Transformative Change is Still Possible. Even Today.

January 20, 2017 Elizabeth Johnsen

Insights from The Opportunity Agenda

The morning after election day, we sent out a letter titled “The Road Ahead for Social Justice” reminding you all that “transformative positive change is possible, even amidst the ashes of this divisive and ugly election.” Today, on the morning of Donald J. Trump’s presidential inauguration, we stand by these words. And we would like to go further by saying that we are standing with you in this new fight, in this new era, in this new reality. We are here for you as a resource and a partner. We are here to listen, to hold space for transformative dialogue, to amplify your work, and to build an already growing network.

Next week, we are launching The Road Ahead for Social Justice – a series of tools and webinars, released over the coming months, that will address the challenges ahead and provide guidance on countering them through a powerful shared narrative. We ask that you join us in this #Road4SJ series and hope you will contribute your thoughts, participation, feedback, and voice.Drawing of a road and the horizon reads "road ahead for social justice." The Opportunity Agenda logo is the sun.

  • Our Vision, Values, and Voice toolkit is full of specific examples on how to do this, with messaging guidance for those working on Criminal Justice, Immigration, Racial Justice, and Economic Opportunity.
  • The need for unity among social justice leaders at this moment is critical. We have a number of resources on working together and building collaborative narratives to achieve our intersectional goals without splintering.
  • It is especially important during the first weeks of this new presidency to avoid the pitfalls of myth busting. The best way to counter false information, lies, and unfounded accusations is to tell your own affirmative story in a way that avoids restating the false argument.

These approaches, along with engaging cultural strategies, activating change agents, and uplifting the intersectionality of our shared work, are key to countering right wing opposition. They also serve as the basis for our strategy in entering this new public discourse.

Now, more than ever, we need to remember to center our message on values, to tell an affirmative story, and to focus on real solutions.

We look forward to working – and resisting – more closely together than perhaps we have ever before. Together, we will not only endure, but prevail.