The plight of American Rust Belt is obvious in places like Braddock, Pennsylvania. A former hub of America's industrial might, the steel township just outside of Pittsburgh suffered immense decline as U.S. steel and manufacturing industries collapsed. Subsequent drug-crime epidemic and economic downturns hasten its degeneration in recent years.
To combat the demise of a community, Braddock's mayor, John Fetterman, is leading a very public battle against the dire conditions of his beloved city. Working along side with him is Levi Strauss & Co., which highlights the city and its people for the new Go Forth, Ready To Work campaign through films and printed matters. A short film directed by John Hilcoat, known for features such as The Road and the popular Red Dead Redemption video game, there were no pampered actors or trained thespians. Instead, each and everyone were residents of Braddock. The campaign also involves outdoor billboard and signage, all documented by photographer Melodie McDaniel on location with citizens of Braddock. For its part, Levi's will donate over $1 million dollars in the next 2 years to refurbish the much-needed community center and other essential elements. Still, the battle is far from over. To find out how you can contribute, join the upcoming Levi's Workshop, a community forum, at a location near you. So roll-up your sleeves, join in on the good fight and go forth!