When it comes to communication and engagement, every issue has its own unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

Engaging Marginalized Communities

The Problem

At the current moment, a broad swath of Americans feel less like citizens, and more like subjects of an elite ruling class. For marginalized groups of Americans, a distant, even oppressive, government is nothing new. Yet the pain of declining community investments, the rise of a police surveillance state, and the weight of inequality is felt acutely and consistently in their daily lives. Often, marginalized groups are not heard, yet engaging historically underrepresented and disenfranchised communities into collective action is a vital need.

The Solution

Topos went into the streets of inner-city Baltimore, Oakland, and New Orleans to listen to the voices of marginalized groups to better understand how to represent, communicate with, and engage historically disenfranchised communities into collective action. We learned that individuals there are eager to tap into the community’s potential, and that sharing stories of empowered people of color who have successfully engaged in social action to address inequities can motivate people, by 1) demonstrating that groups have been successful in the past; 2) modeling steps people take to enact change; and 3) demonstrating the tangible benefits that can improve their lives when groups take steps beyond voting. Bringing those stories together into a bigger vision for systemic change reveals a path forward that feels achievable.

Being Heard: Voices from Marginalized Communities