In the fall of 2015, UCM was contacted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion looking to make an impactful, visible commitment to diversity as we returned from winter break. The goal was to increase awareness of diversity issues among on-campus audiences and encourage thoughtfulness on the topic "What is diversity, and why does it matter to me?"
"Since my arrival to campus, I felt strongly that diversity was invisible. I did not hear dialogue, discussions or discourse involving the four federally recognized minority groups, women, LGBT or other underrepresented populations. I was deeply concerned regarding this void. It was as though the conversation regarding diversity did not exist," reflects Dr. Shari Clarke, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.
After presenting several options to achieve this objective, including suggested measurements of success for each, UCM designed a look and feel for the campaign that highlights that the issue of diversity at Ohio University touches everyone in the campus community. The "Diversity is you" campaign echoes the current, larger branding campaign while presenting a platform to encourage positive behavior via sets of contrasting words.
The campaign was applied to a host of design pieces, taking advantage of many of the outlets available to us on campus such as yard signs, a banner on the alumni arch, and Baker's digital screens. The division knew that while in Baker University Center students were exposed to diversity messaging but less so in other area on campus so the light pole banners were scattered at strategic hot spots elsewhere on campus, and the coffee sleeve stickers came out of Café BiblioTech instead of The Front Room Coffeehouse. The message was even taken uptown through the Court Street banner arranged with the Athens Mayor's Office. Each element drove them to the division's website which also sports a corresponding graphic.
The campaign was launched against the backdrop of a Diversity 101 column authored by Dr. Clarke, in addition to the President's welcome back message inviting us to embrace diversity, the Dean's joint message encouraging the campus' partnership in upholding diversity, and a host of Martin Luther King Jr. celebration activities.
When asked what feedback the division had received, Dr. Clarke declared, "Many extremely positive comments! Many have stated how thrilled they are to see diversity represented on campus with banners and signs. It reinforces the importance. It is great to see diversity visible throughout the campus" adding that working with UCM was, "sheer joy! Creative and collaborative."