Emerging Leaders Advocacy and Messaging Training

Since November 2009, Neighborhood Partnerships has had the pleasure of working with Patrick Bresette of Demos. We’ve been learning about the public’s images of government and the economy, and ways to foster more collaborative attitudes among citizens.

Now, we’re working on a very exciting project with Patrick and Larry Wallack, Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University to create an Emerging Leaders Advocacy and Messaging Training.  (Larry was instrumental in helping the Housing Alliance create messages to better communicate the importance of affordable housing.)

The goal of this training, first and foremost is to support established leaders and communications professionals who are working to create an Oregon which offers its diversity of residents opportunities to thrive, pathways out of poverty and disenfranchisement and adequately supported public systems and structures as shared tools for these goals.

Second, we want to train and support an emerging cadre of leaders and communicators as they work on issues and in cross-issue coalitions to develop messages and materials that resonate and move an advocacy agenda. We will select participants who have a clear issue focus and advocacy or campaign plan, a commitment to strategic communications, and a recognition that building public support for governmental action and resources is an underlying priority.

And third, we intend to improve communications across issue silos. We will advance a broadly shared view of what it takes to build a state and communities where opportunity is real, asset building is a priority and citizens are engaged in creating the future. By working across silos we hope to support one another’s efforts to address critical needs, and together address the underlying resource and public will challenges that hamper all of our success.

This training will be based in large part on the research done by Demos on how to communicate the role that government can and should play in the lives of our communities. Demos’ work is grounded in theories of effective communications from cognitive science, cultural anthropology, linguistics and other “framing” studies. Key elements of this theory and practice will shape the training curriculum.

The trainings will be conducted primarily by Patrick Bresette of Demos and Larry Wallack, Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. Other trainers and speakers will be announced in September.  Applicants must commit to attend all sessions of the training, to be held once per month into the spring of 2011.

Interested in applying to attend the trainings? E-mail us today!  Applications are due August 15, 2010.

Interested in more Demos research? Check out a recent publication from Demos: “Government, The Economy, and We, The People: Creating Public Will to Shape an Economy that Works for All.“