Lisa Diggs, in case you don’t know this Michigan dynamo, is a glass-half-full kind of woman. She’s got big ideas and big ideals. Best part, she never sits still.
That is why her latest project caught our collective eye. Michigan Positivity (#MIpositivity for you taggers out there) is what she describes as the “long overdue offshoot of the Buy Michigan Now campaign.” It’s the kind of campaign that takes stuff we’re already doing – Tweeting, updating our Facebook status or posting heavily tinted photos on Instagram – and making it all about our Great Mitten State.
“We’re trying to use social media to get more people to share all of the great assets of this state and of Detroit, without every other story starting with a burnt-out building or unemployment statistic,” Diggs said, who described it as aiming “to bolster the image of Michigan and its cities on a local, national, and global level.”
So who is going to participate in this positivity challenge? Lots of people, it turns out. Diggs left the state to get a few ex-pats involved. Some very fun ex-pats, it turns out.
“Last September we went out to LA and got 10 celebs who were from Michigan to sit down and share what they love about the state and how it shaped them. We’re editing the videos and intend to begin releasing them soon,” Diggs said. “Eventually we’ll add more as well as entrepreneurs, athletes, activists, students. … We’ve barely launched and have our first success story. Days of Our Lives star Shawn Christian and his co-star Ari Zucker are now going to bring their Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps to Detroit as a result of getting involved with our project.”
This isn’t Diggs first go-around with creating positive Michigan buzz. After all, you’ve got to be pretty positive when your self-description is “Writer, speaker, consultant, & founder of Buy Michigan Now. Passionate advocate for the Great Lakes State & small businesses. Be a catalyst for positive change!”
She’s also the heart and energy behind much of the Buy Michigan Now project. Buy Michigan Now is a campaign whose aim is to boost Michigan’s economy by encouraging residents and friends of the state to buy more Michigan-made products and local services. That includes Michigan businesses buying from other Michigan businesses.
It also has an annual event for those who want to really get involved. Entering its sixth year in downtown Northville, the Buy Michigan Now Festival is a weekend celebration of the state’s annual Buy Michigan Week. This family-friendly event includes tasty treats, street vendors, live music, and children’s activities, all highlighting Michigan-based businesses and Michigan-made products. According to its very positive tagline, “Together we are revitalizing the economy, one product, one purchase, one person at a time.”
So far, I’m loving the posts that Diggs and others are adding to the #MIPositivity hashtag. They’re getting word out about our state’s low unemployment rate. Another day, it might be about the fund-raising efforts of the North American Auto Show. Or getting people involved in voting for a great Michigan-based project like the Miracle Grow Community Garden project.
There is a lot to be positive about in our fine state right now. Closer to home, there is a lot of positivity in the city – something the folks who are new here notice right away. They see what we cannot sometimes…that there is a buzz in the air of vitality and energy. We might be the underdog in our collective eyes, but to people who recognize our state’s natural resources, business innovators, community advocates and non-profit organizers, we’re something special.
I do believe that having a positive attitude (despite occasion bad days, natch) makes you look for the best in people, in cities, in every day life. If any state of this fine union could use a positive outlook, it’s likely to be Michigan. Some accuse us of having low self-esteem, especially around Detroit. I think we just need to say how much we love our geography a little more. Be a little bit gushing about where we live. It couldn’t hurt.
Check out the Facebook page and follow along. It’s something simple – sharing a post or Tweet with a hashtag attached. But it all builds upon itself, cultivating a culture of thankfulness, positivity and optimism for Michigan. And we need all of that that we can get these days.
Update: Here’s how you can participate right away. Diggs’ beloved State of Michigan is having a birthday of sorts. We became a state on January 26, 1837. And she wants everyone — whether you’re in Michigan or parts unknown — to help us celebrate. Simply post something you love about the state, a desire to visit if you haven’t been, a photo, a link to a good news story, a fun fact, etc. on Facebook or Twitter along with #MIpositivity. You can help us influence the conversation about the 26th state in the union.