Message Guide

This guide provides specific language that can be used to put our Playbook's strategies into action whenever you are developing or distributing messaging content.

Home is complicated. It is stability, and safety, and sanctuary. It is opportunity and legacy. It is family, and community, and hopes and fears for the future of each. It touches on the deepest, most personal aspects of our lives.

That means that housing justice has incredible potential to transform the lives of individuals and entire communities. Any vision for a more equitable future and a thriving Bay Area depends on housing justice. But the complexity and personal significance of housing also mean that there is no single, simple slogan that will move people to where we need them to be.

Narrative shift is about an ongoing conversation that changes the way that people think about housing and racial justice, and helps them believe in a different future for the Bay Area. Changing how we talk about these issues is a critical step in that process. Advancing housing and racial justice requires overcoming active and passive resistance to change. It means overcoming inertia, indifference, and the learned helplessness that can make fighting for progress feel overwhelming. It means dismantling systemic inequities and unconscious biases that are so pervasive and deeply held that most people don’t notice them at all — they are simply the way things are, the way they have always been, the air we breathe.

This messaging guide is based directly on the Bay Area “Seize the Narrative” Campaign Playbook, which provides underlying strategies for framing the moment, goals, and issues. A solid understanding of the Playbook is important context to ground the recommendations of this messaging guide, including insights into audience beliefs and behaviors.

Related Resources

Quick Reference Messaging Guide

A quick reference message guide, to keep our initiative's narrative strategies & message guidance fresh, front, and center.

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Shift the Narrative Playbook

Our playbook on advancing housing and racial justice in the Bay Area, based on field-practiced and research-tested strategies and messages.

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Bay Area Shifting the Narrative Table Messaging Recommendations Addressing COVID-19

A message guide developed for the Shift the Narrative initiative, amid the evolving and emerging environment in 2020.

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