Perceived Threat discards misperceptions

Sarah King
News Editor

Brandcenter student Dorado Quick (above) recently launched the Perceived Threat campaign to peacefully address societal misperceptions and labels. A blank space on the campaign’s apparel allows the owner to address the aspect of their identity that makes them a “threat” beneath the Perceived Threat tagline. Photo by Julie Tripp

VCU’s Brandcenter has a reputation for cultivating students whose work you can’t ignore and a copywriting student’s recently launched campaign has all the makings to do just that.

Dorado Quick launched Perceived Threat, a project to shed false perceptions and fear of others through a wearable medium, just two weeks ago. The campaign’s website sells merchandise with the tagline “I am a perceived threat because” above a blank space that owners can fill in according to their personal convictions.

“Perceived threat is a two-way street: People who fear the justice system are perceived as threats, and people who are part of the justice system are also perceived threats,” Quick said. “And that’s the whole thing, if we can look past that fear and discard false perceptions, then maybe we could save lives. If this thing saves one life or changes one person’s opinion, would all be worth it.”

Quick designed the slogan himself and said manufacturers in New York and California are producing the apparel. He said he is also reaching out to student organizations on campuses across the country to solicit their support for the project, and a handful have already expressed interest in purchasing T-shirts in bulk.

“That’s the thing about this — you can personalize the shirt. Whatever your race, gender, ethnicity, that’s part of you and you can express that — it’s individual,” Quick said, adding that the campaign is inclusive of anybody, but he believes young people have the most potential to make a change in the world and promote acceptance of others.

The Perceived Threat website also provides an option to submit personal narratives regarding experiences of misperception that, pending approval, will be shared on the site. Quick said the goal is to eventually compile these submissions into a published book.

The online platform also features photos and video clips of peaceful protests and demonstrations as well as individuals donning the campaign’s T-shirt with an explanation of why they’re a perceived threat.

“I would hope Richmond will embrace this project, just because the city is so open to diversity and making things better, and just the student organizations I’ve met with on campus have been so supportive,” Quick said.

Prior to launching the website, Quick said the VCU undergraduates he has met with have been extremely helpful in shaping the project to ensure that it gives everyone a voice.

“I’ve been to their marches and protests and getting that peaceful perspective is really key in creating something progressive,” Quick said. “This offers another platform to express and do what you want to do as long as it’s positive, peaceful and nonviolent.”

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