As a movement, we publicize our policy goals, research, and statistics, but too often we don’t share our values.  Focusing on deeply held values like opportunity, community, and redemption, we collaborate with our partners to create talking points based on the arguments that have been quantitatively and qualitatively demonstrated to resonate with the public, allowing us all to tell a coordinated story that will move hearts and minds.  Designed to build a durable consensus on behalf of the expansion of opportunity, these are the stories that will define our public discourse for generations to come. 

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Page Messaging Guidance: African-American Men and Boys

Improving Media Coverage and Public Perceptions of
African-American Men and Boys

Download messaging memo (PDF)

Learn more about The Opportunity Agenda's work on Opportunity for Black Men and Boys

May 9 2013
Blog Post Watch Your Mouth! Ten Phrases that Progressives Should Retire in 2013

Watching our mouths should be this year's top resolution

Along with the usual New Year’s resolutions about exercising, getting more sleep, and being more patient with the kids, progressives should add better communications to their list. We have an historic opportunity to frame the public debate this year in terms of social justice, human rights, and opportunity for all. But that requires being smarter and more deliberate in the way we talk about the nation’s priorities and future. At the very least, we need to stop using certain words and phrases that erode support for progressive values and policies. Here’s my list. I’ll ask for yours at the end of this post.

Jan 8 2013
Page Supporting Occupy Wall Street

Learn more: Gan Golan and Occupy Halloween On the News

Thirteen Things America Can Do to Stop Foreclosures and Fulfill the American Dream

Access to an affordable home under fair and sustainable terms is crucial to our economic security and central to the American Dream. But misconduct by banks and lenders, inadequate rules and enforcement, and record unemployment rates are robbing millions of Americans of their homes and security while ravaging whole communities and holding back our national recovery.

Oct 28 2011
Page Talking Points: Real Solutions, American Values

Read this talking points memo via Scribd.

May 10 2011
Communications Talking About Proposals to Change the 14th Amendment

On January 5, 2011, a group of state lawmakers and political operatives from Georgia and a few other states unveiled a scheme to attack an important constitutional freedom: the American Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Passed after the Civil War, the Clause guarantees that children who are born in America are American citizens. But these operatives would eliminate that constitutional guarantee, in a misguided attempt to address immigration.

Jan 30 2011
Communications Talking Points: Promoting Equitable and Sustainable Job Creation (2010)

This memo provides guidance for discussing greater and more equitable job creation with policymakers, media, and persuadable members of the public.

Sep 30 2010
Communications Talking Points: Talking About Solutions for an Equitable Economic Recovery (2010)

This memo offers communications ideas and guidance around messaging to promote an equitable economic recovery that includes all Americans. It is based on analysis of recent public opinion research and media coverage on economic issues, as well as strategic communications principles.

Sep 30 2010
Communications Talking Points: Uniting Our Voices on Arizona S.B. 1070 (2010)

Talking about Arizona’s S.B. 1070, an alarming and incredibly wrong-headed bill, provides immigration advocates with a chance to show the American public the dangerous consequences of anti-immigrant fervor. This is a prime opportunity to unite our voices around the three common themes of the core narrative that immigration advocates from around the country have developed and promoted:

We need workable solutions that uphold our nation’s values and move us forward together.

Apr 29 2010
Communications Talking Points: Ten Lessons for Talking About Racial Equity in the Age of Obama (2010)

RaceInAgeofObama.pngExperience from around the country shows that discussing racial inequity and promoting racial justice are particularly challenging today. Some Americans have long been skeptical about the continued existence of racial discrimination and unequal opportunity. But with the historic election of an African American president, that skepticism is more widespread and more vocal than ever.

Jan 20 2010
Communications Talking Points: African Americans and Immigration (2009)

This memo lays out recent research with African American audiences and offers ideas about talking with them about immigration reform. However, it should be noted that while there do exist some strategies for talking effectively to African American audiences in particular, the key strategy should be to stay with the overall campaign narrative of workable solutions, values, and moving forward with urgency and leadership.

Oct 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: A Winning Narrative on Immigration (2009)

This memo offers communications advice on building support for commonsense immigration reform and other policies that integrate immigrants into U.S. society.  It is rooted in both experience and recent research conducted by The Opportunity Agenda and others.

Jun 18 2009
Communications Toolkit: Talking About American Opportunity (2006)

TOOLKITTOUTHOME_0.JPGThis toolkit represents the best thinking about how to use the Opportunity Frame from the communications professionals at the SPIN Project, the leaders of The Opportunity Agenda, other communications professionals engaged in defining the Opportunity Frame, and grassroots leaders from across the country working on critically important issues. 

