In this accessible introduction to communication activism, organizer Karen Jeffreys and sociologist Charlotte Ryan draw on more than two decades of ongoing collaboration, using the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH) as a case study.
The book examines a community with shared values, decision-making, and conflict resolution procedures, tracking its organizing strategy and matched communication plan. The authors first describe a communication campaign during the welfare reform battles (1990–1995) in which they began to practice communication activism. In ongoing work with two organizations over the next two decades, they distil a model of communication activism that draws directly from vibrant traditions of empowerment communication in U.S. social movements and movements from the Global South.
Beyond Prime Time Activism provides students and researchers with an invaluable look at contemporary activism practices and with practical tools tried and tested in two decades of social movement engagement. This book is ideal for anyone participating in social change movements or studying how they navigate communication and media inequalities.
Table of Contents
Part I - Conceptual Models
Chapter 1 - Communication Activism: The Positions from which We Speak
Chapter 2 - Public Communication Models
Chapter 3 - Introduction Communication Activism for Social Change
Part 2 - Strategic Communication Practices
Chapter 4 - Change is a collective noun: Forming a learning community
Chapter 5 - From organizing strategy to communication strategy - and back
Chapter 6 - Framing stories
Chapter 7 - Everyone is a communicator: Matching audiences, venues, and messengers
Part 3 - Communication Activism for the Long Haul
Chapter 8 - Collaborative research: Assessing communication impact
Chapter 9 - Movement building on a shoe string and a banana peel: Learning communities in coalitions and internships
Chapter 10 - Building sustained relationships in a digitalizing communication climate
Chapter 11 - Conclusion: Unresolved and emerging challenges
Charlotte Ryan teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and codirects the Media Research Action Project (MRAP; www.mrap.info). She and Karen have worked together since 1990 in campaigns with the Coalition for Basic Human Needs (CBHN), the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV; www.ricadv.org), and RICH (www.rihomeless.org).
Rhode-Island-based Karen Jeffreys is a lifelong social justice organizer who specializes in communication and movement building. She has collaborated with groups organizing around social services, housing and homelessness, domestic violence, media, and racial justice. She offers regular community strategy workshops for state and national social justice activists.