Waging A Living & Rosevelt’s America

The Family Economic Success campaign illustrated how Outreach Extensions achieved funder objectives (Making Connections’ Core Results) and built campaign bridges from one documentary to another, in this instance two documentaries by Public Policy Productions. The campaign is also notable for its evolvement across four years.

Through generous funding from The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Outreach Extensions developed and implemented an outreach campaign that expanded public awareness and dialogue about families striving to make work pay. Part of the Making Connections Media Outreach Initiative (MCMOI), the Family Economic Success campaign focused on two Core Results - Families have increased earnings and income and Families have increased levels of assets. In addition to financial and employment issues, projects also considered health, education/training, and housing, which have an impact on family stability and the ability to build assets. Making Connections sites participating in the campaign were also encouraged to create opportunities for resident engagement and leadership as part of their projects.

The four-year campaign had three phases. Phase One, 2003-2004, a long-lead campaign in readiness for WAGING A LIVING, featured employment skill-building for adults and Earned Income Tax Credit initiatives. Phase Two, 2005-2006, focused on expanding public awareness and dialogue, working in partnership with public television stations, Making Connections sites, and community organizations to build sustainable futures for low-wage workers and their families. The broadcast of Rosevelt’s America in 2007, Phase Three, extended opportunities for community engagement through funding by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Phase Two campaign was launched in 2005 to support community utilization of Public Policy Production’s completed film, WAGING A LIVING, which was broadcast as part of PBS’ acclaimed P.O.V. series during its 2006 season. Then, once producer-director Roger Weisberg secured a broadcast date (April 25, 2007 on PBS) for ROSEVELT’S AMERICA, the Family Economic Success campaign was extended to support community utilization of this important film.

Attaining almost 2.9 million impressions, ten Making Connections sites and public television stations conducted customized outreach campaigns to support local community engagement in relation to WAGING A LIVING:  Providence, RI; Des Moines, IA; Louisville, KY; Hartford, CT; Indianapolis, IN; San Antonio, TX; Milwaukee, WI; St. Louis, MO; Baton Rouge, LA; and San Diego, CA. Three of these sites – Providence, Des Moines, and Louisville – extended their activities by utilizing ROSEVELT’S AMERICA. In addition, WNET/New York and P.O.V. hosted a screening and panel discussion for WAGING A LIVING at WNET/Thirteen’s studios. Station and partner plans included a range of opportunities:  local production and programming, capacity-building workshops for low-wage workers, screenings/panel discussions, and community events to stimulate solution-based activity. Outreach Extensions provided campaign oversight, developed specialized media resources, and offered technical assistance to stations and sites throughout the campaign.