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. This disinformation seeks to disrupt trust in accuracy, and rides off of old narratives that have used racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia to target and divide our communities for decades.
Today, this disinformation is spreading at unprecedented rates. If we hope to win narrative battles and shift the cultural terrain, we need to disrupt the disinformation that is affecting our communities the most (think: birtherism, all the varieties of Black/Brown/Asian wedges, blaming racial justice movements for the wildfires and violence caused largely by climate change and white domestic terrorists).
This year, chaos agents, who are interested in sowing discord and division, put some of our movement organizations at the center of conspiracy theories and disinformation attacks, threatening to delegitimize our work, sow distrust among our communities, and suppress our power. Many of us have heard and seen these conspiracy theories and lies littering our newsfeeds, circulating among our members, and maybe even from our Problematic Uncles.
But we can and are fighting back. Defending our communities against disinformation is inseparable from our organizing and integral to winning our fights for justice in this upcoming election and beyond. And often, the best defense is a strong offense that neutralizes disinfo before it spreads. Let’s start with a few tools that we’ve developed with the Disinformation Defense League for organizers across our movements to deploy RIGHT NOW.
Tools for GOTV & Beyond:
- A new North Star (c3) messaging guide for staying above disinfo chaos and advancing our narratives from ReFrame
- This guide outlines core messaging and scenarios that campaigns can use in conversations with voters and media
- How to NOT Amplify Disinformation infographics – IN SPANISH and English
- These graphics describes how to respond to disinformation online (best practices are often counterintuitive). This is an excellent resource for educating members and anyone who uses social media.
- A How to NOT Amplify video to share with staff, members and member leaders, produced by Kairos and ReFrame.
- The START tool for integrating disinfo monitoring and response into your existing campaigns. This tool, co-developed by Dr. Joan Donovan and ReFrame, has been called the first of its kind in the disinformation field.
- For more juicy resources, check out #DisruptDisinfo and tools like these from MediaJustice‘s Week of Action against Disinformation.
For the FULL Disinfo Defense Toolkit, co-curated by ReFrame and PEN America, click here.
We know the work of making sure our communities aren’t manipulated by disinformation is draining. We must do this work together. That’s why ALL OF US need to equip ourselves, take care of each other, & share the load because defending against disinformation isn’t an extra thing. Right now, our best defense is our organizing, relationships, and our work, but we all know disinformation doesn’t end with the election. For a look at our stance on the long game, check out our blog, “Fighting Disinformation, Building Narrative Power.”
more blog posts from reframe
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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
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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
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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
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Creating an Ecosystem for Narrative Power
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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
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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.
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Some of the ReFrame mentors reflect on their mentees and the hope they have for the future.
It’s Humanizing (Video)
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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)
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Hope & Liberation (Video)
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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
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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.