Is it just me, or is social justice, especially racial justice, feeling particularly hard to achieve right now? A year after the euphoria of the Obama inauguration, the reality sinks in. We are all in need of inspiration and some kind of road map. At Asian Law Caucus, we have been pushing hard on the strategic communications front. We are looking for new ways to change hearts and minds, as the media landscape seems to shift every day beneath our feet. We have been hearing from a lot of communications consultants about what resonates, what persuades, what actually gets inside someone’s mind and shifts their framework?
I thought this blog post by Alan Jenkins captures a lot of essential truths. Alan was the first person who exposed me to the concept of strategic communications, when he was my boss at the Ford Foundation. I can still picture the conference room in Rio de Janeiro when he started asking us how our grantees were communicating their work: Were they finding ways to communicate in positive, aspirational terms or were they documenting abuses and transgressions? The latter of course. We all had a long way to go, but Alan was already developing the Opportunity Framework, communicating from a place of values, ideals and dare we say HOPE.
It has been 8 years since that first lesson, we have both left Ford, but I still learn a lot from Alan and the work of his colleagues at Opportunity Agenda.
Titi Liu is the Executive Director at the Asian Law Caucus. To read Titi’s bio click here!