Economic justice

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 cannot “get ahead” blame individuals rather than systems. This creates a vast web of oppression, sustaining the status quo and allowing the rich to stay rich while others suffer.

How to build a world of economic justice for all? Better storytelling is the key. And that starts with the social change sector. Many nonprofits and foundations share stories that blame the poor, allowing the unjust systems created by the rich to go unchallenged. Based on research from effective economic justice organizations, panelists offer concrete strategies to shift the discourse of poverty and wealth toward an intersectional narrative, empowering and empowering systems.

In short, this panel explores the question: How are nonprofits and philanthropy currently reinforcing damaging narratives about poverty and affluence, and how can they do better?

The participants in this webinar are all members of Project BROKE, a collaborative effort of 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 working together to build new narratives rooted in the wisdom of lived experience, narrative power, organizing for economic justice, and social science.

In the webinar, the main topics covered include:

  • How to effectively collaborate across organizations and combine elements of design, storytelling science and storytelling power.
  • Drawing on data from 27 organizations: how nonprofits tell stories today, including how sometimes nonprofits and philanthropy inadvertently reproduce tropes that can set back the work of justice economic.
  • Eight principles on how to tell stories about economic justice and systems change in ways that support movement building, based on six case study examples.
  • How to integrate intentional design into economic justice narrative work.

Download the slides from this webinar session here.


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

Public Interest Communications Center, Building the world we want to existGainesville, Florida: University of Florida, 2022.

Center for Public Interest Communications and Rad Comms (with Design by Milli), Broke: How the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors talk about poverty and how we can do it 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 scholarship tell us about good stories”, Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communication, 2018.