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“This Is Dayton” on Tolerance; Shattering Stereotypes

Thanks to committee member, Donna Martin, for sharing this music video by Ice Cube called Race Card. The basic premise is the world isn’t black & white and not to believe in stereotypes.

Pay particular attention to the end of the video with images & labels. We believe this could be an excellent starting point for a poster initiative for the This is Dayton community pride initiative. Why?

It speaks directly to what Richard Florida refers to as one of the four T’s – Tolerance. It’s about diversity, but also refers to accepting people who are different than you. Diversity and acceptance is important to the Creative Class and they are drawn to open minded communities.

It personalizes “This is Dayton” and makes it about the people and not as much about the geography. It doesn’t matter if the people shown are from Beavercreek, Trotwood or Springfield. It’s about shattering stereotypes.

If nothing else, it just makes you stop and think…. so what do YOU think? Would you or someone you know be interested in being a “model” for these posters and share something about yourself that might surprise people?

3 Responses to ““This Is Dayton” on Tolerance; Shattering Stereotypes”

  1. Matt says:

    So originally I didn’t get this. And I do believe it’s about Dayton even though the message can reflect the region. Clearly the video isn’t just about race. It’s about many perceptions predicated on stereotypes. I like the word images and the video leaves me with the notion that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

    Obviously a big issue in Dayton is race. However, an equally big problem is the perception that Dayton has nothing going for it (and even regional people in the suburbs believe this). These were the perceptions that I thought the “This is Dayton” initiative was going to address, and thus came about the posters put up all over for Urban Nights and now some are still up while others are falling down in abandoned storefronts. Doesn’t look too appealing.

    So I went back to an earlier post on the DaytonCreate website and found this: “The initiative will highlight the region’s many unique assets and diverse population.”

    So we’re talking about diversity AND image. That’s a good thing. Therefore I think more important than finding people willing to tell something about themselves is to have a message and find real people, diverse people, to not only defy stereotypes but highlight Dayton’s assets along with its diversity.

    Some examples I thought of: the type of person (and the words to associate with them)
    young african american male – Rashad Young (city manager), sexy blonde – Jackie Warner (athlete, celebrity, trainer), image of Paul Laurence Dunbar (famous poet), muscle guy at a gym or on a motorcycle (researcher at WPAFB), elderly individual or couple (downtown residents), single mother with kids (full-time student), image of Wright Brothers (inventors), out lesbian (judge – but wait until after she’s re-elected), young woman at the market (city council member), kids in a science lab at school or at the Boonshoft (future scientists), someone in a suit (loves kayaking and mountain biking), someone at a bar/nightclub (vp of a bank), Allison Janney and or Martin Sheen (actors), image of young couple (opera lovers), image of old couple (jazz lovers), image of a kid on a sports field (also plays violin), image of someone in an office (also sang on broadway), image of Phil Donahue (got his start in Dayton), image of Edwin C. Moses (Olympic athlete) etc.

    So all in all I think the concept is a good one. But I wouldn’t ask for volunteers. This campaign is going to go nowhere unless it has a theme, intended audience, and specific messages. Figure those out first and go after people or solicit recommendations.

    Lastly, is this in addition to, complementary, or in place of the This Is Dayton posters? Just how many messages are we going to have? And why ties them all together?

  2. tg says:

    Matt – sorry to take so long to respond, but I was out of the country for a while and trying to get caught up. The committee realized there are as many ways to approach this as there are people on the committee.

    However, in the spirit of Richard Florida’s theories and the desire to tap into the creativity of the region, we decided to look at the main themes we kept discussing and create sub committees to allow a greater number of volunteers to get involved and to let this become a bottom up, organic, grass roots initiative.

    Also, we realize we’re touching two of the 4 Ts – that being Territorial Assets (what makes Dayton great to start with) and Tolerance – especially if we use the approach of the Race Card video of shattering stereotypes. Especially because then it truly becomes about the people of Dayton, not the geography (i.e burbs vs downtown).

    For example, we still want to continue with a poster concept – but we want the community to submit ideas in a poster contest. One will be for adults, one for K-12.

    We’d also like to do a YouTube type video contest; and an art show; and radio interviews. We need people to do some data mining & research, we need others to get out in front of community groups (i.e. Rotary, Chamber events, ethnic clubs) and solicit their input.

    This is a work in progress, and it’s not a branding campaign, it’s a statement. The theme is that there is much about Dayton to be proud of and we need visual representations that reflect those assets back to the community so they have daily reminders. Yet each of us have our own passions & interests so each of us can look at the same place and find different points of pride.

    The initial audience is fellow Daytonians and anyone visiting the region. Ultimately we’ll turn the message around to be externally directed so we can tell the world about Dayton’s assets.

    As difficult as it may be to measure, the overall goal is to help Dayton get over its inferiority complex, to counteract the negativity of the media, and to point out all the areas where our community excels so people have tangible reasons to be proud of the region. Once we show more pride and enthusiasm, it will be contagious and others will sense that and want to learn more or find a way to be apart of it as well.

  3. Interesting post, i have bookmarked your site for future referrence :)

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