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We’re Hiring, Again!

March 6, 2023

We're Hiring! Will you be a part of ReFrame’s next 10 years?

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Will you be a part of ReFrame’s next 10 years?

Whether it’s at one of our training programs, a narrative research briefing, or in backrooms building and aligning narrative strategy, ReFrame’s daily work is powered by a brilliant, creative, high-aspiring, committed, and funny AF 😹, staff team working to build a narrative ecosystem capable of transforming the world around us toward a common sense rooted in multi-racial democracy and an economy that works for all of us.

As we near our ten-year anniversary and begin strategic planning for the next ten years, we’re investing in fortifying our team, program participants, and partners to have robust infrastructure and support to meet the vision of building narrative power to win!

We are actively seeking:

We’re accepting applications for all positions through March 31, 2023. You can find the full job announcements, hiring timeline, interview process and salary ranges at our hiring hub

We look forward to meeting our future teammates and all the candidates!

Co-founder and Outgoing Executive Director, Joseph Phelan back to back with Jen Soriano, ReFrame Co-Founder and Advisory Committee Chair

"We Did It!" Not a Solo Founder Story

February 10, 2023

A founding story grounded in movement values and a collective vision.

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We are taking advantage of the Executive Director transition to reflect on what ReFrame has accomplished and learned about building an organization from the ground up. This first reflection is the origin story of ReFrame, placing it into a movement context and challenging the archetypal solo brilliant founder. You can read the first blog post about the transition here

Last fall I sat in the offices of LUCHA in Phoenix, Arizona.  Abril Gallardo, Communications Director at LUCHA - who happens to be ReFrame Alum and an Advisory Committee member - shared lessons from the organization’s dynamic work across the state. We were at the mid-point convening for ReFrame’s Senior Cohort. At the same time, some ReFrame staff were preparing for a Narrative Power 101 training with over 800 people registered from across the country and globe while other members of our team were resting after pulling off our first Narrative Power Summit we co-produced with RadComms. The summit brought together over 250 people for days of peer learning and relationship building. Still yet, other members of our team were working on a narrative power network analysis that would inform a power building strategy held by our close partners. 

I had an overwhelming sense of ease. “We did it,” I thought. 

Before there was ReFrame 

By the time Jen Soriano and I started the ReFrame Mentorship in 2015, we’d spent years in conversations with an informal cohort of strategists in racial justice organizations who were actively engaging big questions about culture and narrative change and strategic communications in their work. We found each other at places like the Progressive Communicators Network annual gathering and the U.S. Social Forum connecting across rooms, sharing insights from our work, and grabbing coffee, drinks, and phone numbers. We supported each other 1:1 and through networks our organizations were a part of like Right to the City.  

These relationships - built on both personal trust AND principled political alignment - led to all sorts of collaboration - like Echoing Justice. They also became the infrastructure that we leveraged when movements needed and called for narrative and comms support - from Alto Arizona to the Ferguson Uprising. 

Over time this cohort identified an underlying challenge to building the narrative power we needed to win hearts and minds at scale: we needed more strategists grounded in power building organizing with an orientation to narrative; we needed resilient infrastructure to support these networked strategists; and we needed spaces for narrative strategy alignment. 

Jen and I set out to solve these problems and we were supported by this broader cohort to do so. Even the seed funding for the mentorship came through that informal cohort. Laine Romero-Alston, a long-time fellow traveler, shared the vision. She leveraged her position in philanthropy to support a whole variety of projects and experiments, including ReFrame. The mentorship was a step towards formalizing and growing what had been an informal and stretched narrative infrastructure built on an aligned vision. 

Staying the course in times of uprising

Even with the support of our people and aligned vision, Jen and I had a secret struggle when we started the mentorship. 

We knew the path to building narrative powerful movements relies on people first with a commitment to their development and their activation. It’s the organizers in us. We knew that it wasn’t just that we needed more strategists, we knew there were actually people who were eager and hungry to learn more. We also knew that the work of developing junior strategists is heart work - the transformation in leadership can be profoundly hopeful and inspiring. 

