Shifting the Narrative Livestream Recap

Early in April, we launched Shifting the Narrative, an extensive report the delves into what narrative shift is and how it works. The report provides an in-depth analysis of narrative shift using six case studies as examples, while also elaborating on the ways advocates were able to shift the narrative. Because there was so much research to unpack from the report, we hosted a four-part livestream focused on key recommendations and case studies. The series featured social justice advocates working to address today’s narrative struggles, providing contemporary perspectives on what narrative shift means in their work.

Read more about each specific episode and watch the recordings below.

Episode One: How Narrative Shift Works and Why it Matters

Narrative shift does not happen all at once. It requires decades of organizing and strategizing before real results can be seen. In this episode, we examine key approaches to narrative shift that have proven effective. We also talk more about at the role Hollywood plays in defining (or countering) dominant narratives.


  • Julie Fisher-Rowe, Narrative and Engagement Director at The Opportunity Agenda,
  • Loren Siegel, Researcher and Author of Shifting the Narrative Case Studies
  • Kristen Marston, Culture and Entertainment Advocacy Director at Color of Change

Episode Two: Establishing a Long-term Winning Vision

In this episode we dig deeper into the challenges advocates encounter when working to develop that winning vision of reform – specifically when it comes to immigration and the criminal justice system. This episode draws some historic context from the case studies on racial profiling and the death penalty.


  • Adam Luna, Vice President for Program Strategy and Impact at The Opportunity Agenda
  • Tania Mattos, Policy and Northeast Monitoring Manager at Freedom for Immigrants
  • Robert Saleem Holbrook, Executive Director of Abolitionist Law Center

Episode Three: Being Nimble and Dismantling Counter-Narratives

In this episode, we look at ways that advocates were able to identify the problematic assumptions that counter-narratives relied upon and use that information to dismantle the counter-narrative. We focus directly on counter-narratives overcome in the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, and Racial Profiling.


  • Elizabeth Johnsen, Communications and Editorial Director at The Opportunity Agenda
  • Aisha Wells, Paid Leave Organizer at Mothering Justice
  • Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance

Episode Four: Centering Impacted Voices in Leadership

Every successful narrative shift campaign requires that impacted communities have a seat at the table. This recommendation is evident in every case study of the report, however in this episode we look specifically at how activated change agents played a role in Gun Politics and #MeToo. Our panelists also open-up about struggles they have experienced when it comes to incorporating impacted communities in the campaigns around Voting Rights and Domestic Violence.


  • Ellen Buchman, President at The Opportunity Agenda
  • Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, Legal Services Coordinator at LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Angelina Rosado, Founder and Executive Director of Returning Hope Inc.
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