Strategy: Media Campaigns About Community Standards for Tolerance
Strategy Using media resources as an education vehicle builds awareness about diversity and decreases prejudice. Crime Problem Addressed Demographic . . .
Using media resources as an education vehicle builds awareness about diversity and decreases prejudice.
Crime Problem Addressed
Demographic studies show that the United States is becoming more diverse. Members of minority groups form the majority of the population in more than fifty American cities. The change in population has increased bias-related crimes. Awareness programs create understanding, and this understanding builds a community of people who respect one another's differences.
This strategy uses all forms of media, but primarily television and newspapers. The purpose is to educate viewers and readers and present information on other cultures, religions, and races; program content also promotes critical thinking about prejudices. The media cosponsor community events focusing on reducing prejudice and cover the events for the community. Examples of media programming are live specials and festivals, documentaries, and PSAs.
The key partners are local media talents, educators, community members, and people in the private sector. The most important partnership is with a television station that agrees to provide both air time and technical and production support. Leaders of various racial, religious, and ethnic groups and local organizations should agree to act as consultants and proponents of the program. Furthermore, teachers receive training from the programming on how to teach and deal with diversity in the classroom. This project requires willingness to participate and active input from all of the partners.
Soliciting the media requires an effective campaign by community leaders to convince the media and the public that bias crimes are a problem that affects the entire community.
Signs of Success
Spreading information via the media is an efficient and influential method to reach a large audience. The Anti-Defamation League's Boston office successfully implemented "A World of Difference" (AWOD) program, which links media and educational resources to develop diversity awareness programming. Several of the programs that evolved from this project are now used in diversity awareness and anti-prejudice training sessions for more than 110,000 elementary and secondary school educators, for college students on more than 400 campuses, for more than 70,000 employees in a variety of workplaces, for law enforcement professionals, and for community organizations. AWOD has expanded internationally to Germany, South Africa, and Russia following invitations from those three countries.
Applying the Strategy
The Anti-Defamation League in Washington, D.C., together with WUSA-TV, created a local AWOD campaign focusing on multicultural education training for teachers. Task forces of community leaders and local educators ensured that the materials addressed the concerns and needs of the greater Washington metropolitan area. In addition to live specials, documentaries, PSAs, and a special news series, there were several programs concentrating on the campaign. Because WUSA used the campaign as a guide for much of its programming, the anti-prejudice, pro-acceptance message permeated the fabric of the community.
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