In addition, the work of building infrastructure could take a long time. The moment we were in required immediate action. It was in the early days of the Movement for Black Lives, on the eve of the #MeToo movement, and less than a year shy of Trumpisms rising tide. We were called to action in the fights that would define an era of politics and culture. A call we had been answering for years. 

Our elders - veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, anti-colonial movements in home countries, and Queer Liberation movements - taught us: without infrastructure that maintains narrative advances enshrined in policy, law, behavior, and scaled stories, movements crash into powerful opposition who will bludgeon us, scatter us, tire us out, and advance their own narrative strategies. 

We moved into long-term work, keeping our eyes on the ten and fifteen year horizon while doing what we could to support the day-to-day movement moments. 

It starts..

Our first year (incubated at the Center for Story-based Strategy), we built the plane as we flew. The amazing class of mentees extended trust and excitement, organizers from organizations like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Massachusetts Jobs With Justice. Founding mentors - Jung Hee Choi and Mervyn Marcano, brought a tremendous spirit of collaboration and dedication. 

The first year ended with high fives, gratitude, empty pockets and questions. We asked the mentees and mentors what to do next. The resounding answer was - keep going. 

Kim Freeman Brown joined in the second year as a mentor and became a critical part of the  leadership team.  Alejandro Cantagallo joined as an event planner with expertise in prison abolition organizing and a deep practice of care in logistics. The mentor team grew over the years to include: Naomi Ishisaka, Shanelle Matthews, B Loewe, Chelsea Fuller, Natalia Jaramillo, and hermelinda cortés. The mentors found as much connection, meaning, and alignment through the program as the mentees. 

It grows… 

After the third year Kim, Jen, and I came together in Seattle to plan the next mentorship. Two days later we’d decided to start an organization that could hold the mentorship, but could also expand to bring strategy alignment and narrative development to partners working in coalition with one another across geography and issue, and experiment with narrative research and action. 

We brought the historic SPIN academy into our new organization with the gracious support of the team who had been holding the project - Holly Minch, Claudette Silver, and Amanda Cooper. Hermelinda joined the staff and spent her first days at an international narrative power convening in England, followed quickly by a partner meeting in Florida, and a few weeks later she was running a Texas based ReFrame Academy. 

In no time we launched a 13-month Next Gen Fellowship with Power California. We ran deep experiments in narrative research, led by hermelinda, that became the foundation of our many narrative research and action projects. 

By 2020, Covid hit and racial justice uprisings rocked the country. We trained 5,000 people in one month in collaboration with Movement for Black Lives, we provided regular narrative weather reports to movement leaders, and we ran a daily narrative war room in Florida with a state-wide table of organizing and civic engagement organizations. We took the week-long academy and made it Zoom-proof, expanding the numbers of people we could train exponentially. 

Each year since, we’ve innovated our training model, thrown convenings for narrative power builders, and produced behind the scenes narrative landscape and network maps for partners in motion. We’ve also produced movement-wide narrative predictions and trained hundreds of people across philanthropy in narrative power building in order to crack doors open and push funding to organizing and narrative power work grounded in organizing. 

We did all of this while growing a staff team that is majority people of color, majority queer, majority women, and led by working class people and values. 

I was there for all of it, and as I recall it and list it I am amazed at what we have done.

The long term pay off
In the first three years of the mentorship program people would ask us - “Will mentees  get more press hits? Place more ads? Tell more stories? Etc Etc”.  Jen and I would say, “Sure but that’s not the point, that’s not the measure of success. In five years we will see graduates from this program leading scaled narrative fights across issues and geography. They will be critical leaders in a scaled narrative empower ecosystem.  And they will be in relation to each other.” This response was grounded in the work of Echoing Justice (see page 24) which brought a movement building and power building approach to metrics  in order to interrupt the trend of vanity metrics. 

In 2020 ReFrame saw alumni of the mentorship program lead scaled narrative battles across the country that were decisive in their states and set the long term narrative terrain. Many of them were directly working with narrative research everyday to take advantage of arising narrative openings. 

