Spitfire Strategies

As part of its Rise Above initiative, UnidosUS hired Spitfire to work with its Affiliates to organize five events in cities across the country to bring people together and have discussions that would lead them to find strength in diversity.

UnidosUS

Based on the Supper United concept pioneered by Conexión Américas and Dirty Pages in Nashville, the Recipe for Unity meals gathered people around one table, where they shared a dish or a recipe that was meaningful to them, their families or their cultures. By recruiting a wide mix of people and facilitating a conversation around food traditions, UnidosUS hoped that guests would celebrate their differences and be able to see their commonalities clearly, too.

In January, Spitfire set out to research, plan and execute these meals. The process began with the decision to change the name of these events to Recipe for Unity to make the title more representative of all corners of the country and facilitate adoption of the model outside of the South. We conducted overall level-setting calls with each of UnidosUS’s chosen Affiliate hosts, where we discussed everything from big picture strategy to event specific details including possible dates for the events, the general format for the dinners, possible locations, and potential invitees.

“…guests at each of the five events left the meal with new friends and a newfound – or newly revived – sense of community.

Over the course of February and early March 2018, Spitfire worked with Affiliates to hone their guest lists, develop media pitches and handle event logistics. All five Recipe for Unity meals took place between March 4 and March 16, each with a different flare based on the local community and host Affiliate:

  • Durham, NC, with El Centro Hispano
  • Memphis, TN, with Latino Memphis
  • Tampa, FL, with RCMA
  • Phoenix, AZ, with Valle del Sol
  • Alexandria, VA, with Mary’s Center

These events produced strong results for the Rise Above initiative, including media coverage across markets, a robust conversation on social media that reached nearly 2 million people, and commitments from attendees and local organizations to host their own meals. But the most important result of all is intangible: guests at each of the five events left the meal with new friends and a newfound – or newly revived – sense of community. Attendees were even inspired to host their own events, to keep their newfound sense of community growing. Together, UnidosUS, its Affiliates and Spitfire created spaces where Americans sat around a table and shared a dialogue that rose above the vitriol, and brought people together.

 

“This is a truly transformative program and there is no question that it is preparing leaders to be courageous communicators.”

- Colleen Bailey, Executive Director, The National Steinbeck Center

Getting Your Story Covered: Tips for Top-Notch Media Pitching Part Two

Mike Carter-Conneen

By Mike Carter-Conneen
Director

  In the first installment of this two-part series, I shared some insights from my years working in TV news and media relations, focusing on the best methods to get your pitches seen by reporters. In this part, I review some strategies for increasing the odds those reporters will actually… (read more)

An E.D.’s Guide to Essential Strategic Communication Know-How, Compliments of Spitfire’s Executive Leadership Program

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  I’ve been working with a number of new executive directors this past year. After years of hard work, or in some instances, after waking up from a dream about a new organization that MUST exist, these people found themselves with all eyes on them. From the moment they updated… (read more)

COAL + ICE: Overcoming Barriers to Spark Climate Action

AnaChristina Arana

By AnaChristina Arana
Account Coordinator

  “One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from the [IPCC] report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working… (read more)

Sign up to receive Spitfire Sparks

You’ll receive our latest smarts on the causes you care about and updates on our free tools.