WE CREATE THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO CONTEND FOR NARRATIVE POWER
Imagine a world where the slamming of prison doors is ash on the tongues of all people, cracking the land for oil is bodily nightmare that makes adults shudder in their sleep, where sexual assault *IS* something remembered from times past when power was all wrong.
ReFrame is building a narrative infrastructure, grounded in power building organizing, that will, along with others, create a common sense where the structural forms of society can’t be anything but liberatory.
At the center of this infrastructure are hundreds of thousands of networked strategists, artists, organizers using innovative technologies to tell, place, create, curate culturally grounded stories that point back to a North Star narrative lighting the way to justice and freedom for all people and the Earth.
WE BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF STRATEGIsts
ReFrame realizes our vision through two distinct, yet intertwined, strategies Field Building and Narrative Interventions:
Field Building emerges from our foundational and flagship mentorship program. We are actively developing the next generation of strategists and building networks through which they can collaborate, continue to grow, and build on an existing praxis. Simply put, we need to build the field in order to have the people to do the thing. At ReFrame we prioritize developing a multi-racial field that prioritizes the leadership or women, people of color, and queer and trans people.
The pieces of our program that are clearly in this stream are the flagship mentorship program, SPIN by ReFrame, and training and development programs developed with partners on the ground.
In addition to supporting and resourcing long-term capacity and field building of strategic communications that movements need for the next 10, 20 and 30 years to succeed, ReFrame is deploying relationships, networks, leadership, infrastructure (including key technology) and resources to take advantage of narrative tipping points. These tipping points are opportunities to shape culture, policy and common sense for generations to come. We are developing a narrative shop that builds power through targeted projects and campaigns. These projects and campaigns utilize narrative monitoring, disruption and creation both in collaboration with existing movement infrastructure and as an independent entity.
“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.