Shelterforce: How Do We Change the Narrative Around Housing?

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In-depth public opinion research points to ways to intensify support for housing justice policies—and to a few danger spots to avoid.

Why is research so important to our messaging and organizing strategies? Because we are not the base — our idea of what makes a message powerful is often different than what’s powerful for our audiences.

“When I attended a presentation at a Facing Race conference on the Race Class Narrative research in 2018, one of the presenters told those assembled, “You are not the base.” I remember the silence and uncomfortable shifting in the room. We all seemed to be thinking “Who are we then?”

The answer: People who had come to a conference on race and sought out a session on messaging were mostly people likely to be using racial justice messaging, running campaigns, doing advocacy, or organizing. The base encompasses people in the general public receptive to a certain message and likely to support it; advocates and organizers, the people who live and breathe a given topic, are their own subcategory. They cannot and should not assume that messages that they respond well to are necessarily going to resonate with others, even a majority of the base.”

Read more at Shelterforce Magazine.

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