National initiative encourages welcoming attitudes and actions in communities across America
For immediate release
Arlington, VA – The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, today announced its support of Belonging Begins With Us, a national campaign dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation where 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.
“Museums can contribute powerfully to creating a more enlightened and empathetic society by empowering and inspiring community members through knowledge, and helping us heal during our darkest times,” said Laura Lott, President and CEO of AAM. “We are proud to be a partner of the Belonging Begins With Us campaign and reassert the importance of the museum field’s commitment to fostering inclusion and belonging in communities across the country.”
“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 ad agency Pereira O’Dell, the public service advertisements (PSAs) 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 below.
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, FWD.us Education Fund and Stand Together. Additional partners who will share the campaign’s message and promote belonging in communities across the country include AAM, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, 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 the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.
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.