Now three years later we are finishing up the first Senior Narrative Cohort  - a nine month program for senior level narrative strategists already reaching audiences in the tens-of-thousands in relation to power building organizing. These strategists are engaging with dynamic narrative research and applying it to their work, building powerful peer relationships, and scoping future collaborations. ReFrame, putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to resourcing narrative strategy tied to organizing, moved over half--a-million dollars in stipends to the class of ten strategists to support narrative projects in relation to power building organizing. 

We see ReFrame as an important part of the overall ecosystem. Given this it makes sense that several of our staff leading narrative research, supporting on training, and shepherding the organization are also alumni of the mentorship program, including incoming Executive Director hermelinda cortés.

These numbers alone may seem small, but that is a matter of perspective. If you look at development over time it is clear - ten years ago this network of narrative strategists did not exist. If we shift perspective away from just the mentorship program we see a large network of leaders moving in the same direction. We see this in the work we did supporting Women’s March’s Digital Defenders in inoculating their communities against right-wing ideology to the thousands of people who now share core concepts and definitions of narrative power building learned in our trainings, to the thousands of organizers and leaders using our annual narrative predictions as a critical component in their strategies. 

It’s not over… 

From the beginning ReFrame has been a shared effort born from necessity, creativity, excitement, and deep nerdiness. The work of the organization is far from over. 

We are not simply trying to change narrative in a neutral environment, we are building narrative power in an environment where an organized opposition has invested 80 years and countless resources in shaping hearts and minds across society. Everyday we deal with the fallout from this oppositional investment in the form of violence, a hardened inequality, an emboldened and organized white-suprmecist and misogynist right-wing. 

ReFrame has done the most with what we have. The ecosystem is growing through our direct effort and through the collaborative efforts of so many we are in network with.  And there is plenty yet to be done. 

I am beyond excited for hermelinda cortés to bring her talents, experience, and drive to the role of Executive Director. I am also excited for her move with her expanded cohort of strategists, networks, and lineage to level up the ecosystem. 

Outgoing Executive Director of ReFrame, Joseph Phelan

Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes... A Note from ReFrame's Outgoing ED

February 3, 2023

Co-founding Executive Director, Joseph Phelan, on why he is leaving ReFrame and what's next.

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What are you going to do next?”

From friends, to neighbors, to colleagues - this is the first question I get when I tell people I am moving on from my job as Executive Director (ED) of ReFrame, an organization I co-founded with Jen Soriano and Kim Freeman-Brown

The question should not be a surprise. Kim told me this would be THE question I would get. I was like, “Nah Kim, there are far more interesting questions.”  Kim said, “You will see bro, you will see.“

The truth is, I don’t know. 

I am not leaving ReFrame because I have some other iron in the fire, some amazing opportunity I just can’t pass up, a book I need to write, etc. There is nothing wrong with these reasons for moving on, they just aren’t my reasons. 

The more interesting question to me is “WHY” am I leaving ReFrame?

When I started as the ED at ReFrame I would tell anyone who would listen - I’m out in three years, I am here to get this organization up and running, scale it a bit, and then pass it on to whoever is next in the ED seat. I was naive on timing (and Covid had other plans) - but my internal indicators remained; in order to move on from ReFrame I wanted:

ReFrame hits the mark on all three. Everyday I go to work at ReFrame and I’m blown away by the training, research, creative content, network weaving, advising, strategic direction setting, philanthropy shaping work the team is moving. Everyday I get to work with people dedicated to putting the vision of ReFrame into practice. 

On Being an ED and Transition 

In 2017, Jen, Kim and I looked at each other across a table where we’d been scheming the next phase of the ReFrame Mentorship, and we knew it was time to build an organization. I felt the call (loudly and vocally from Jen and Kim in the room and metaphorically and historically from the people who invested in me) to take on the role.

Like many of my peer executive directors who emerge from organizing and movement, I took on co-founding an organization and serving as ED because it was a path to the realization of a vision that I shared across movements. In being the ED of ReFrame I feel it did not belong to me, it belongs to movement, and I am simply a steward of it for a period of time. It is time for the next steward. 

