The 2020 US Census illuminated changes to the racial and ethnic population in the United States. The Latino population grew by 23% while the non-Latino population grew by only 4.5%. Meanwhile, Latino advocates expressed concern about politicians pushing negative narratives about Latinos to score political points.
Nowhere is this more evident than in places like Arizona. Latinos are the largest demographic group in Phoenix, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The state can be a model for the nation in responding to this change in positive, productive ways that benefit everyone.
UnidosUs, the nation’s largest civil rights organization representing Latinos, asked the Hattaway team to create messaging, media, and materials to increase awareness of Latinos’ contributions to Arizona, as well as challenges they face.
National research found that a large number of Americans, from many different backgrounds, held warm feelings toward the Latino community. But most were unaware of Latinos’ many contributions to our economy, culture, and communities.
And they didn’t understand that Latinos face barriers that, when overcome, help them to contribute even more. For example: too many of Latinos lack equal access to opportunities and tools, such as affordable housing and business loans, that everyone needs to build good lives for themselves and their families. Many jobs held by hardworking Hispanic men and women don’t pay enough to make ends meet and don’t include health insurance. Many public schools don’t offer support to English-learners, which has been proven to improve outcomes.
Opening eyes to these realities can encourage more U.S. residents and leaders to support expanded access to equal opportunity for Latinos and others.
UnidosUS chose Phoenix to launch a public education campaign aimed at non-Latino residents, with a message about the contributions of Latinos to the state and nation. The Count On Us campaign shows that people of Arizona, and the US, can count on Latinos to contribute to the economy, culture, education, and public safety. The campaign shares data points like these:
• Latino-owned businesses employ nearly 1 million Arizonans, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
• Latino immigrants pay $2.4 billion in Arizona state taxes annually, according to data from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
• Nationwide, 7 out of 10 Latinos work in health care, emergency services, and other essential fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.vfcd
The campaign launched on August 15, 2022, in anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15—October 15). About 100 Latino and non-Latino leaders and community members attended the launch event, where many made commitments to support the campaign and share its messages.
Arizona television, newspaper, and radio journalists covered the launch, with several TV stations going live from the event. The story ran in news outlets across the country. To date, news coverage in English and Spanish has reached more than 45 million people.
Beyond news coverage, the campaign features television, videos, digital, and outdoor advertisements.The campaign team is working with businesses, nonprofits, universities, sports teams, and other organizations to drive the narrative through their own social media, events, and other channels.
The campaign will be evaluated through interviews with Arizona leaders and a survey of non-Latinos who have seen the messages in news, social media, and advertising.