26 Nov

Crossroads Church is an organization that invites people to experience religion, and encourages individuals to change the city and the world. In 1996 Crossroads began in a class room of Clark Montessori in Hyde Park. Crossroads now has sites in Oakley, Mason, Florence, the West Side, and Clifton. The organization faces serious societal issues head on, and uses their resources to spread knowledge and love. Unlike a more traditional church service, Crossroads uses a mix of multi-media productions and often uses examples from popular culture. They creatively use clips from YouTube, movies, and commercials to highlight an issue or idea. Crossroads has an online presence and is active on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Over the past couple of months Crossroads encouraged members of the church to post “selfies” with the hashtag #WeAreCrds (Crds is short for Crossroads). It was part of their “We Are” series where they showed people of all ages and races as part of the unique Crossroads community. Crossroads re-posted the selfies on their social media pages, and complied them together on banners, posters, and used them in videos. The main objective may have been to create a sense of community among crossroads members, but it also addressed problems of discrimination and stereotyping.

The Standpoint theory can be applied to the premise of their campaign. The theory describes that an individual’s own perspectives are shaped by his or her experiences in social locations and social groups. The campaign encourages people to view the world from different standpoints. The photos reveal different aspects of an individuals’ life, which allow others to get to know them on a more personal level. This idea is very similar to the popular Humans of New York campaign. “With over eight million followers on social media, HONY [Humans of New York] now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.” – A quote from the HONY blog. Another concept that ties in with this idea is, intersectionality, which examines how various biological, social and cultural categories of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels.

Crossroads wanted to show that they consist of everyday people, and that church can look different than the one you might have grown up in. They crushed the stereotype that church is only for old people, by advertising the wide age rage of members. Overall, the campaign strategy was very effective because it was simple and engaging. Anyone with a smartphone or camera and internet access could be a part of it. It connected people and continues to connect people all over the tri-state area. By clicking on the hashtag #WeAreCrds you can see every picture that has been posted with that hashtag. Currently on Instagram there are 1,813 photos tagged with that particular hashtag. It is pretty incredible in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing other campaigns follow this theme. I think it is a great way to get people involved and connected with others in their community and world. I strongly believe that prosocial media is powerful and can truly make a difference in our world. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if more individuals and organizations were spreading knowledge and love like this.



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