National initiative encourages welcoming attitudes and actions
in communities across America
(ARLINGTON, VA) – Stand Together today announced its support of Belonging Begins With Us, a national campaign dedicated to fostering a welcoming and open mindset across the country to ensure everyone feels that they belong, regardless of their background or where they were born. Led by the Ad Council, the effort is supported by a broad coalition of foundations, corporations, and non-profit organizations working to strengthen connections and promote belonging in communities across the country.
The Belonging Begins With Us campaign will appear nationwide in time and space donated by the media across TV, radio, digital, print, and out-of-home placements. Stand Together is among the campaign partners who have committed to encouraging a spirit of belonging within their communities, and will share the campaign messaging and resources with their own audiences and stakeholders.
“Our nation’s history has demonstrated that building community is at the heart of America’s exceptional success. Through Belonging Begins With Us, we are highlighting how welcoming those who are new to this country strengthens everyone’s ability to flourish. We are all better off when those who seek the opportunity to improve their lives and contribute to society with their ideas and talents feel like they belong,” said Stand Together’s Sarah Ruger, vice president of free expression, and Jorge Lima, vice president of immigration.
This collaboration builds on years of work to build bridge divides and build respect for one another.
“Belonging Begins With Us reminds us that we all have the power to make others feel safe and welcome in our communities,” said Lisa Sherman, Ad Council president and CEO. “We are grateful to our partners for helping us all build more meaningful connections in our neighborhoods, cities, and towns, regardless of background or country of origin.”
Created pro bono by the ad agency Pereira O’Dell, the public service advertisements (PSAs) feature a new cover of the 1968 hit song “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” recorded exclusively for the campaign by Lake Street Dive. The song and powerful visuals remind audiences that we all know what it feels like to be left out—and for people who moved to this country, that feeling can last more than a moment. By highlighting this shared emotional experience, the PSAs spark empathy and build stronger bonds between everyone who calls America home. The video PSA can be viewed here.
The PSAs direct audiences to the campaign website, BelongingBeginsWithUs.org, which features dozens of real stories of belonging from across the country. The website also highlights actions people can take to help others in their community feel that they belong.
The campaign was developed by the Ad Council, American Immigration Council, and Welcoming America with financial support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Einhorn Collaborative, Ford Foundation and Stand Together. Additional partners who will share the campaign’s message and promote belonging in communities across the country include the American Alliance of Museums, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, FWD.us Education Fund, Hello Neighbor, Looking for America, New American Economy, Over Zero, the Trust for Public Land, Western States Center, YMCA of the USA and Walmart Inc.
About Stand Together:
Stand Together empowers people dedicated to helping others improve their lives. Our philanthropic community tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, including reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, strengthening K-12 education, helping neighbors beat poverty and addiction, empowering everyone to find fulfilling work, and more. We can all make a greater difference by uniting together than by acting on our own. For more information visit, www.standtogether.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
About The Ad Council:
The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization’s earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts, and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans.
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology, and marketing to address many of the nation’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.
The Ad Council’s innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action, and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.