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Recent acute instances of failed political leadership—particularly around the pandemic and an ongoing lack of action to protect Black lives—have shone a bright light on questions essential to our future as a country: Who are we? Who are we becoming? Who must we become if we are to create a different world where everyone belongs?

The purpose of this brief, "Redefining Who Belongs," is to understand how movement actors can create and put forth new salient strategic narratives that address underlying dominant beliefs while offering an alternative story line that fosters the political and economic victories we want to see. In the pages that follow, we offer a short blueprint for creating a strategic narrative on belonging, relevant for a range of causes or issue areas, with examples from projects by Blueprint for Belonging and our partner networks. A strategic narrative is not meant to be a story for a single campaign, but rather one that will underpin many different activities and tactics for attitude and behavior change in the long term.

Through this project, we create and use narrative strategies to address the growing racialized inequality we see in California that pits the state’s progressive promise against a harsh, unjust reality. Our work is in service to and in partnership with community organizations and movements working tirelessly across the state to achieve a bold, inclusive vision for a California we believe is necessary and possible. 

Click here to read the report. You can also download a PDF of the report here.

Credits and Acknowledgments:

This brief is authored by Olivia E. Araiza and Sara Grossman.

The Blueprint for Belonging team is grateful for generous support from the California Endowment and Blue Shield of California Foundation.

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