Center for Media Justice is a movementbuilding communications strategy and organizing center.

Our work builds the power of movements for racial justice, economic equity and human rights to become more effective, collaborative and transformative.

Alliance Based Justice Communications
Innovate, document, and elevate effective communications practices and strategies to shift the public conversation on race and structural racism

Alliance based communications: Social movements are most powerful when they build upon existing networks and alliances to create meaning, improve conditions and transform power relations.

Some Assumptions
Current media infrastructure and rules and communications methodologies inadequate for marginalized communities Current dominant narratives (American Stories) perpetuate persistent social inequities across race, class, gender and geography Collaborative, transformative and effective social movements are needed for long term social change The foundations of social movements are built upon shared stories, analysis and vision (and that takes time and resources)



Social Marketing model:
This model of framing listens carefully to dis-empowered groups, and grabs their style and utilizes the dissemination venues and distribution networks preferred by those groups (radio, music, social media...) It then sells them products packaged to appeal to their values. The products may meet a real felt need, but groups don't necessarily get input in crafting products or ideas. (This framing model often pleads to personal responsibility and scarcity/ insecurity frame.)

Advocacy Model:
This model of framing builds on social marketing to pick a policy to promote that has a chance of winning given existing understandings. It links research on issue, attitudes and policy options. But audiences and those directly affected generally play the role of voters/supporters, not framers or actors.

Justice Model

(Ryan/Themba/Cyril/Soriano–participatory/process model)

Framing is an organizing tool. It begins with groups of people directly affected by a social inequality talking about the issue in order to forge shared understanding, language and stories. They then open dialog with other groups—supporters, allies, voters, media, opponents, government, etc.

Building a justice frame requires mapping power in the world and who has the power to tell the dominant story. Framing is the process of naming the chains that bind and “how the world works.” It must be tied to movement building and infrastructure to make powers listen.

It’s no longer good enough to win individual victories, we must fundamentally shift our social, cultural & political ecology.


Justice Communications
Meta narratives (across issue, geography and race) that transform audiences into political actors Engages those actors in defined social change decision-making processes at multiple points Is a battle for narrative power or “hearts and minds”

Power Balance Shift Community Organizing/ Movement Building/ Electoral Victories

Change in Conditions

Branded Issue and Policy Fights

Savvy Justice Communicators and Spokespeople

Justice Sectors

Core “Justice” Messages

“Hope and Change” Worldview

Justice Frames

Opportunity Frames

“The power to communicate, and therefore transform society, belongs to everyone.”


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