There is a George Bernard Shaw quote that puts my time at ReFrame into a longer and larger context:

“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

I am so excited that hermelinda cortés - a veteran of Southerners On New Ground, a ReFrame Mentorship Alum, a ReFrame Mentorship Mentor, ReFrame’s first program hire, and ReFrame’s current Deputy Director - is the incoming Executive Director. Beyond the credentials listed here, she brings creativity, a deep focus on developing those around her, a sustainable systems approach to building and organizing, and a dedication to getting her people free. With Alejandro Cantagallo - who brings decades in organizing, training, education, and private sector business development experience - as incoming Deputy Director of Operations, the organization maintains tremendous leadership.

The transition is serving as a great opportunity for ReFrame to reflect and set ourselves up for the next phase. Hermelinda will usher the organization through a ten year vision and strategy process and we will build out our staff bench - adding critical capacities at a variety of levels. 

Of course, moving on from an organization that I built with people I feel lucky to call friends and fellow travelers, comes with some grief and loss. I have been deeply lucky to share a vision with an extended set of leaders, and to be responsible for enacting that vision as best I could. I am buoyed by the lineage that came before me and inspired the creation of ReFrame, and I am excited for those that come after me to iterate, experiment, and win.

Read here for a more in depth history of ReFrame and what brought us to this moment of transition.

In the coming weeks and months we will share more about why we started ReFrame, lessons we’ve learned in building a movement facing organization, thoughts on the changing narrative landscape, and ideas about what ReFrame will do next to meet the moment, as well as introduce you more fully to the powerhouse that is hermelinda cortés.

Photo collage of six images in a three by three configuration. Image one is of a white man in a business suit reading a report. Image two is a closeup of a white man with the U.S. Capitol building in the background. Image three is an image of the Earth with South America in the center. Image four is a Black woman looking at a cellphone. Image five is an Asian woman looking tired while she holds her child. Image six is of a woman with long black hair using a singing bowl


January 13, 2023

Catalyzing Ripples lays out the narrative themes, evolving story trends and emerging opportunities and risks that can serve as a guide in the year ahead.

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We are excited to launch our second annual Narrative Predictions! 

Our devoted team of researchers and strategists spent hundreds of hours actively tracking the ripples that continue to emerge from the effects of the 2020 election, the 2022 Midterms, the pink wave in Latin America, as well as pop culture and the latest memes – all of which led us to our narrative predictions for 2023. 

Catalyzing Ripples lays out the narrative themes, evolving story trends and emerging opportunities and risks that can serve as a guide in the year ahead. ReFrame's annual Narrative Predictions report explores: the tension between narratives about American identity and personal identity; the ongoing erosion of trust in institutions and a lack of certainty about the future; narratives about precarity and safety; and the type of experiences we are dreaming about in our communities and our lives. If 2022 was the year to envision our collective future, 2023 could be the year we put those dreams into action.

This year's predictions and insights aim to support our communities in building narrative power in service of liberation and justice. We hope it will be an excellent accompaniment to your strategy for 2023.

Read or listen to the full report here. 

P.S.: Also, don’t forget to register and join us on Thursday, January 26 at 7PM ET | 4PM PT for our 2023 Narrative Predictions Town Hall, where you will meet and hear from our team of researchers about how we came to these predictions and leave with a deeper understanding of the narrative landscape ahead of us.

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Breaking Q! From Disinfo Distraction to Narrative Strategy

December 6, 2022

An interview with Ivie Osaghae and Bia Jackson of #TeamReFrame as they are immersed in our QAnon narrative research and deprogramming work in collaboration with Women’s March. The team explores QAnon as a big tent conspiracy theory and introduces research around how people are drawn into conspiratorial practices like QAnon or Q adjacent networks.

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There is a global conspiracy of elites drinking the blood of babies in order to curate magical powers, and Donald Trump is playing 5-D chess in a battle with these evil forces. Oh yeah, there are also thousands of children in captivity in tunnels under NYC among other places… 

At least these are the core stories of the QAnon conspiracy theory melting the minds of hundreds of thousands of people both in and outside of the U.S., destroying families, swelling the ranks of the right-wing, and lending volume to the BIG LIE. Of course, this sprawling conspiracy theory leverages and builds on long standing anti-semitic and right-wing populist narratives. 

