We are here with you. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone who is struggling right now.
Like many people across the country, at ReFrame, we are sorting through the many layers of worry and stress to prepare. We are shoring up our staff and networks to survive this crisis, and to lean into the opportunity COVID-19 is presenting. (We took our team through threat modeling as a part of our organization practice and supported them to use the tool for personal planning. And leaned into some good old SWOT planning).
Many of us are worried about the worst: what if my family gets sick? What if my partner loses their job? How will my parents have income? Will my friend have somewhere to live? These worries extend beyond our homes to our neighbors, to our communities, to our states, and to our country.
These worries feel heavier, because we all understand that as a society, as governments, and industries respond to the pandemic – these responses will shape norms and rules in society for the foreseeable future.
Common sense in society is up for grabs, and what is true about society can significantly shift.
The question is: How will we move in this moment to shape the post-pandemic world in ways that were unimaginable two months ago?
We can already see that this crisis has created a challenge for opponents of justice and democracy. We can see this most embodied by Trump and his MAGA movement when they faltered in their opportunity to reify Trump as the prophet of American protectionism. This crisis is also creating cracks in what seems like a powerful relationship between electeds and media.
These cracks in the opposition and the impacts of the crisis stretch across geography, race, gender, class, generation and political affiliation, we have a responsibility to move differently.
We have also seen the emergence of distributed mutual aid networks that are utilizing new technologies, existing strong networks (parents, faith, community, identity, etc) to take care of each other, driven by solidarity and not the market.
The fumbling of our opposition and the spontaneous rise in solidarity are heartening, and we are just in the beginning.
As in any crisis, that window of what is possible, of what people understand to be true could shift towards national protectionism and authoritarianism. But it doesn’t have to.
We believe we can shift it towards a common sense where the government becomes a vehicle for mutual aid, a different economy where the market doesn’t dictate social goods like healthcare, a society built on trust and solidarity (the narratives that undergird so many existing campaigns).
While we wrestle with the heaviness of this moment, the uncertainty, the fear, we have an opportunity to collectively write the story of what our world will become in the days, months, and years after the coronavirus pandemic. This will require us to move beyond the practical challenges we all face in our existing work.
This moment requires us to move differently and shift what we have been doing, not to match the challenge of today, but to build tomorrow.
We are talking with our partners, listening to our networks, and making plans for what this moment calls for and what we think is possible. We will be leveraging our relationships and lessons from some experiments in narrative to find the right next step. Over the next couple of days we will keep you in the loop of what we are seeing and what we are doing, and how we can work together in these times.
more blog posts from reframe
The Promise of ReFrame
ReFrame’s Executive Director, Joseph Phelan, recounts his time as a communicator and organizer at Miami Workers Center as part of the inspiration for the vision and promise of ReFrame to build narrative power at scale. “I could see a future where we were touching these contacts with targeted messages and stories that overtime lead to a shift in worldview.”
Through The Looking Glass: 2022 Narrative Predictions
SAVE THE DATE: Through The Looking Glass - 2022 Narrative Predictions
Shifting the Culture of Crime and Punishment
As we grow the narrative power ecosystem we need to win we are taking moments to highlight the awesome strategists we get to work with. Talia Gad is a participant in the Northwest Health Foundation Fellowship and we took a few minutes to check-in on how she is doing.
ReFrame x NWHF Narrative Fellowship
ReFrame and Northwest Health teamed up to train leaders in community organizations in the Pacific Northwest to engage in narrative work to win.
THE RONA REPORT: THE ECONOMY, WORKERS & UNEMPLOYMENT
Exploring the narrative weather of Covid-19. The Rona Report is a project of ReFrame and Solea Signals. COVID time is confusing. It can feel like light speed and sloth slow all at once.
GOTV: Tools for Fighting Disinformation NOW & Beyond
Many who believe in justice are fighting hard for victories at the ballot box. However, our opponents are spreading disinformation that threaten the just future we are all working towards.
Threat Modeling & Swot Planning
At ReFrame, drawing from our experiences inside of other crisis moments, two of the tools we’ve been using to coordinate our team in the time of COVID-19 is individual and organizational threat modeling & SWOT planning.
A Movement Moment: Narrative in the Time of Corona
We are here with you. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone who is struggling right now.
Creating an Ecosystem for Narrative Power
The political landscape is shifting by the week. What we need to stay above the current is what will allow us to build narrative power for the long-haul.
