Remaking the Economy: Building Narrative Power for Economic Justice – Non Profit News

Click here to download the accompanying slides

The stories we are told about how the rich got rich, why the poor stay poor, and why people can’t “move up” blame individuals rather than systems. This creates a vast network of oppression that keeps business running normally and allows the rich to stay rich while others suffer.

How do we build a world of economic justice for all? Better storytelling is key. And it starts with the realm of social change. Many nonprofits and foundations share stories that blame poor people and leave unjust systems created by the rich unchallenged. Based on research with effective economic justice organizations, panellists offer actionable strategies to transform the narrative of poverty and wealth into an intersectional narrative that builds power and holds systems accountable.

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In short, this panel explores the question: How are nonprofits and philanthropy currently amplifying harmful narratives about poverty and wealth—and how can they do better?

Attendees at this webinar are all members of the BROKE Project, a collaborative effort by the Center for Public Interest Communications, the Radical Communicators Network (RadComms) and Milli to examine the stories people tell about poverty and wealth and to work together Building new narratives rooted in the wisdom of lived experience, storytelling, economic justice organization, and social science.

Key topics of the webinar include:

  • How to collaborate effectively across organizations, combining elements of design, storytelling science and narrative power.
  • Based on data from 27 organizations: How nonprofits tell stories today, including how nonprofits and philanthropy sometimes unintentionally reproduce tropes that can set back economic justice work.
  • Eight principles for telling stories about economic justice and systems change in a way that fosters movement building, based on six case study examples.
  • How to incorporate intentional design into narrative work for economic justice.
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Download the slides for this webinar session here.


Black Hive, “The Black Hive @M4BL Launch,” Movement for Black Lives, August 25, 2022.

Center for Public Interest Communications, Building the world we wantGainesville, Florida: University of Florida, 2022.

Center for Public Interest Communications and Rad Comms (with Design by Milli), Broke: How the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are talking about poverty – and how we can do better. The broken project, 2022.

Shanelle Matthews, “Narratives and Counter-Narratives,” NPQJuly 29, 2021.

Matt Sheehan, Ann Searight Christiano, Annie Neimand, Ph.D., and Kelly Chermin, Editors, “The Science of Storytelling: What Research and Science Tell Us About Good Stories‘, Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications, 2018.