ReFrame’s dynamic team of strategists, researchers and creatives are working closely with Women’s March to identify the most powerful networks and most salient stories in the QAnon universe. Our strategy makes way for disruptions in the QAnon network and narrows the soft on-ramp to deeper right-wing ideology and organizing. 

Crystal Aryee, Bia Jackson and Ivie Osaghae of #TeamReFrame took a moment to discuss the importance of this work.

Crystal: Why is ReFrame working to interrupt QAnon’s ridiculous and laughable conspiracy theory?   

Ivie: QAnon is not just a wacky idea secluded to the internet. It impacts the offline world with devastating consequences. Just take the January 6 attack on the Capitol as evidence. There is an enormous impact on Black, Brown and Indigenous communities - especially since the onset of Covid-19 when people are looking to break isolation and are in search of community. For over half a decade, QAnon has touched many parts of our political sphere and has shaped how we orient ourselves to rising fundamentalist ideology. It's important to be able to combat the rising right-wing tide that looks more innocuous than many would think. 

Bia: Because of this harsh reality, we are working with Women’s March and engaging their base to create tailored interventions that can be used to inoculate families, communities, and institutions. Women’s March has built a network of tens of thousands of activists pushing back against the threat of disinformation from their base of women and feminists in suburban and rural settings. Our partnership allows us to leverage their base to combat the threat of QAnon. 

At the 2022 Women’s Convention, we presented four workshops on narrative power building, disinformation, and narrative research our team did on QAnon and adjacent stories and messages. Each workshop welcomed over 100 people, some of whom shared stories of personal impact – people dealing with friends and family members who spread QAnon or Q-adjacent messaging. Since then, we’ve been training the Women’s March Digital Defenders group of 300 to create persuasive content and launch digital narrative campaigns on social media and other online platforms. We’ve also reached hundreds of thousands of people with compelling findings from the QAnon research, along with intervention and interruption recommendations, on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.  

Crystal: You mentioned that QAnon touches many of our communities. Do you have a personal tie to QAnon and how have those experiences impacted your work? 

Ivie: A member of my family, who is in the U.S. on an immigrant visa, came for a little bit to handle citizenship processing and ended up stuck here because of the pandemic. They spent a lot of 2020 on the internet and found a community of people adjacent to QAnon; they have since become full-blown believers. There are a lot of entry points, especially around homesteading and natural living, that lured this family member in impacting their decision to not get the Covid-19 vaccine. This means they can’t return home to be with their family and are forced to navigate the U.S. legal system. 

QAnon is not just losing family or friends who may show up to something like the events of January 6 – it is also loved ones exposed to the idea that “darker things” are moving, controlling the world and government - echoes of centuries old anti-semitic narratives. What QAnon offers to people who are isolated and lonely is a connection to an insular community that offers answers – this primes people for recruitment into right-wing values and organizations. Our work of researching and identifying how our friends and family move down the rabbit hole is vital to being able to help others recognize when a loved one is being wooed by right-wing extremist messaging and what they can do about it. 

Crystal: What are the biggest challenges and threats facing your research 

Ivie: The biggest threat is the ever evolving nature of QAnon. As more people have gotten deplatformed from popular social networks, the places that these conspiracy theories and right-wing recruitment efforts show up start to get more concealed. Our research and strategy allows our team to find those people who have seeped into the crevices and continue to monitor the stories and messages they are spreading. It requires us to think creatively and seven steps ahead to diversify avenues for our research including things like message and content testing, polling, surveys and more.

Crystal: The research methodology used to track the QAnon network is quite advanced. Keeping in stride with this work along with training the field of organizers, what does the future of narrative power building look like?

Bia: The future is hopeful - with more organizations focusing on building narrative power at scale in tandem with organizing efforts - because they're not separate. 

Ivie: Exactly. It also looks like meeting people where they consume content. We could have a presence in gaming spaces, on Youtube, and other avenues where people are taking in stories, entertainment, and information. Tik tok and the like make news stories more ubiquitous however, there is still a challenge of discerning what is useful, harmful, and newsworthy. So the future looks like a continuation of training up the next generation of strategists, communicators, and organizers who are shaping what the media looks like and seeding narratives of liberation, justice and healing for a more progressive minded future. 

