A narrative Change Workshop is for Community Organizers and Social Justice Activists.
We help equity architects, movement leaders, community organizers, and artist-activists working toward transformative justice with the skills and strategies to effectively communicate their message and create transformative change. The workshop explores the role that narratives play in shaping public opinion, reinforcing power structures, and perpetuating inequality and provides tools and techniques for developing a narrative that is inclusive, empowering, and effective in creating change.
The twelve-session workshop is interactive, with a mix of group discussions, exercises, and case studies to help participants understand and apply the concepts and techniques presented.
We cover topics such as message development, framing, and persuasive communication and provides hands-on training in the creation and dissemination of narratives that challenge the status quo and support the goals of social justice activism.
The objective of the workshop is to equip community organizers and social justice activists with the skills they need to effectively communicate their message, mobilize public support, and create lasting change in their communities and the world.
Session One Recap
DOMINANT NARRATIVES EXPLAINED
- The American Dream: The ultimate underdog story, where anyone can make it big if they just work hard enough. (Even if the game might be rigged.)
- White Superiority: The age-old belief that if you ain’t white, you ain’t right. (But really, who decided that?)
- Capitalism: The ultimate Hunger Games where the odds are ever in the favor of the wealthy few.
- Gender Norms: The outdated and oppressive rules society imposes on individuals based on their biological sex. (Because apparently, pink is only for girls, and blue is only for boys?)
- Nationalism: The belief that your country is the best, no matter what. (Even if your country isn’t always right.)
- Scientific Progress: The faith that science and technology will save us all, even if it means destroying the planet in the process.
- The Myth of Meritocracy: The idea that anyone can make it if they’re just good enough, which conveniently ignores the various factors that can give certain people a leg up.
- The Rugged Individualism Myth: The belief that you can achieve anything on your own as long as you ignore the countless ways in which society has helped you along the way.
- The Nuclear Family: The idealized notion that the perfect family consists of two heterosexual parents and their biological children because apparently love knows no bounds, but biology sure does.
- The Myth of the Self-made Man: The idea that anyone can become a success if they just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, which is kind of like saying anyone can win a marathon if they just run faster than everyone else.
Session I Homework Assignment
- Choose one dominant narrative that was explored in the workshop. (e.g. The American Dream) Click here to view more dominant narratives.
- Research the history and evolution of the narrative. Use credible sources such as academic articles, books, or news resources.
- Analyze the narrative and its impact on society. Consider the following questions:
- Write a brief reflection on your analysis of the narrative.
- Share your thoughts on the following:
- What values and beliefs are embedded in the narrative?
- Who benefits from the narrative?
- Who is excluded or marginalized?
- How does the narrative shape our understanding of the world and influence our behaviors and decision-making?
- What surprised you about the narrative?
- How has the narrative impacted your own beliefs and behaviors?
- What can we do to challenge and reshape the narrative to build a more inclusive and diverse society?