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Significant resources are invested (primarily by a few elites) into shaping how our society interprets our social, political, and economic realities through the use of narratives and metaphors. These connected and strategic groups do this with the intent to build support and power behind particular political agendas and to influence how we view ourselves now, and shape who we will become as a society. Too often, the broader public and marginalized communities do not have access to research and analysis that helps us understand the power of these narratives, and construct new narratives that better reflect shared values of equity and inclusion. These papers offer critical analysis and proposals for pathways forward toward building a more fair and inclusive society.

This set of papers includes:

  1.  "The Next California: Demography, Inequality, and our Future" by Manuel Pastor, Jennifer Ito, and Vanessa Carter

  2.  "The Role of Government" by john a. powell

  3.  "Race-Based but Not Race-Bound: Mobilizing at the Grass Roots" by George Lipsitz

  4.  "The California Story: The Structural Forces Behind Our Racial and Economic Inequality" by Eli Moore and Gerald Lenoir

  5.  "Building A Real Sharing Economy: Socializing the Wealth Produced by Social Knowledge" by Chris Benner

  6.  "Corporate Democrats and the Corporate Power Structure in California Politics" by Daniel Russell Cheung 

  7.  "A 21st Century Movement-Building Challenge: Forging a Common Identity Among 'People of Color'" by Gerald Lenoir

  8.  "Building a Strategic Narrative for All of California: Introducing the Blueprint for Belonging Project" by Olivia Araiza

  9. "Changing Our Narrative About Narrative: The Infrastructure Required for Building Narrative Power" by Rashad Robinson

  10.  "California Dog Whistling" by Ian Haney-López 

  11.  "Faith Communities as Partners of Hope" by Rev. Deborah Lee

  12.  "Shifting the Narrative: What it Takes to Reframe the Debate for Social Justice in the US" by Alan Jenkins

  13.  "Mind Sciences and Creating New Narratives: The Fight to Define Who We Are" by Rachel D. Godsil