Purple - The Project for Democracy - to Launch Unprecedented, Non-Partisan Campaign to Renew Faith and Interest in, Understanding of American Democracy

  • The Purple Project Teaming with Media Organizations, Brands and Major Institutions to Promote Rediscovery and Recommitment to American Democratic Values 
  • Major Media, Education, and Civil Society to Refresh All Americans on the Workings, the Stories and the Stakes of our Democracy

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, July 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Purple, a non-partisan media and education campaign of unprecedented scope undertaken by a coalition of leading American institutions to renew faith, interest, understanding and enthusiasm about our nation’s democracy, announced its launch today. With the support of major media organizations, along with major political and social institutions, Purple seeks to cultivate mindful patriotism with the ultimate goal of encouraging increased, active civic participation. 

“With 23% of American millennials saying that democracy is a ‘bad way’ or a ‘very bad way’ to run the country and more than 29% of the public recently expressing support for either a ‘strong leader’ or ‘army rule’, the stakes could not be higher,” said Sterling Speirn, Purple co-organizer and CEO of the National Council on Citizenship. “With democracy in danger and civic and media illiteracy at an all-time high, we see The Purple Project, as a vast exercise in consciousness raising.”

Purple is teaming up with content partners as varied as The Washington Post, iCivics, New York Public Radio and the OVID streaming platform, among many others, to promote civic-and media-literacy content for Americans of all ages. This content is set to be produced and distributed by Purple’s media partners based on their own editorial sensibilities, their own audiences and their own business models, with the only dictate that it be absolutely free of policy advocacy or partisan skew. While independent of the Purple organization, content partners will have the benefit of data and experience on messaging strategy compiled by its advisory panel of behavioral and communications experts.

“Purple is not about politics - not even a little bit,” said Purple co-organizer and co-host of WNYC’s Award-Winning ‘On The Media’, Bob Garfield. “On the contrary, unlike my day job, Purple is a no-politics zone. Instead it’s about American hearts and minds, about confronting widespread loss of faith and reminding everybody about what’s at stake. The society has its problems, large and small. But, come on, ‘army rule?’ Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

The work of these media partners will be complemented and supported by major institutional supporters representing the breadth of politics and society. Among those who have contributed support are the Freedom Forum Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the News Media Alliance. Purple will also team with educational organizations such as iCivics, NAMLE, The National Judicial College and the National Council for the Social Studies to promote the most effective existing civic-and media-literacy curriculum modules to state school authorities, local districts, teachers’ unions and the PTA.

“The twin watchwords for marketers in 2019 are ‘purpose’ and ‘brand safety,’” said Purple advisor Joseph Tripodi, recently retired c-suite executive and former global Chief Marketing Officer for the Coca-Cola Co. “Is there a better, less controversial purpose than Truth, Justice and the American Way?”

“The Purple campaign is among the most ambitious ever undertaken, with the goal of engaging virtually every man, woman and K-12 child with the blessings of American liberty and yet it is only the beginning,” said Speirn. “We’re planning for an ongoing platform and ongoing movement to encourage engagement with and pride in our democratic institutions in principle and in practice.”

Purple will encourage influencers and individuals to fly the purple banner in their social media posts and online presence. A logo that will in time become a badge of mindful patriotism. ‘Purple Wednesdays’ – following first Tuesdays -- will be a day when local institutions, organizations and campaigns will provide and encourage opportunities for Americans to participate. And the messages in all channels of media will be amplified by Purple’s brand sponsors in their advertising, packaging and promotion at all consumer touchpoints.

The Purple Project is relying on the aid of Americans looking to support mindful patriotism. Supporters can get ahead of the campaign and dig into civic engagement now, amplify Purple on Twitter and Instagram or donate to the cause.

Joe Mandese was first to cover the launch of Purple in MediaPost: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/337782/whats-red-and-blue-and-hopefully-read-all-over.html

Bob Garfield’s Op-Ed on Purple appears in today’s USA Today:

About Purple:

Purple is a non-partisan media and education campaign of unprecedented scope undertaken by a coalition of leading American institutions to renew faith, interest, understanding and enthusiasm about our nation’s democracy. Since February 2018, Purple has been incubated at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and is hosted under the non-profit auspices of the National Conference on Citizenship. The founders of the project are Rebecca Winthrop, senior fellow and director of Brookings’ Center for Universal Education; Yoram Wind, the Lauder Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Sterling Speirn, CEO of the NCOC and Bob Garfield, co-host of public radio’s On the Media.

Mark Naples 646.265.7372 mnaples@witstrategy.com
Mallory Edmondson 415.710.2804 medmondson@witstrategy.com
Alex Wolf 415.297.6316 awolf@witstrategy.com