Our Priorities

Beyond Democracy

With a concept as flexible and multifaceted as democracy, it is imperative that we think through the ways people own this power and what it means to them.

The Beyond Democracy Project

With a concept as flexible and multifaceted as democracy, it is imperative that we think through the ways people own this power and what it means to them. In The Opportunity Agenda’s Beyond Democracy project, activists, advocates, and artists from the U.S. Southeast and Southwest convene virtually to build a collaborative narrative framework around civic participation including digital strategies that utilize insights from groundbreaking psychological research.  

A Narrative Strategy for Southern Communities of Color

In 2023, TOA invited artists and advocates whose work is based in the South to join our Beyond Democracy cohort. The project is to influence the thinking and motivations of Southern voters of color by meeting them where their civic interests lie. Currently, the project is supporting two cohort teams with narrative demonstration projects. These projects will build digital ad campaigns that incorporate the research findings and set them into motion, deepening the project’s core vision and goals.

People marching hold a banner quoting Ella Baker. It says,

The Cohort

  • Daniel Joseph Barrera, Texas Organizing Project
  • Arekia Shambrielle Bennett-Scott, Mississippi Votes
  • Eddie Chavez Calderon, Arizona Jews for Justice
  • Resita Cox, Filmmaker
  • Atinuke “Tinu” Diver, Filmmaker
  • Sherard “Shekeese” Duvall, Filmmaker
  • Debra Freeman, New Virginia Majority
  • Henry Goss, Mississippi Votes
  • Jeneisha C. Harris, Activist
  • Divine Henderson, Friends of Freedom House
  • Andrew Bentley Hudgins, Human Rights Campaign
  • Victoria Huynh, Center for Pan Asian Unity
  • Mark Kendall, CoolCoolCool Video Production
  • Kill Joy, Artist
  • Christina Magaña, Migrant Equity
  • Brianna Elizabeth McCracken Brown, Texas Organizing Project
  • Frederick Murphy, History of Us / Filmmaker
  • Joshua Price, Arkansas United
  • Ranada Robinson, The New Georgia Project
  • Daniela Rodriguez, Migrant Equity
  • Sabrina Sha, Asian Texans for Justice
  • Raymond Sweet, Organizer
  • Allison “Allie” G Young, Creative Organizer

Thank you to the consulting firm Uprise in the establishment and guidance of the cohort and the research firm Frameshift who conducted the research that the project’s narrative strategy is built upon.

Beyond Democracy Messaging & Reports

Messaging Memo

Today, the United States Supreme Court took the dreaded step to overrule Roe...

Messaging Guidance for U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

gender justice health equity human rights inclusive democracy reproductive justice social justice
Messaging Memo

Narrative Principles for Discussing Supreme Court Cases As the Supreme Court prepares to...

Talking About the Supreme Court

criminal justice health equity inclusive democracy racial justice SCOTUS supreme court voting rights
Messaging Memo

On March 12, 2019, Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Yvette...

5 Tips for Talking About the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6)

immigration inclusive democracy
Messaging Memo

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps America, the systemic injustices in our country are...

Talking About COVID-19: Value, Problem, Solution, Action

criminal justice economic justice gender justice human rights immigration inclusive democracy racial justice social justice
Messaging Memo

After weeks of testimony and debate in both the House Intelligence and Judiciary...

Talking Impeachment: Protecting our Democratic Values

inclusive democracy social justice
Messaging Memo

Talking About the Values of a Just and Inclusive Democracy The recent impeachment...

The Impeachment Inquiry: Now What?

inclusive democracy social justice
Communications Toolkit

Due Process Core Message: Due process is a human right central to the...

Talking About Due Process and Racial Profiling

criminal justice human rights inclusive democracy racial justice social justice
Communications Toolkit

Poverty and economic opportunity are often difficult subjects for advocates to talk about,...

Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars

economic justice inclusive democracy
Messaging Memo

Headlines about the U.S.-Mexico border continue to fill our news feeds and screens...

Talking Border Issues Amidst the Government Shutdown

human rights immigration inclusive democracy racial justice social justice
Messaging Memo

The First Step Act, which recently passed the Senate with wide bipartisan support,...

Talking About Race and The First Step Act

human rights immigration inclusive democracy racial justice social justice
Research Report

[caption id="attachment_2717" align="aligncenter" width="703"] Artwork by Alixa García[/caption]   Our criminal justice system...

Transforming the System

criminal justice inclusive democracy social justice

Beyond Democracy Insights

by The Opportunity Agenda When states go to extreme lengths to repress voters... Read more

Q&A: Turning Texas Teal with TOP’s Brianna Brown

by Zeynip Kilik, The Opportunity Agenda I am the dream and the hope... Read more

The Trial of Justice Jackson: a Retrospective

by Ellen Buchman, The Opportunity Agenda Today, President Joseph Biden has made history... Read more

Celebrating the Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court

by Abrielle De Veaux, The Opportunity Agenda As educators and students like me... Read more

Critical Race Theory on TikTok, a Student Perspective

by Ellen Buchman, The Opportunity Agenda The vision for a truly inclusive democracy,... Read more

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: We Must Continue the Push for Voting Rights

by Ellen Buchman, The Opportunity Agenda The journey toward the formidable aspiration of... Read more

Maintaining the Narrative Trajectory for LGBTQ+ Liberation

by Elizabeth Johnson, The Opportunity Agenda Imagine a world where the South successfully... Read more

Alt-Right, Alt-History

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