“Although we all have the right to communicate, historic patterns of privilege, injustice and marginalization mean that we have inequitable access to the tools and resources necessary to fully exercise this right. Bottom line: no change communications strategy is complete without investments in communications and organizing infrastructure that address these inequities.”
– Makani Themba
The concepts of justice communications and decolonizing communications come from a lineage of women and people of color who have spearheaded effective change campaigns for racial, gender, economic, health, and environmental justice.
These leaders include Makani Themba, Malkia Cyril, Alicia Garza, Charlotte Ryan, Lori Dorfman, Jen Soriano and Linda Stout, as well as institutions like Southerners on New Ground, Center for Media Justice, The Praxis Project, the Black Lives Matter Network, Media Research and Action Research Project, Miami Workers Center, Indigenous Environmental Network, Forward Together, the Berkeley Media Studies Group, Progressive Communicators Network and the Center for Story-based Strategy, among others.
These visionary communications leaders and institutions have never seen narrative as separate from the daily work of organizing. They have also never seen narrative or framing work as a frontier to be discovered or owned, instead recognizing the hard work and leadership that has come before. Through campaigns, policy work, advocacy and training, each has advanced structural change through organizing meaning at local, regional, national and international scales.
At ReFrame, our leadership team has had the privilege of working with the leaders and organizations who constitute this lineage of justice communications. Our staff, mentors, trainers and partners collectively have decades of experience working within and alongside social movements as strategic communicators, narrative strategists, movement builders, organizers, creatives and campaign leaders.
We resolve to continue this lineage and expand it to meet the unique challenges and opportunities of the current political moment, and to experiment boldly in anticipation of the needs of generations to come.
Clockwise from top left, justice communications leaders Jen Soriano, Makani Themba, Malkia Cyril and Charlotte Ryan.