'Candor' unveiled as new name for RCC

Trying to find a new name that captures the essence of a 46-year-old organization and its mission is not easy to do — especially when some options already have been taken.

A task force charged with finding a new name for the Robert Crown Center for Health Education first selected a name that already was in use, said Executive Director Barb Thayer. So they went back to an earlier list and settled on Candor Health Education.

“It’s hard to find a name that everybody likes,” Thayer said. “It’s very, very hard.”

She had liked the name Candor from the beginning and was even more convinced after a few task force members asked their adolescent and teenage children to weigh in on the options.

“All of those kids agreed on Candor,” she said. “What we learned is the ‘Divergent’ series has a team on it named Candor, so all the kids knew that it meant honest and truthful.”

Board member Jeanne Osgood agreed.

“I think the name resonates with teenagers and it gives us a chance to use it as a teaching tool,” she said. “What does candor mean? We are delivering honest, straightforward, very open conversations with groups of kids. I think this now will become an element in a lot of the programming.”

Leaders had selected a new tagline — “Empowering young people to make informed decisions” — before they landed on a name.

“We wanted to make sure we were focusing on the right age group, not children or teens, and what we are trying to do,” Thayer said. “We’re not trying to dictate anything. We’re trying to help them make good, healthy choices.”

After months of planning and a special VIP unveiling Tuesday night, the name became official yesterday.

The rebranding was prompted in part by the Crown Family Philanthropies’ decision to shift its funding away from health education and therefore, the center. The family offered financial support for the renaming process.

“The name Robert Crown Center was completely outdated,” Osgood said. “We are no longer a center. People don’t come to Robert Crown as they used to.”

The board sold its building at 21 Salt Creek Lane three years ago this November, Thayer said, and has been completely overhauling its programs since then. Plans to offer more programs virtually were shifted in high gear when the pandemic hit in March.

“We learned a ton,” she added. “That was one of the blessings of this pandemic. We were forced to figure this out very quickly.”

Moving forward, Candor will offer a three different types of programs: in school/in person, live interactive via Zoom and online interactive. Each lesson will be infused with social emotional learning and will include the pre- and post-tests the center had been using with in-person programs before the pandemic.

“We can deliver to anyone anywhere, which is going to be a huge benefit to us,” Thayer said.

As part of the launch of the new name, Candor is also announcing a free drug education portal for middle school and high school students on its website at https://www.candorhealthed.org.

“It’s a great culmination of all the work they’ve done over the last nine years on heroin,” Thayer said, adding that it includes information on other opiods and marijuana as well.

While this is an unusual time to make such an announcement, Osgood said, she believes the pandemic could provide an opportunity for the organization.

“One of my personal hopes is that ... it’s really an opportunity for parents who might be seeing a little more directly what their students are learning, that parents will see the kind of work that we do and the ways that we have these conversations,” she said.

The task force worked with Substance, a branding agency, and a company called Prosper Strategies during the process. In addition to deciding on the name, the organization had to revamp its colors and logo and develop a new website.

“It’s crazy how much stuff there is to redo, and trust me, we’ve been working diligently around the clock for I don’t know how long trying to figure this out,” Thayer said.

All the work has been worth it, though.

“We’re thrilled with the end result,” Thayer said. “I love the logo I love the name. I love the tagline. It has been well-received by just about everybody.”

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean