Whose Movement Our Movement? Reframing Stories to Center Our People

GAP is working with the national Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) to help them reframe and shape stories of a growing movement with a national presence. The PPC aims to engage masses of people and increase awareness of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation. The Poor People’s Campaign is both a grassroots and systemic movement now present in 30 states, which calls attention to the moral decay and multiplicity of “evils” we face as a nation. The Campaign is comprised of communities coming together for the struggles of the poor and dispossessed people.

GAP led a webinar to train social media community organizers from across the nation who are supporting the  Poor People’s Campaign a National Call for Moral Revival. The webinar focused on reframing, expanding and amplifying stories of the movement and how to involve more people in the storytelling process.

The mainstream media tends to portray movements and events from the top or focus on one primary figure who becomes the symbol and leader of a movement. Through the webinar, we reflected on how Reverend Barber had become the mainstream media’s leader of the Poor People’s Campaign. As Reverend Barber says, “In order to shift the narrative we have to shift the narrator.” Therefore, the task of the social media team of the PPC is to shift the focus from one celebrity to the multiplicity of communities and individuals who are organizing at the grassroots level.

GAP offered insights on how social media can use popular culture to reach broader audiences, communicate values or tell the “behind the scenes” story of an event. We introduced our TV Tool, which we use at GAP to help hone in on and build specific, honest and strategic media.
Through the brainstorm, we facilitated the reflection on how local narratives can support the national focus of the Poor People’s Campaign. Through building local narratives, social media can truly embody and capture the Poor People’s Campaign grassroots movement. We enjoyed the fruitful conversation and look forward to working together to shift the narrative and narrator!

Lenina Nadal