“The Real Africa: Fight The Stereotype” campaign works to combat common misconceptions about Africa, such as it being a country and the word African being seen as an actual language.
Members of the African Students Association (ASA) conjured up the idea to have pictures feature the students wrapped in various African flags and/or holding them with pride.
“What we wanted to do was embrace the individual flags of the countries of Africa,” said Rita Bunatal, who does PR for the ASA. ”We wanted to show the beauty and the power of the flag. We also wanted to break one of the biggest misconceptions about the continent, which is that Africa is a country.”
Each picture is also accompanied by short quotes from the students themselves. These include sayings, such as “Africans don’t need to be saved” and “Africa is not a land filled with diseases.”
“We wanted to give facts to correct to give knowledge, trying to educate and stop people from saying these other things,” Bunatal added.
The students first posted their photos on CNN’s iReport platform last month. More than 5,000 people have seen the images since then, and more than 2,000 have shared them. The group hopes to expand their efforts beyond America one day.
“The simplest actions can create awareness, and we are hoping to do this not only campus-wide but also worldwide,” says Bunatal.