What Change Looks Like

Adding solutions to the protest narrative: This time the momentum feels real and change seems possible. For the uprising to result in significant change, it is critical that the narrative continue the conversation on the breadth and depth of the problem, while adding concrete solutions.

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What Must Be Heard – It’s About More than Police Violence

What hasn’t been heard? Obstacles as well as contributions — ideas that combat stereotypes and lead to lasting change. Yes, the national protests are about the murder of #GeorgeFloyd #ICantBreathe, but as many have pointed out, they are also about much, much more.

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The People Must Be Heard

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Martin Luther King, The Other America

The unconscionable murder of George Floyd, quick on the heels of the vigilante murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the police killing of a sleeping Breonna Taylor, are creating an uprising of Americans seeking to be heard.

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Two Narrative Strategies for Engaging on Race

As daunting as the challenges are, committed communicators across the country are working hard to address racism in order to create progress. A number of researchers, scholars and practitioners around the country have done great work identifying helpful strategies for different objectives. To this body of work, Topos is adding two additional research-based approaches designed to advance a policy agenda centered on the well-being of people of color.

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Trayvon Martin’s Death and the Media Dialogue

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin is sparking a much-needed dialogue about racism and the plight of black men, and commentators are turning to recent reports by the Topos Partnership for the Opportunity Agenda to help make the point.  In the Huffington Post, Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal notes this new research finds “correlations between media depictions of Black males and lowered life chances”:

Specifically the reports suggest causal links between media portrayals of Black males and public attitudes directed towards them, including “general antagonisms,” “exaggerated views related to criminality and violence,” “lack of identification with or sympathy for black males,” and “public support for punitive approaches to problems” related to Black males — all dynamics that have played out in the corporate media coverage of Trayvon Martin’s murder.

We hope that more awareness of this continuing, troubling dynamic will lead to culture change.