Case Study: DuSable Museum of African American History - Responding to Hate Mail

Updated: Oct 30



The Challenge: Our client, the DuSable Museum of African American History, began receiving an increase in hate mail in early 2021, after the 2020 United States presidential election.

The Results: We raised awareness of the hate mail and a subsequent secret service investigation through an earned media campaign. As a result of our earned media efforts, four out of five of Chicago’s major TV news stations covered the story along with radio coverage on multiple stations. In addition, during the spring of 2021, the Illinois General Assembly responded to the news of these threats by announcing an upcoming grant for the museum that will appropriate $1 million for security and $26 million for general operations.


Earned Media:


Chicago Tribune: Hate mail sent to DuSable Museum threatens Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Obama family, officials say


“Education and knowledge, that really is the cure to this evil of racism and bigotry,” Irmer said. “It’s more important now than ever. ... We are the ones to bring this situation to light, to make people aware of it.”


WGN News: Authorities probe Obama, VP Harris hate mail sent to Chicago’s DuSable Museum


NBC Chicago: DuSable Museum Receives ‘Threatening' Letters Aimed At Obamas, VP Harris


CBS 2 Chicago: Secret Service Investigates Hate Mail Sent To DuSable Museum Of African American History


ABC 7 Chicago: DuSable Museum hate mail under investigation by Secret Service