A Spectacular Start to the 2019 Reframe Program
The fifth class of the ReFrame Mentorship kicked off in May with a spectacular Opening Convening in Denver and Breckenridge, Colo.
5 Minutes With Power California’s Jung Hee Choi
Jung Hee Choi is a Senior Advisor and mentor for ReFrame and the Associate Director for Communications and Policy Strategies for Power California.
Introducing the 2019 Reframe Mentorship Cohort
At ReFrame, we envision national and international movements buoyed by hundreds of thousands of strategists who are collaborating to develop and advance deep narratives that bend the long arc of history toward justice.
Black Panther: The Movie About Blackness That Reflected Back Gold
First things first, if you have NOT yet seen Black Panther, stop reading right now and go watch it. Yes, RIGHT NOW. Then come back later and read this.
ReFrame Gives Me Hope (Video)
Some of the ReFrame mentors reflect on their mentees and the hope they have for the future.
It’s Humanizing (Video)
Shanelle Matthews, ReFrame mentor and Communications Director at Black Lives Matter Global Network, reflects on why learning and collaborative spaces like ReFrame are humanizing and powerful for oppressed communities.
Build The Story (Video)
Brandon Hill, who works with Cook Inlet Keeper, talks about why he applied for and participated in ReFrame.
We Have a Responsibility to Our Ancestors (Video)
Fresco Steez, who works with BYP100, talks about the importance of story and the responsibility of building power towards action to end oppression for all people.
Hope & Liberation (Video)
JaNaé Bates, who works with ISAIAH, talks about shifting narratives away from fear and towards hope and liberation.
ReFrame For Our Future (Video)
The ReFrame Mentorship is a six-month program that builds the next generation of strategic communicators in social justice, and supports organization to integrate communications as a core strategy.
Lessons From the Field: Fighting Trump’s Deportation Machine
Immigrant rights organizations like Juntos, a Latinx grassroots group in Philadelphia, have been mobilizing powerfully in the months since Donald Trump took office. For Miguel Andrade, the communications manager at Juntos and a 2017 ReFrame mentee, strategic communications has played a critical role in their organizing work.
Lessons From the Field: Climate Change Organizing in the Trump Era
For 27 years, Cook Inletkeeper has worked to protect Alaska’s waterways and the life and people that they sustain. According to Brandon Hill, the organization’s Communications Director and a 2017 ReFrame mentee, that work is always an uphill battle.
Lessons From the Field: Winning the Fight to Save the Internet
Fake news, corporate control of the internet, digital surveillance, law enforcement agencies using big data to target communities of color — all of these issues have taken on increasing importance in recent years. The Center for Media Justice (CMJ), founded in 2008, is at the forefront in ensuring that communities of color are at the center of the debate and policy solutions to these critical problems.
Lessons From The Field Strategic Communications For Statewide Organizations
For statewide organizations that work on a variety of issues, it can often be difficult for their communications staff to manage and plan strategies to effectively get the word out about all of their organization’s work.
Lessons For The Movement
When we launched ReFrame in 2015, we had one mission in mind: to develop the next generation of strategic communicators — leaders rooted in grassroots movements who understand how to shape and control the narrative and stories about the issues they work on and, equally importantly, have the strategic thinking and skills to do so.
Dream of Where to Go
Reflection and evaluation allows us to understand if we are on the path to realizing our dreams. Heading into our third year of building the next generation of social justice communicators, we took time to reflect on what we have done so far.
Why Add Communications to Organizing Strategy? (Video)
Aquilina Soriano Versoza, Pilipino Workers Center
Fighting Disinformation, Building Narrative Power
We are organizing and telling stories on an uneven playing field, where the underlying narratives have long been shaped by highly conservative forces. This is the playing field on which mis-and-disinformation is spreading. So how do we combat it?
Announcing the new Disinfo Defense Toolkit!
Curated by ReFrame and PEN America for the Disinfo Defense League. Powerful tools to push back while continuing to advance our work for justice
We Came To Win: Reflections on Narrative Power in the 2020 Election
How key strategists built narrative power in 2020 during a global pandemic, the rise of the largest demonstrations for racial justice in US history, the highest rate of voter turnout and a significant defeat of Trumpism at the polls.
Defanging Disinformation: 6 Action Steps Nonprofits Can Take
Disinformation has become more effective at generating chaos and seeding doubt in reality. As part of our work with the Disinformation Defense League, ReFrame and This is Signals have committed to sharing lessons learned with the field and action steps on how to slow the spread of disinformation.