Crystal: The work of mapping out the QAnon network and developing interventions is undeniably a heavy burden. What brings you hope in this work?

Ivie: My hope and my sustaining energy comes from seeing my family and other people who have been impacted being able to resonate with our findings and find use in our intervention tactics. This work scratches my brain in the right way to keep me energized and refreshed and keep me on my toes about how we can continue to use our tactics, our strategies and our vision to move the needle, not just an inch but a considerable amount for a better future.

Bia: I find hope in the moments that I see my family members and my friends talking about, or having a hard conversation about a topic that I know has come up in the research quite a few times. Also, to see my nieces and nephews, who are super curious about the world, daring to be themselves. That piece deeply informs the work that we're doing because if we don't, that will be lost. And I think the other piece that really inspires me is the innovation around technology and folks telling their stories, and specifically, Black and Brown folks telling their stories in a new and re-energized way. 

Be on the lookout for ReFrame’s QAnon narrative research findings and report - to be released in 2023.

Three people talk and laugh against a night skyline back drop.

ReFrame Year in Review 2022

December 6, 2022

ReFrame's 2022 Year In Review!

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Here at ReFrame we take a small pause every quarter, check our compass, and adjust our heading to stay the course. At the end of the year, we take a longer pause to evaluate where we’ve been and set direction for the next year. Below is a summary of the activities and impacts of ReFrame’s work in 2022. Of course, we do not do this work alone, we are moving with others to build narrative power and bend the arc of justice towards justice and liberation.

At the end of 2021/beginning of 2022 we launched our first ever Narrative Predictions. The predictions were an experiment in producing a narrative forecast for wide use across social justice organizations and movements. An amazing thing happened—y’all used it! We heard from leaders and strategists, from national networks to local organizations and philanthropic institutions, who used the predictions to ground their 2022 strategic analysis, goal setting, and planning. You can still revisit the predictions and see how well we did. 

Mark your calendars: we will put out 2023 narrative predictions in January.

While the 2022 Narrative Predictions made their rounds we were hard at work on the second half of a Narrative Power Fellowship with power-building and civic engagement organizations in the Pacific Northwest. We saw growth in skills, alignment, and strategy acumen from participants like Coalition of Communities of Color in Portland, Oregon. We developed this fellowship in partnership with the movement-minded folks at Northwest Health Foundation as a part of their long-term work building progressive organizing and civic engagement infrastructure across Oregon and Washington. We built the fellowship based on ReFrame’s cornerstone mentorship program and the Gen Now Fellowship we ran in partnership with Power California from 2019 to 2021.

alt="Close up of two people smiling indoors next to a sign with a quote by Mayor Bud Clark"
Jenny Lee and Damon Motz-Storey - Coalition of Communities of Color.
[alt="Close up of two people smiling indoors next to a sign with a quote by Mayor Bud Clark"]

Speaking of the Gen Now Fellowship, we published a piece in Nonprofit Quarterly in May, Losing Forward: Lessons from Organizing for Narrative Change, which placed the fellowship in the context of a decades-long fight to shift deep narratives about taxation and governance in California and the integration of ballot initiatives and voter education. It highlights the indomitable Estef Solano, who started the fellowship as a new comms staff person at Inner City Struggle and is now the Narrative and Communications Director with a team under her. 

alt= "An online article titled 'Losing Forward: Lessons from Organizing for Narrative Change' published in Non Profit Quarterly"
Non Profit Quarterly - Losing Forward: Lessons from Organizing for Narrative Change
[alt= "An online article titled 'Losing Forward: Lessons from Organizing for Narrative Change' published in Non Profit Quarterly"]

In the early summer, we made a handful of phone calls to strategists across the country grounded in power-building organizing and leading scaled narrative fights. We invited them to join ReFrame’s inaugural Senior Narrative Power Cohort, a nine-month program launched in August for senior strategists to get peer-to-peer support. The program includes 1:1 coaching, early and exclusive access to in-motion narrative research, and a facilitated and resourced container for collaboration across geography and issue. Of the dozen people we invited to join, 11 answered the call. 