May 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: Closing the Racial Gap in Economic Opportunity (2009)

The guidance in this memo is designed primarily for communications between experts of color and policymakers, as well as “opinion leaders.” It is intended to inspire “persuadables” to make changes in policy and practice that will close the racial wealth gap, rather than to rally our base of existing supporters. The guidance draws on recent opinion research, media analysis, and experience from the field to offer promising approaches and messages.

Apr 20 2009
Communications Talking Points: Talking Immigration and Economics (2009)

When addressing immigration in the current economic climate, it is clear that advocates need to support arguments with facts. It’s equally clear, however, that facts will only go so far. Research shows that people are often most motivated by their values—and if data don’t support their deeply held beliefs, audiences will reject them.  So we need to shape conversations with values, and then support our arguments with the best data available. This memo sets forth some ideas about how to do this when it comes to opportunity and inclusion for immigrants.

Apr 20 2009
Communications Talking Points: The State of Opportunity Report (2009)

This memo offers guidance for using the 2009 State of Opportunity in America report, which examines various dimensions of opportunity, including health care, wealth and income, education, and incarceration. While expanding opportunity in America remains a goal of policymakers and advocates alike, this report finds that access to full and equal opportunity is still very much a mixed reality. Our recommendations to address this reality offer concrete ideas for moving us forward together.

Apr 15 2009
Communications Talking Points: Opportunity and Economic Recovery (2009)

This memo offers communications advice for talking about protecting and expanding opportunity during the current economic downturn.  It draws on recent opinion research, media analysis, and experience from the field to offer promising approaches and messages.

Apr 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: The Role of Immigrants in Economic Recovery (2009)

This memo sets forth themes and ideas on talking about immigration during the current economic downturn.

Mar 31 2009
Communications Talking Points: Expanding Opportunity in Colorado (2008)

These talking points offer communications advice for educating audiences about the importance of equal opportunity policies.  It integrates recent opinion research, media trends, social science literature, and experience from the field to offer promising themes and messages.

Mar 23 2009
Communications Talking Points: A Core Narrative for Immigration Advocates (2009)

It’s time to tell a new story about immigration in this country. We propose a flexible, values-based framework that we can use to start a variety of conversations: We need workable solutions that uphold our values and help us move forward together.

Mar 15 2009
Communications Talking Points: Talking About the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration (2008)

This memo provides advice on talking to broad audiences on human rights at home, in light of the 60 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Outlined here are some principles that support domestic human rights campaigns and foster a long-term strategy in furthering a pro-human rights agenda.

Mar 12 2009
Communications Talking Points: Health as a Human Right (2008)

These talking points provide advice on talking broadly about creating a health care system that works for everyone.

Mar 10 2009
Communications Talking Points: Expanding Opportunity For All - CERD (2008)

These talking points provide advice on talking with journalists and other general audiences about US compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Mar 5 2009
Communications Talking Points: The Supreme Court's School Diversity Cases (2007)

We recommend using the following messages to communicate the importance of pursuing inclusion in our schools, and outline the valid options for doing so.

Jan 29 2009
Communications Talking Points: Health Care Equity Talking Points (2007)

Telling the story of health care equity is a critical contribution to the country’s ongoing dialogue about how to improve our health care system.

Jan 26 2009
Communications Talking Points: Health Equity in New York (2007)

Talking about the inherent unfairness and inequalities in our health care system is a critical contribution to New York’s ongoing dialogue about how to improve it.

Jan 18 2009
Communications Toolkit: Community Values (2008)

commValuesToolkit.pngThis publication contains a balance of historical context, framing advice, resources, practical tools and strategies for moving toward a new political conversation.  

Dec 10 2008
Page Tools & Resources

We produce a range of communications, legal, advocacy and research tools. 

Jul 15 2008
Communications Talking Points: Immigration Integration (2008)

These talking points offer communications advice to policymakers, scholars, advocates and others seeking to promote immigrant integration policies at the state or local level. 

Mar 20 2008
Communications Talking Points: Immigration, Driver's Licenses (2007)

Originally written in November 2007, these are talking points for discussing New York’s (then) drivers’ license proposal.

Nov 1 2007
Communications Talking Points: Comprehensive Immigration Reform (2007)

This memo contains some suggestions on overall themes and some additional tools the immigrant rights movement has developed.

Feb 15 2007
Research Brochure: About The Opportunity Agenda (2008)

Read about The Opportunity Agenda in our new brochure.


Jan 20 2007
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