hate” for Discovery to promote along with the film. We partnered with them to create a website that allows people to take action on hate crimes in their state. When you go to the Stop Hate website, you put in your zip code, and information relevant to your state’s hate crimes laws pops up, along with a form to fill in to take the appropriate action for your state, whether that’s emailing your state legislators and governor about passing hate crimes legislation or about improving hate crimes legislation in your state.