On April 7, World Business Chicago launched the new advertising campaign "In Chicago We Believe."
According to a press release, "the campaign promotes the city's long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, not just as a business positive, but as a principled value defining the city at a historic national moment."
"In Chicago We Believe" appeared in that day's edition of the Dallas Morning News, Orlando Sentinel and the Phoenix Business Journal. This latest initiative followed the economic development agency's highly successful 2021 campaign, "Dear Texas," where it contrasted the Windy City against Texas' restrictive voting laws and poor record on reproductive rights.
"The LGBTQ+ community faces disproportionate rates of discrimination, which leads to bullying, and worse, murder," said Tracy Baim, Chicago LGBTQ+ journalist, editor, publisher, author and filmmaker. "With all that is going on in the world, the last thing LGBTQ+ students and families should have to contend with is stigma and censorship from the government."
The WBC campaign was inspired by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent signing of the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, which bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, the subject of intense national consternation as a targeted attack on the LGBTQ+ population.
Many other anti-LGBTQ+ bills and laws have been filed, considered and/or signed. On April 7, the Alabama legislature passed its own version of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law after a surprise amendment was attached to a transgender bathroom bill.
When asked if future ads will be placed, World Business Chicago VP of Marketing & Communications Andrew Hayes emailed, "We are committed to continuing to draw distinctions and comparisons between Chicago and other cities around the country when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusivity. As young talent throughout the country continue to graduate from colleges and universitiesespecially those in Alabama, Texas, Florida, Idaho, Georgia, Wyomingwe will continue to message and promote that in Chicago your right to be whoever you are, is welcomed and embraced. This is our value proposition as the city's economic development agency, one that we expect will continue to yield positive dividends for all."