By Eleonore Wesserle, PowerLabs, Tinselyn Simms
All too often, progressives are asked to keep issues of racial justice and economic well-being separate — or told we need to remain silent about race so we don’t lose the mythical “middle.”
But research has empirically shown that the way we win is by mobilizing our base to relentlessly repeat a message that excites and inspires them – and it is this repetition and inspiration that moves the middle to our side
But to get our base excited and move the middle, we must speak effectively on issues of race and class, together. Not only has research shown that the Race Class Narrative framework on multi-racial democracy excites our base and engages persuadable voters, it also acts as a critical response to the division and fear that our opposition keeps peddling.
Watch this recording of an exclusive 2-hour workshop with Eleonore Wesserle and Tinselyn Simms of We Make the Future Action for an introduction to the Race Class Narrative.
Resources to help you use the Race Class Narrative
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Learn more about the race-class approach.
- We Must Talk About Race to Fix Economic Inequality – 4-minute video that introduces the concept of dog-whistle politics and the race-class approach
- Race-Class Academy – learn about the race-class approach through 12 short videos and discussion guides
- Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America – a groundbreaking book that provides a road map to neutralizing the role of racism as a divide-and-conquer political weapon.
- Eleonore Wesserle is the Senior Capacity Builder at We Make The Future, the new organizational home for Race Class Narrative implementation. For more than a decade, Eleonore has applied her skills in facilitation, curriculum development, and consulting toward building progressive partners’ knowledge and skills in narrative and strategic communications for social change. Prior to We Make the Future, Eleonore was the founder and principal narrative strategist at Dreams to Power, where she worked with progressive communicators across Minnesota to align strategy and level up on narrative across issues and movements.
- Tinselyn Simms is the Co-Director of the new home for Race Class Narrative implementation, We Make The Future. Prior to this role, she served as Assistant Director of Communications at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where she led communications for the Racial Justice Center. She spearheaded the labor’s involvement in the groundbreaking Race-Class Narrative research. In 2019, she completed the Global Messaging Program in Melbourne, Australia. Tinselyn is a proud graduate of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University in Communications and African American Studies. She also has a master’s from Morgan State University in Telecommunications Management.
- Framing Issues for Social Justice Impact: Directory of Messaging Guides
- How to Change the Narrative / Story
- Communication - Messaging
- Economics - Messaging
- Gender studies
- Social classes