Webinar: Building Movements with Narrative Change Strategies

Neighborhood Funders Group and ReFrame logos

A large group of people standing in an outdoor plaza, smiling at the camera.

How do strategic communications and narrative change relate to organizing, power building, and movements? Join this webinar, hosted by Neighborhood Funders Group in partnership with ReFrame, to learn more about how and why social justice organizers are using narrative change strategies to challenge inequities and shift power to disenfranchised communities.

Hear from grantmakers about why they fund strategic communications, along with organizing leaders on the role narratives play in movements. Discover new ideas and lessons learned around expanding communications capacity, deepening leadership development, and other ways of building infrastructure for movements and organizations.

Note: This webinar is intended for grantmakers and the staff of philanthropic affinity groups.



MODERATOR:  Marissa Tirona — Program Officer, Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD), Ford Foundation

Marissa TironaMarissa Tirona is a program officer on the BUILD team, working to advance the foundation’s efforts to support and develop stronger, sustainable, and more effective social justice organizations and networks across the globe.

Before joining Ford in 2017, Marissa was director of Blue Shield Against Violence at the Blue Shield Foundation of California, where she led programmatic, policy, and grant-making efforts to address, prevent, and ultimately end domestic violence throughout the state. Prior to that, she was senior project director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, where she designed and led comprehensive, multiyear leadership initiatives. She had previously served as program director of the National Employment Lawyers Association and, before that, as an employment attorney at two national law firms.

Marissa has deep experience in organizational and movement capacity building and speaks on and writes about issues related to design thinking, systems change, movement and field building, network and adaptive leadership, and strategy. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Oakland Kids First, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. She holds a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law, is a member of the California State Bar, and has a BA in English literature with a concentration in women’s studies from Swarthmore College.

Dimple Abichandani — Executive Director, General Service Foundation

Dimple AbichandaniDimple Abichandani joined GSF in late August 2015 as the Executive Director, bringing two decades of experience advancing social justice as a funder, advocate and educator. She was previously the ED of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law, and the founding program officer for the Security & Rights Collaborative at the Proteus Fund.

Earlier in her career, she was a legal services attorney and represented low-wage workers and low-income immigrants. Dimple earned a JD at Northeastern University School of Law, and a BA in English with Honors at the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of work, she finds joy in time spent with family & friends, gardening, and yoga.

Jonathan Alingu — Membership Coordinator, Central Florida Jobs with Justice

Jonathan AlinguJonathan Alingu serves as the Membership Organizer and leads communications for Central Florida Jobs with Justice, a local coalition of labor unions, community organizations, student groups and faith groups that build strategy around worker rights issues and worker advocacy.

Before joining Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Jonathan was part of the Student Labor Action Project at UCF, a project of Jobs with Justice and the United States Student Association, that bring students and workers together on university campuses. He also sat on the CFJWJ board prior as the community co-chair, and volunteered with the local farmworker solidarity group, YAYA of the National Farm Worker Ministry. Jonathan is first generation to the United States, born to two parents from Uganda, and was also raised in The Bahamas.

JaNaé Bates — Director of Communications, ISAIAHJaNaé Bates

Minister JaNaé Bates is the communications director for ISAIAH – a multi-racial, multi-faith, state-wide vehicle for faith communities dedicated to building a multiracial democracy by moving collectively and powerfully for racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota. JaNaé specializes in integrating grassroots faith-based organizing and narrative strategy. She has over a decade of academic and professional experience in ministry, social justice, and communications.

Joseph Phelan — Co-Founder and Director, ReFrame

Joseph PhelanJoseph Phelan (he/his/him) is a creative strategist grounded in modern social movements for justice and liberation. With over two decades of experience – from big-puppet strewn direct actions in the 90’s global justice movement, to the multi-racial hip-hop beat infused mobilizations against police brutality at the City University of New York, to the deep power building organizing of the Miami Workers Center and Florida New Majority – Joseph finds inspiration in the simple moments of a shared story and excitement in big strategy. He is the Co-Founder and Director of ReFrame. 



About ReFrame

ReFrame is connects leaders, organizations, and campaigns across issues and regions to advance game-changing narratives that shift public opinion toward a social justice arc. Strategic communications, through crafting and implementing compelling narratives, can amplify organizing, increase power and win game-changing victories.

In addition to supporting and resourcing long-term capacity and field building of strategic communications that movements need for the next 10, 20 and 30 years to succeed, ReFrame is deploying relationships, networks, leadership, infrastructure (including key technology) and resources to take advantage of narrative tipping points. These tipping points are opportunities to shape culture, policy and common sense for generations to come. We are developing a narrative shop that builds power through targeted projects and campaigns. These projects and campaigns utilize narrative monitoring, disruption and creation both in collaboration with existing movement infrastructure and as an independent entity.


About Neighborhood Funders Group

Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) is a national network of local, regional and national philanthropic institutions with a focus on strengthening communities. NFG builds the capacity of philanthropy to advance social justice and community change by organizing the field, developing leaders, cultivating thought leadership among its base of funders and encouraging the support of policies and practices that advance racial, economic, gender, climate, and social justice.