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2014 Communications InstituteCommunications Institute Fellows

New Research: Understanding Attitudes on Inequality, Discrimination, and Opportunity

9 in 10 Americans see discrimination as a serious problem

Our nation can and should be a place where everyone enjoys full opportunity. Yet 6 in 10 Americans report experiencing unfair treatment because of what they look like, their life history, or their income level. We’re in a unique moment to turn that tide, with an overwhelming number of Americans hungry for change, according to findings in the Opportunity Survey.

View the new website with insight into opinions on inequality and audiences that will help drive lasting change.

Supreme Court Argument Reaffirms the Case for Disparate Impact

Washington Post editorial quote

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in a very important fair housing case, and the justices’ comments from the bench have had court watchers buzzing ever since. Here’s my take on what the legal back-and-forth in the case does and does not mean.

Why the Supreme Court Should Preserve a Strong and Effective Fair Housing Act


Open, inclusive communities free of discrimination are critical to our national success and central to our values of equal opportunity for all. Our country has made significant progress toward that goal, due in large part to the Fair Housing Act. But much work remains before the Act’s vision is a reality across our nation. That’s why it’s troubling that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering weakening the Act. And why it should think again.

Building a Better Border Means Relating to Communities

President Obama recently stood in front of the nation and made a historic, and much anticipated, announcement on immigration policy. His executive action will spare millions of mothers, fathers, workers and students from the threat of deportation, and was the result of the work of a mobilized and passionate immigrant rights movement.

Narrative & Messaging & Ferguson

This blog post was submitted by Cleo Stern, Fall 2014 Home Opportunity Intern.

We know that narrative and messaging are powerful. Narratives tell us a story that frames specific values and messages within a broader movement. These stories and messages are persuasive and instill us with common values, beliefs, and ideas.

Hollaback & Harassment

Unless you’ve been on a TV/Internet fast for the past week, you’ve probably heard about the Hollaback video. And the inevitable backlash, from all sides. 

Just in case you have recently returned from a trip to the Himalayas, or my grandmother’s house (seriously, no wifi and a 3G dead zone?), Hollaback, an anti-street harassment group, recently released a video:

Why Now is the Time to Tackle Poverty


Window of Opportunity

Every couple of generations, the stars align to create the potential for monumental, transformative social change. It turns out we're in just such a moment right now when it comes to tackling poverty in the United States.

I don't blame you for being skeptical. Economic inequality is growing, big corporations are consolidating their political power, and our federal government is mired in partisan gridlock. So why am I still smiling?

From Fear to Action: Celebrating the Tree that Grew from Creative Change



What happens when artists and activists unite to battle climate change?

The Climate Ribbon at the People's Climate March

From the civil rights movement to protecting the environment, we’ve seen how artists and cultural visionaries are among our nation’s greatest social justice leaders, not merely supporters of causes or movements. The giant Tree of Life, a symbolic centerpiece for the largest climate-related mobilization in U.S. history, grew from a seed of an idea planted in the mountains of Utah this summer.

The tree’s growth highlights how the powerful combination of arts, culture, and social justice organizing generates a new way of thinking about shared challenges and the impacts of injustice—forging a vision for change that goes beyond traditional issue campaigns.

Julian Castro Must Uphold Fair Housing


Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of Castro’s first official acts as HUD Secretary should be to concretize the Department’s duty to promote fair housing throughout its programs and activities.

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