We create messaging rooted in our local community. Our civic engagement communications campaigns are inspired from the grassroots-up vs. top-down. Our respect and commitment to our base is what we believe makes our messaging both unique and effective. For example, we conducted a series of focus groups to develop our Vote for our Future slogan in 2012. We found that many first-generation parents immigrated to better their children’s lives but believed voting was their children’s responsibility. “Vote for our Future!” was a generational message meant to encourage parents to model civic duty for their children by voting. Understanding that many first-generation immigrants are less technologically-inclined, we also displayed our message on a billboard on the busiest highway in Gwinnett County for a month leading up to the Presidential elections. With faces of diverse Asian American children and “vote” in seven different languages, our billboard received more than 5.6 million views on the road, dozens of media hits and invitations to speak at both Gwinnett Democratic and Republican meetings.
We not only develop messaging to move our community to action but also have a strong media relations practice that has shifted the public narrative of immigrants as civically disempowered to actively engaged political agents in our region. For example in January 2014, Georgia’s main newspaper the Atlanta Journal Constitution published a front page, top-of-fold article on the growing political force of Asian Americans in Georgia, a story that was pitched by Advancing Justice – Atlanta. It was the first time in more than 15 years that a story about Asian Americans was featured on the front page.