National Expert on Framing Policy for Racial Equity Addresses Neighborhood Partnerships’ Advocacy College

Neighborhood Partnerships continued the Advocacy College in December with a visit from a nationally renowned expert on messaging and framing.  Dr. Frank Gilliam, Dean of UCLA’s School of Public Affairs, came to Portland earlier this month for a whirlwind of speaking engagements about effectively framing and messaging policy advancements for greater racial and cultural equity.    Dr. Gilliam addressed over a hundred local leaders from higher education, communities of color, philanthropy, government and non-profits in a packed two day visit, which included a session of the Advocacy College.

During his presentation, Dr. Gilliam spelled out the challenges of framing and messaging about racial equity.  He documented responses to various “popular” frames and helped audiences understand that instead of advancing support for equity, they in fact, do the opposite.

In addition to conducting research to determine which frames do not work well, Dr. Gilliam’s research also attempted to document effective ways to discuss racial disparities and racism.  Dr. Gilliam believes that how you talk about race and especially in what order matters very much.     For those who are interested in garnering more public support for policies that result in racial and cultural equality in health, education, criminal justice, early childhood and a host of other social and economic issues, take a look at Dr. Gilliam’s findings at the FrameWorks Institute: “The Illogic of Literalness:  Narrative Lessons in the Presentation of Race Policies” or “The Architecture of a New Racial Discourse”.

Neighborhood Partnerships was very grateful to Dr. Gilliam for his time and expertise.  We are looking forward to continue to discuss this issue during the Advocacy College. Stay tuned for more news about the Advocacy College in the future!