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Senior Narrative Power Cohort
[alt="Group of communicators and strategists taking a photo together"]

Meanwhile, we were also doing work we don’t often talk about: working with partners to move the philanthropic sector to invest field-wide in narrative power building. We held workshops, presentations, and panel discussions with philanthropic decision-makers who have an impact on the racial, economic, and gender justice movements. Aligned with this work, we put our money where our mouth is and moved $60,000 to each participant in the Senior Cohort to apply to an existing or new narrative project. 

In the first half of the year, we also continued our work on disinformation, leading several trainings for the Disinformation Defense League and continuing our own research and tracking as an integrated piece of understanding the larger narrative climate.

August saw our dynamic narrative research and action team at the The Women’s Convention in Texas, where we led Narrative Power 101 workshops to packed rooms of grassroots activists. The team also led story gathering and landscaping workshops on QAnon and how the conspiracy theory has directly broken apart families and relationships and been an on-ramp to right-wing organizing. These workshops were a small part of our QAnon narrative research and deprogramming work - a multiyear project in partnership with Women’s March to counter-organize right-wing recruitment across the country. As a part of this work, we’ve built a network map that identifies the various networks that move QAnon theories—something we will share publicly in 2023. 

alt="Two people giving a presentation titled 'Welcome to QAnon Network Map: Down the Rabbit Hole Learning Session"
Bia Jackson and Ivie Osaghae Presenting at the 2022 Women's Convention
[alt="Two people giving a presentation titled 'Welcome to QAnon Network Map: Down the Rabbit Hole Learning Session"]

In October, in partnership with RadComms, we held the first Narrative Power Summit, which brought together more than 400 organizers, leaders, strategists, and cultural workers across issue and geography for three days of in-person and virtual plenaries, workshops, panels, fireside chats, and relationship-building spaces. Given the ongoing pandemic, we took the decision to convene in-person seriously, establishing safety protocols and choosing a location where many events could take place outdoors. Beyond the deep connections and amazing lessons learned, many attendees shared that it was the first in-person convening they felt comfortable to attend because of the COVID mitigation standards we set for participants. 

alt="Hundreds of people who convened for the '22 Narrative Power Summit posing in front of a harbour with their hands in the air"
Narrative Power Summit 2022
[alt="Hundreds of people who convened for the '22 Narrative Power Summit posing in front of a harbour with their hands in the air"]

We also launched our first experiment in “scaled-training” in October. Drawing on our experience hosting trainings for thousands of people in partnership with the Movement for Black Lives during the summer 2020 uprisings, we held a Narrative Power 101 training with more than 800 people from 45 states and 15 countries registered in advance. In the end, well over 400 participants participated in the training. We will take lessons from this experiment and bring more scaled training in 2023. 

We also launched another experiment in October, the Signals In the Noise Beta Test. This test iterated on years of work by our dynamic research and action team to create strategic insights for use by organizers and activists. Over the course of several weeks, we used the research from our combatting Q partnership with the Women’s March as the basis for compelling content to spread the findings and engage in conversations beyond the choir. We moved beyond simply creating and distributing content and proactively searched out feedback through surveys, focus groups, and scouring comments and engagement. Not only did we get good organic reach and engagement, we learned a lot of lessons that we will bring to future content creation projects that bridge narrative research and action. 

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Miguel Andrade - Signals In The Noise Tik Tok
[alt="A person with dark hair and glasses on tik tok holding up five fingers"]

In addition to our work in the United States, we also dipped our toes in the international narrative space. From participatory research on the narrative infrastructure in Latin America to collaborating with strategists from across the world to identify and resource exploratory narrative experiments, we are building international relationships and networks that will come into play in the coming years. 

Next week our staff team will retreat into the mountains of New Mexico where we will pull out lessons from 2022, plot our course for 2023, and celebrate how far we have come. I hope you find similar time with your teams, with your community, and with your families. 

Onward to 2023!