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The United States Social Forum presents a unique opportunity to integrate collaborative, creative, and strategic storytelling as a core movement building strategy for political, cultural, and social change. It simultaneously offers a key convergence of movement leaders to define the media justice policy and organizing framework needed to produce the structural change and media platforms narrative change demands.
As our movements struggle to make fundamental change towards justice, democracy and a better world for all we are waging the framing battle to set the terms of the debate. How will the majority of people in the U.S. think about critical landscaping defining issues like: race, the role of government, the economy, immigration, militarism, or any of the cross cutting themes of the 2010 US Social Forum? Our ability to collective shape the popular understanding of these issues determines the reach and impact of our movements. But as we know, we are up against deeply embedded stories produced by institutional racism, corporate greed and government lies. These stories offer the frames that obstruct our collective progress.
Several movement support & communications strategy organizations have come together to conduct some participatory research through the USSF process and track how our movements are framing our work. We want to hear about both about the opposition frames––the destructive stories organizers are working to challenge––and the frames that our movements are using to communicate our vision of a better world.
Together, we seek to answer the question, “How can we transform the current political and cultural terrain through cross-sector framing, coordinated storytelling, new forms of journalism, and collaborative media policy campaigns that create the conditions for systemic and narrative changes that increase racial justice, economic equity, and human rights and dignity for all communities.