By Madison McGrath
Though my thoughts and ideas about Mississippi are very optimistic. Many others who have never visited do not feel the same way I do.
As I asked friends from other schools in different states who have never stepped over the state line what they though of Mississippi, I received a plethora of responses that did not surprise me, such as “hick, racist, uneducated, wide spaces, conservative, country/rustic, and Southern.”
It upset me to know this is what my friends think of the state I chose to continue my education in. In order to change these viewpoints, I came up with the Mississippi Rebirth campaign. Obviously, the purpose of this campaign is to change the inaccurate identity Mississippi has been stained with.
As of late, I have noticed that sharing videos on Facebook has become increasingly popular, and many videos go viral because of constant shares by friends and family. In order to educate the people who assume the worst about Mississippi, I will compile a video montage about the reality of the state.
It shows large, civilized cities like Jackson, suburbanized areas like Hattiesburg and Tupelo, large dedicated college towns, such as Oxford and Starkville, and gives viewers a taste of what it is like to be surrounded by acres of green land and clear, blue skies.
The video also shows people of multiple races coming together, and hate crime statistics 50 years ago vs. hate crime stats today.
As the video is released, many Mississippi residents will share it with friends and families. As their friends and family see the rebirth of the state that their loved ones reside in, they too will spread the good news of the new Mississippi.
If I had more time, the video would be submitted as an ad that plays on cable television, Hulu, YouTube, and other sites that require ads to view content.
When I asked people I know what their previous notions about Mississippi are, I was not particularly pleased with the response. However, it did make me want to become more proactive about changing how people view this state.
Instead of conservative, racist hicks, I want people to see the amazing Southern hospitable people that make up this state that I love.