Brooklyn Center Community Schools (BCCS) has long been a leader in addressing issues of equity and opportunity, becoming the first in the state of Minnesota to adopt the forward-thinking Community Schools model. This model seeks to eliminate barriers to learning often found in economically challenged communities, such as access to medical and child-care, immigration and refugee transitioning, and language and cultural challenges. BCCS partnered with CESO Communications to clarify its brand and communication strategies for an expanded, future-forward vision of its schools and community.
There was a need to create a brand that would inspire students, staff and the community to embrace a more transformative vision of their future, but to do so, we needed to unpack the underlying truths driving this initiative. Discovery workshops and student listening forums were used to develop a well-rounded view of the district’s challenges and successes. These sessions also became opportunities for staff and students to view their individual perspectives through a different lens, often providing valuable insights for problem-solving and pathways for collaboration.
Our strategic approach helped Brooklyn Center Community Schools find inspiration within a brand archetype that aligned with their unique values, personality and vision for the future. As fearless “challengers” of the status quo and champions of the marginalized, individuals like Bryan Stevenson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became examples of their bold brand voice.
We helped BCCS develop a unifying idea that became the foundation for their new brand platform – “We stand front & center.” Since its implementation in 2020, the brand idea has become a rallying cry for BCCS and its students, filling the hallways and classrooms across its schools. Designed to be open-ended, the rallying cry gave students and staff an opportunity to take ownership, expanding its reach into multiple topics.
Bold strategy requires a bold delivery. We designed a gutsy identity that put their voice on center stage, giving students and staff a powerful toolkit for their transformative messages. No stone was left unturned as nearly every aspect of the identity was thoughtfully designed to concisely align with their values and mission. It’s an identity that serves a community and a cause, providing a framework for their enduring and fearless spirit.
Readying its bow, the Centaur has a powerful message to deliver – the truth shall set you free. We reimagined the iconic mascot, giving it new meaning as a bold truth-teller capable of delivering a powerful jolt to the status quo.
Bold and diverse, the new identity system reflects the contrasting make up of the community. It was designed to highlight the diversity of the community by mixing and matching font combinations, creating a blended appearance that distinctively sets them apart. With a seemingly endless number of combinations, the identity always remains fresh.
BCCS builds on this brand every day through robust communications supported by CESO Communications that have created a strong connection between the district and its community while giving the students and staff a sense of pride, ownership and passion for their community school.
With strong branding, community members can come join us because of what we stand for and against.