Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead the March on Washington, culminating in his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Today, it’s everyday Americans advancing that dream.
So, msnbc celebrated the March’s anniversary all summer long by asking our community how they were affecting change. Television, digital, and social came together to develop an opportunity for learning, sharing, and real world action. We asked: “How are you advancing the dream?”
The result: Hundreds of original photo submissions flooded in via our Advancing the Dream web page and Facebook tab. Community members from 90 countries submitted their responses using the #advancingthedream hashtag, resulting in a gallery of stories from across the globe. The campaign hit 25,000 mentions on Twitter with 249,008,641 impressions. Facebook posts surrounding the effort reached 3.4 million people. Inspired by the community response, 90 percent of our own msnbc hosts joined in the effort, not just telling but showing how they were advancing the dream.
Users submissions were showcased on the historic anniversary live throughout msnbc’s special coverage, and in dedicated television segments throughout the summer.
The dream continued at home–with friends and family members nominating not only themselves, but leaders in their own communities–and in the classroom, where teachers encouraged students to define ways they could affect change. But rather than just collecting and displaying submissions, we sought to take the conversation a step further.
From enterprise editorial, such as one reporter’s road trip with the Dream Defenders, to real-world activiations, like Reverend Al Sharpton’s live show at the Apollo Theater, we met our audience at every medium.
From allowing users to vote for their favorite submissions in an interactive display on msnbc.com to hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air rewarding nominated educators, we interacted with our community members on a personal level.
More than a hashtag, and more than a campaign, “Advancing the Dream” became a call to action challenging the community to honor Dr. King by taking steps to make real change.