Watch A Diverse Group Of Americans Recite The Declaration That Their Ancestors Signed

"Not only does the campaign highlight how diverse we are, it proves that diversity isn’t just something we value, it is part of who we are."

As Americans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, has come out with a new ad centered around our nation's Founding Fathers that recreates John Trumbull's historic "Declaration of Independence" painting.

Though it's only one minute long, the ad, below, packs a powerful punch. It features a room of ethnically and culturally diverse men and women (in sharp contrast to the original painting) reciting the poignant and powerful words of the Declaration of Independence. 

Beginning with the founding document's second paragraph, the group says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


Skipping ahead a bit, the group concludes with the Declaration's final passage. "We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America...for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor," they say.

As the camera pulls back to reveal the gathering of about two dozen men and women, the text across the screen reads, "Everyone we've assembled here is descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence."

Many of the descendants shown are people of color, which drives home the point that though America was founded by a small group of wealthy white men, it has grown and evolved into the incredibly diverse nation we know today. 

According to 2016 Census data, over 13 percent of the population of the United States identifies as black or African American. Another 17.8 percent is Hispanic or Latino, and nearly 3 percent of the population is multiracial.

Per Adweek, Ancestry's genealogy research team spent hundreds of hours validating lineage lines and sifting through research in order to assemble the group of people seen in the ad, which is running from June 29 to July 13. "Fourth of July is a time of great national pride, and our new campaign is a portrait of how America has evolved," Ancestry chief marketing officer Vineet Mehra told Adweek in a statement. "Diversity isn't just something we value as Americans; it's quite literally part of who we are." 

Though Mehra didn't mention the racist and xenophobic rhetoric that's been gaining popularity in recent months directly, he did allude to it. "We are living in a time when many people feel disconnected from one another, and one of the most powerful things we can do is to show how connected we really are," he added. "The 'Declaration Descendants' campaign highlights how our individual and collective history is an important part of our country's complex DNA and that we are all universally connected, sometimes in unexpected ways."

Droga5, the creative agency behind the ad, embraced the same idea Mehra did. As the company's Executive Creative Director, Tim Gordon, told HuffPost, "We're really humbled to have created a campaign that shines a spotlight on America's modern-day diversity and our past. Not only does the campaign highlight how connected and diverse we are, it proves that diversity isn't just something we value, it is part of who we are."

Though a few people featured in the ad were aware of their historic lineage, no one really knew what to expect when it came time to shoot. "One of the descendants [who is descended from Philip Livingston] said something … on set that really stuck," Droga5 associate creative directors Paul Meates and Thom Glover told Adweek. "He said he knew he was going to see people who looked like him [he's African-American] and people who looked more like the Founding Fathers themselves at the shoot, but had not been prepared to meet people of a wide range of other ethnicities there."


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