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The Background

The Richmond Public Schools (RPS) renaming initiative aimed to replace school names linked to the Confederacy with ones that reflect modern values of diversity and inclusivity. This effort was driven by substantial community input, involving public surveys and hearings to gather diverse opinions and suggestions. Key figures in this process included Superintendent Jason Kamras and RPS Board Chair Stephanie Rizzi, who facilitated community engagement and decision-making. Academic insights from experts like Dr. Julian Maxwell Hayter from the University of Richmond also guided the discourse. The renaming targeted several schools, including John B. Cary Elementary and George Wythe High, due to their namesakes' controversial legacies​​. New names were chosen to honor local and progressive figures, such as Lois Harrison-Jones, Virginia's first Black female superintendent​ (Richmond Free Press)​. This project not only changed school names but also aimed to redefine their roles as symbols of inclusion and progress in the community.

Project Type

Film Production

Social Storytelling

Campaign Creation

Interviews

Copywriting

THE ASK

The Ask

For the RPS School Renaming Journey, Richmond Public Schools tasked our marketing agency with a comprehensive mandate to shape and guide the public perception and community engagement for this transformative project.

 

Our goal is to ensure that the RPS School Renaming Journey is communicated effectively, ensuring transparency and building trust within the community, while also highlighting the historical context and future aspirations of the schools involved.

Image by Mayer Tawfik
Our Process

Our Process 

To meet the objectives set by Richmond Public Schools for the RPS School Renaming Journey, our marketing agency executed a detailed strategy covering film production, social storytelling, campaign creation, interviews, and copywriting. Our film production team outlined the essential narratives, conducted on-site filming at the affected schools, and handled all post-production to create educational yet engaging documentaries. Concurrently, our social media team developed interactive content to stimulate community dialogue, supplemented with live sessions to address real-time feedback and questions.

The campaign was strategically unfolded in phases to build awareness and sustain engagement, utilizing both traditional and digital media to ensure comprehensive reach. Our interviewers gathered diverse perspectives from stakeholders, which were disseminated periodically to humanize the campaign and deepen community connection. Meanwhile, our copywriters crafted sensitive and inclusive content across various communication channels, maintaining close coordination with RPS officials to align with their vision and adjust tactics based on community response, thereby ensuring a campaign that not only informed but also united the community.

The Creative
Image by kyo azuma

Redefining Legacy

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