Writing Website Copy for a National Social Justice Campaign
Why I loved the project:
With a background in anthropology, I am passionate about increasing my understanding of diverse cultures and looked forward to learning more about the Sikh community — a religious minority in the US but one of the five largest religions in the world. I was also excited about the mission of the project: to share with fellow American citizens the truly progressive and tolerant identity of Sikh Americans, who have suffered countless injustices in our country because of a stigma that exists around the turbans that many Sikhs wear as a symbol of their faith.
What was the purpose?
The website is a focal point of the largest-scale media campaign the Sikh community in America has ever undertaken. Its strategy is led by AKPD, which was founded by David Axelrod, President Obama’s former senior advisor the mastermind behind the media and messaging strategy for both Obama campaigns. The National Sikh Campaign website describes the campaign:
"NSC plans to launch a brand entitled "We Are Sikhs" in 2017 that will leverage the polling and focus group research into a messaging platform that can effectively communicate and educate Sikh values to the average American. The aim of this brand is to build the Sikh image in the United States since the majority of Americans admit to knowing nothing at all about Sikh Americans."
The writing process
Taking into account substantial polling data and focus group research outlining the types of messages that appealed most to various subsets of American citizens, I worked with the NSC team to craft messaging for their website that emphasized Sikhs as an American immigrant success story and important contributors to our communities and society.
At the same time, NSC also saw the website as an important tool to communicate key pillars of the Sikh religion including its belief system, history, and leading figures. I was dedicated to making all information on the website interesting, consumable, and compelling to average Americans.
Throughout the drafting process I worked closely with the leadership team at NSC to learn as much as I could about the Sikh perspective in order to write content that expressed the community's voice with authenticity. Sikh scholars and experts were also engaged in the process to ensure that the final copy was complete, accurate, and in the right tone.
I feel fortunate to have been a part of the team working to make this campaign—made possible through the contributions and support of innumerable individuals and organizations—a reality.