About the Project

Social Justice mural by Nancy Pochis
Credit: Nancy Pochis

Civic Engagement Narrative Change was launched in March 2018, with the goal of addressing the most pressing obstacles to inclusive democratic participation by integrating rigorous research, scientific testing, narrative development, strategic communications, and organizing. Project partners work together to tackle problems of voter disaffection and racial, religious, and anti-immigrant othering by building strategy, narrative, and infrastructure that advances inclusive “we” identities in civic life.

Coordinated and anchored at the Othering & Belonging Institute, the project’s national and state partner groups represent a unique collaboration of leading equity and racial- and economic-justice organizations from across sectors. Our national partners include the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Community Change, Faith in Action, More In Common, Beyond the Choir, Think Rubix, Live Free, Perception Institute, Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, Tides Advocacy, and Democracy Alliance. Our partners in Nevada include: America Votes, SEIU NV Local 1107, Make it Work NV, Make the Road NV, Silver State Voices, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) NV.  In Florida, we collaborate with Family Action Network Movement (FANM), For Our Future, Florida Immigrant Coalition, ReFrame and New Florida Majority. In Michigan, we partner with Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES) MI, We the People MI, Detroit Equity Action Lab, and SEIU MI. We also work with the Workers’ Center for Racial Justice in Illinois, and Blueprint North Carolina.

The project undertakes a range of important activities:

  • Alignment of analysis across partners,
  • Baseline surveys,
  • Digital media for civic engagement,
  • Commissioned papers from leading thinkers, 
  • Collaborative research and analysis,
  • Trainings and peer-to-peer learning,
  • Capacity building and movement building

All of these activities are tied together by a common focus on bridging across lines of difference, building a broad and active practice of civic engagement, and developing the strategic narrative infrastructures to support both.

The Civic Engagement Narrative Change continues to grow its network through partnerships with state- and national-level organizations committed to permanent, year-round civic engagement, community power-building, and expanding the “we” in all facets of civic life.