The Kind, Cool, Connected Campaign (KC3), a DC Safety Network (www.dcsafetynet.org) initiative, will involve neighbors, organizations, businesses, and government in creating kind, cool connections that give our diverse and ever growing city a small town feeling of togetherness.
MOTTO: Connection Is Our Protection!
VISION: This campaign is designed to increase connectivity among residents of the District of Columbia. The concept is simple. Not all interactions are “Kind” or “Cool.” Violent contact, criminal contact, harassing contact, racist, sexist or discriminatory contact, snubbing contact and avoiding contact are examples of failed interactions. Failed interactions hurt both the individuals involved and the city as a whole. Data shows that when neighbors feel connected to other neighbors, they feel safer, happier and are healthier.¹ We envision a viral campaign that unifies the city around the simple act of greeting each other with a friendly phrase and a smile. We believe this simple act will ease crime, lessen tensions around gentrification, and create a better living experience for all Washingtonians. Like many other cities, Washington has a diverse population. Also, many of its citizens are transient. The Kind Cool Connected campaign is designed to create a city that feels and is friendly and welcoming.
Invitation – The invitation phase has already begun and is anticipated to continue through all phases of the campaign. In this phase we will invite neighbors, organizations, businesses, and governmental representatives and agencies to get involved. Getting involved means committing to promote and popularize the campaign, donating to assist with advertising and promotion costs, and volunteering to assist in the creation and distribution of materials, the presentation of information to other potential participants, decision making, and other tasks which require man-hours.
Contest –We would like to identify a catchy phrase that will capture the attention and love of the city and thereby become a true brand, a brand that would make Washington, our Nation’s Capital, a city synonymous with friendly, connected, and welcoming energy. There are a number of instances where groups have adopted catch phrases or greetings to promote bonding and unity. For example, Hawaii uses the word, “Aloha.” New Orleans uses the phrase, “Hey Buddy.” Atlanta uses the phrase, “Hi Y’all.” In the New York and New Jersey area the phrase, “How You Doing” is common. “Howdy” is commonly used as a greeting in the southwest and west. Others greetings include: “What’s up,” “Peace,” and “Namaste.” “What’s going on” even made its way into a song! We believe that in itself working together as a community to find the perfect unifying word or phrase for DC will be a unifying experience.
To fuel interest, in advance of implementation of the campaign we would conduct a contest inviting entrants to nominate a word or phrase that is well suited for adoption by the entire city. The working group for the campaign would narrow submissions down to the ten best words or phrases and the city would be invited to vote to determine which should become the city’s signature phrase.
Contagion/Implementation – Participants will begin using the phrase, promote the campaign within their groups and spheres of influence, and begin spreading the word about the phrase on social and other media. Events will be hosted around the city to celebrate and perpetuate our connectedness, such as block parties, open houses, festivals, picnics/barbeques, and also digital events via social media.
Maintenance – When the campaign has peaked and excitement is waning, we would host anniversary events and public relations events to keep the phrase alive and more importantly to keep growing our connectedness and the energy of warmth, openness, and belonging.
PARTICIPANTS AND PARTICIPATION: All are invited to participate! All are welcome to participate! We will actively recruit spiritual and religious organizations of all faiths, secular organizations with missions that align with the goals of this campaign, local businesses, educational institutions, governmental bodies, and the media. We hope you are interested in participating.
To get involved, contact us through our website (Contact Us tab) and we will tell you how you can become involved or meet with you and your organization to share information.
¹ One Study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, explicitly examined social connectedness in 5276 adults in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The subjects rated how strongly they agreed with four prompts:
- “I really feel part of this area.”
- “If [I] were in trouble, there are lots of people in this area who would help.”
- “Most people in this area can be trusted.”
- “Most people in this area are friendly.”
Responses were assessed using a seven-point Likert scale. Then participants were followed. Four years later, 148 of them had experienced heart attacks. Eric Kim, the University of Michigan researcher who conducted the study, explained in a Aug. 19, 2014, article published in The Atlantic : “On the seven-point scale each unit of increase in neighborhood social cohesion was associated with a 17 percent reduced risk of heart you compare the people who had the most versus the least neighborhood social cohesion they had a 67 percent reduced risk of heart attacks.”
Time Magazine in 2010 reported similar findings out of Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, researchers pooled data on health outcomes and social relationships from 148 studies, covering more than 300,000 men and women across the developing world. The result was that those with poor social connections had on average 50% higher odds of death during the period following the study.
In an even earlier example, a study entitled: “Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy” (Robert J. Sampson, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Felton Earls, Science 277 (Aug. 15, 1997): 1-7. Copyright 1997 American Association for the Advancement of Science), concluded that collective efficacy, not race or poverty, was the largest single predictor of the overall violent crime rate.