Welcoming America announces "Belonging Begins With Us" campaign
National initiative encourages welcoming attitudes and actions in communities across America
Decatur, GA, December 3, 2020 – Welcoming America today announced 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 nonprofit 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. Welcoming America applauds the organizations joining on and committing to fostering a spirit of belonging within their communities.
“As an organization dedicated to growing the movement of welcoming communities globally, we are excited for this campaign to shine a light on the role we can each play in creating places where each of us — including those who move here from other countries — can belong and thrive. As our 200+ members show, communities work best when everyone feels welcome and belongs. We look forward to many more Americans joining us and our partners in these efforts,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America.
“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 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 Welcoming America
Welcoming America leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Launched in 2009, Welcoming America has spurred a growing movement of welcoming places across the world. Learn more at welcomingamerica.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.
Lola Pak, Director of Communications