From climate change fueled disasters, to attacks on immigrants and neo-fascists in the streets, Trump’s agenda of hate, destruction and greed threatens us all. Fortunately historic numbers of people from all walks of life have joined the resistance. As we fight Trump we are also fighting in the new “post-truth” environment that he and his supporters in the right-wing media machine have created. The facts may be on our side but we need better ways to make our truths believable, compelling and actionable. Our movements need to win the Battle of the Story!
Fortunately one of the widely used manuals for teaching organizers about narrative, messaging and strategy has just been released in an updated, expanded 2nd Edition.
Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements and Change the World is packed with new tools, pragmatic lessons and updated case studies on harnessing the power of narrative, culture, and imagination to help our movements win. Featuring inspiring examples from a wide range of issues, campaigns and movements, this unique practitioners’ guide provides theoretical frameworks and hands-on guidance to challenge oppressive narratives and amplify progressive campaigns. The new edition also has a foreword by Jonathan Matthew Smucker author of the recently published excellent book Hegemony How-To (AK Press 2017). The book features powerful examples from lots of different movements and campaigns.
In order to get this book into the hands of people of the frontlines it’s being offered to activists and movement organizations with a 50% discount. So go get a copy directly from the publisher at tinyurl.com/ReImaginingChange and use the coupon code CHANGE. Better yet buy two copies (for the price of one!) and give the 2nd copy to a new activist or you favorite local organization.
(J20 and J21: a css on the ground snapshot)
By: Bernice Julie Shaw and Maria Zamudio
“The energy of our women of color contingent was palpable -- many individual women and their families gravitated towards our drums, banners, and our joyful chants of liberation and justice. One mother and her child picked up the megaphone and sang a song of resistance. Another group of older white women joined our delegation and asked to help carry our 75 foot “RESIST” banner with us. This is what it feels like to lead with a vision of organized-community.” -- Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance ED
“You know, he only grabs pussies sometimes. Is that what really happened? Come on, you know you liked it when that happened to you! I mean, 12 women saying he did something, doesn’t mean he did, or actually meant it. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe you. Prove it to me. I don’t believe you.”
I can only imagine how Muslim, immigrant, Black, and dis/differently abled folks felt and what they feared as repercussions for the things Trump has done, said he would do, and the hatred fomented on the campaign trail and now manifesting in the mere days since his election.
For me, this ultimately wasn’t just about the election, it’s not about Trump or Clinton. Or even that I was surprised that there were people who were so vested in their own economic survival or comfort, that they were willing to put aside the well-being of whole swaths of people to get it. What’s devastating is that white supremacy, demonization, the fear and hatred of “other,” stripping of rights for more people, could now be (not just implicitly) but explicitly codified into law and exercised by two branches of the government. And more insidiously, that these views are so deeply embedded that they are threatening to create a “new normal” in American culture.
There is power in imagining and it takes imagination to build power.