ACLU Conference: You Belong Here

In the aftermath of Trump’s 2016 election, the ACLU, a cornerstone of civil rights defense in the US, felt nothing short of essential to the fabric of American democracy.

Brand Strategy, Visual Identity, Experience Design

The challenge

In the first six months of the Trump era, ACLU membership quadrupled to 1.6 million as $83 million in donations came pouring in. Following this massive growth, the ACLU convened its member base. The day of learning, community, and movement-building addressed the perilous state of civil rights under the new administration.

In addition to gathering its diverse members from across the country to action, the conference needed to convey a powerful message. Our challenge was to capture the spirit of this socially-minded, inclusive gathering through naming, event branding, and experience design.

A brand for belonging

The work started with the search for a name, one that could connote a strong identity and a strong value-set. We landed on “You Belong Here”: you belong in this conversation and you belong in this country. Regardless of what issue matters most to each of us, we all have values we share as believers in and defenders of civil rights.

To convey this intersectionality through the event branding, Hyperakt layered belief statements revolving around five urgent issues: racial justice, immigration, reproductive rights, voting rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.

A welcoming space for conversation

The physical environment embodied the idea of “belonging” by inviting people to step into and participate in intersectional conversations. The space was anchored by flagship pieces including an interactive issues map, a storytelling booth, a training workshop space, action center booths, and multiple presentation spaces for panels and keynote speeches.

Hyperakt did an amazing job of understanding the ACLU and our issues, which is no small task.
Jaweer Brown
Director Brand Strategy, ACLU
We asked that they interpret–not just reiterate–our tagline, We The People, and identify a way that could express what we mean.
Jaweer Brown
Director Brand Strategy, ACLU
The resulting look and feel of the Membership Conference was so well received that a person, who was formerly incarcerated, tweeted that 'language matters' and the theme of the conference 'you belong here' spoke to people of all stripes.
Jaweer Brown
Director Brand Strategy, ACLU
With Hyperakt's vision, the conference really hit the mark.
Jaweer Brown
Director Brand Strategy, ACLU

Our impact

The conference, held June 10-12, 2018 in Washington, D.C., was a resounding success. Over 2,300 participants from diverse backgrounds and locations came together to affirm the values we hold dear, celebrate the work we have already done, and prepare for the fights that lay ahead.

Project Credits

Project Team
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