The Shared Value Initiative

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Changing the idea of Muslim Americans after the 9/11

In 2001, immediately after 9/11, the Shared Value Initiative was launched by the U.S. State Department under the supervision of Charlotte Beers, a former Madison Avenue advertising executive. The initiative consisted of five mini-documentaries, a promotional website and other numerous communication elements, including TV spots and radio programs. The videos portrayed "Real Muslim Americans" participating in their daily activities. The Shared Value Initiative was designed with the attempt of persuading the audience of Muslim countries to be more aware of American culture by eliminating myths about the treatment of Muslims in the US. As a result, the initiative intended to promote a "new" America to Muslims, by showing that American Muslims were living happily and free to participate in their daily activity in America without persecution.