// Category: News From the Field

Ecosystem for a New American Narrative

The field of documentary impact has officially entered its maturation phase. For over two decades, the documentary film sector has developed tools and methodologies – even professional strategists – in an effort to maximize the impact of powerful nonfiction work.  Though relegated to a corner of the broader field of cultural strategy, the practice of…

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“Money is Medicine”

Back in June, I moderated a panel at Alight, Align, Arise, the inaugural conference on reparations hosted by Decolonizing Wealth. The panel focused on the narrative history of reparations, a history that began well before the end of the Civil War as keynote speaker and author Ta-Nehisi Coates discussed during his opening night fireside chat…

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Staff of Coalición Fortaleza and Narrative Initiative. From left to right: Araceli Jimenez, Erica Alexia Ledezma, Diana Alonzo Ramos, Orion Camero, Niria Alicia, and Celines Garcia.

Innovations in Disaster Response After the Almeda Fire

Wildfires across the West Coast have become more severe in the ongoing climate crisis. Half of California’s 20 deadliest wildfires ever recorded occurred in the last two decades and among these, five of the six largest wildfires occurred throughout the 2020 wildfire season alone. I was in Oakland at the time, living under prolonged exposure…

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Weaving the opposite of fascism: Narrative organizing to build narrative power

I have myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) from Long Covid, formerly called chronic fatigue syndrome. I first shared these thoughts while standing on a stage at Frank 2023. I ask for care on that stage as I figure out my new brain and body. A statistic I’ve thought about a lot in the past year is: 75%…

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SxSW 2023: A Place for Narrative to Thrive

Two weeks ago, I descended into Austin, Texas for week two of the SxSW conference and festival. It’s a real-life gathering of folks who embody the saying “Revenge of the Nerds.” Politicians and thought leaders, activists and entrepreneurs, tech heads and gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles and music aficionados; all who arrived were welcome. With my interactive…

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Fleshing Out History

Throughout American history, efforts to bring the stories and lived experiences of people of color into the broader American narrative have been met with fierce resistance. When SNCC and a broad group of educators organized to make Black studies a feature of the curriculum, states sought to ban — and defund — the teaching and…

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Amy Zhang on the AAPI Narrative Studio

From creating a show about Asian women in America in a small New York City theater to producing TV episodes for Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, I’ve always worked at the intersection of storytelling and impact. But, I yearned to be in community with other creators to think through persistent questions: How does narrative change…

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Facing Race: A National Conference 2022

Two weeks ago, Narrative Initiative took our goodies to the Facing Race conference in Phoenix. The conference is sponsored by my former organization, Race Forward, so this was my first chance to see old friends in person since 2020. As always, this conference crowd is multi-everything kind, loving, joyful and determined. There’s no better place…

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A photo showing a compass shrouded in a purplish abstract design.

Navigating 2022: Ideas, reports, and resources for narrative changemakers

If you’re navigating narrative change in 2022 we’ve gathered a set of recent reports and resources (and even a few big ideas) from the narrative field that could help you find your way.

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A sign held at demonstration in front of the US Supreme Court on May 3 2022. The sign says Abortion Bans are Racist Classist Sexist Dangerous. Photo by Janni Rye via Wikimedia Commons.

The voices missing from the abortion debate

The imminent repeal of Roe v. Wade has brought public narratives of motherhood and reproductive justice into stark relief. We spoke to We Testify abortion storyteller Jeana Nam. A Texan of Korean descent, Jeana has strong Christian beliefs about her experience with abortion, reproductive care and why she values a future in which abortion and reproductive care are openly available to all.

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