The Opportunity Agenda hosts a variety of in-person and online events that are open to the public. These events include webinars and in-person trainings on our tools, research, and advice, Twitter chats focused on current events, and panels that bring together leading voices to chart a path forward on difficult issues. Through our public programs, we shape public discourse on key issues, as well as strengthen the capacity of social justice advocates to forward their vision and values.
Past events include:
October 23, 2019
The Power of Story in a Fractured Society: Entertainment, Media, and Social Change
As the entertainment industry struggles to more accurately represent diverse communities on and off the screen, we must also grapple with the role that movies and television have had in shaping beliefs and attitudes. In October 2019, The Opportunity Agenda, in partnership with the Norman Lear Center, held a discussion at USC Annenberg on the role of entertainment and media in shaping attitudes and promoting social change. The panel featured our former director of research Lucy Odigie-Turley, actor Kendrick Samson, comedian Jenny Yang, and Norman Lear Center’s managing director Johanna Blakley. Writer and journalist Eva Recinos moderated.
July 29, 2019
Creative Change 2019
The Opportunity Agenda held its ninth Creative Change retreat at Sundance in Utah from July 29 - August 2, 2019. The retreat brought together a dedicated and inspiring group of leading artists, entertainers, advocates, funders, and cultural strategists whose work is at the junction of pop culture, narrative change, and intersectional movements. The theme for the 2019 retreat was Dream Beyond.
October and November 2019
American Son Netflix Screenings
With the help of Netflix, Kerry Washington’s gripping play, American Son, was brought to the big and small screen alike. The Opportunity Agenda took this as an opportunity to expand our partnership, and the conversation, hosting screenings and discussions of the film in four major US cities: New York, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta in 2019. This brought the conversation around racial justice, framed by toolkit, “Raising American Son, A Discussion Guide” to an even larger audience.
November 27, 2018 and January 10, 2019
American Son Broadway Talkbacks
American Son, written by Christopher Demos-Brown and starring Kerry Washington, is a play centering a mixed-race couple desperate for answers about the disappearance of their son Jamal, following a traffic stop in Florida. In November and January, we held two post-performance talkbacks with the cast and social justice leaders to talk about the issues raised in the play, and distributed “Raising American Son, A Discussion Guide” to audiences. The talkbacks were informative and eye-opening, as both the audience and the cast discussed the play’s impact on them and their work. Photos of the event can be found here.
November 5, 2018
Border Visions: Art, Narrative and Social Change
In 2018, the Opportunity Agenda and CultureStrike hosted Border Visions, a three-day gathering in El Paso, Texas, bringing together migrant artists, undocumented creators, influencers, and funders from across the country to engage in culture, art, and migrant liberation.
April 9, 2018
2018 Creative Change Awards
We celebrated the them Future Over Fear and honored comedian and CNN United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell, Astrid Dominguez of the ACLU Border Rights Center, and Lola C. West of WestFuller Advisers, LLC. Zahra Noorbakhsh joined us again as emcee and The Flobots helped entertained the lively crowd.
February 20, 2018
Afro-futurism Over Fear: A Celebration and Discussion of Black Panther
Black Panther is more than a movie, it is a movement. Our panelists, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Baratunde Thurston, and Charles Pulliam were led in a discussion moderated by our own Jamila Brown about Black Panther's impact on social justice.
April 24, 2017
2017 Creative Change Awards
We celebrated the theme Rise Above and honored legendary actor George Takei (oh my!), Keith Mestrich, Celinda Lake and MacArthur Genius Grant awardee Cristina Jimenez. Zahra Noorbakhsh was our incomparable emcee and Las Cafeteras played incredible tunes for 200 of our closest friends.
November 16, 2016
A Window of Opportunity II: An Analysis of Public Opinion on Poverty
Americans’ ideas about poverty are complex, and set the terms of what we can do to address it. This webinar, led by Lucy Odigie-Turley, Sheri Brady, and Julie Fisher-Rowe, shared highlights of our research on how Americans think, feel, and talk about poverty.
October 19, 2016
Transforming the System: Criminal Justice Policy Solutions & Public Opinion
The American criminal justice system saps individuals and communities of opportunity. This webinar, led by Loren Seigel, I. India Thusi, and Julie Fisher-Rowe, focused on our real solutions to reform nearly every element of the criminal justice system.
September 15, 2016
Ten Lessons for Talking About Race
Americans are finally(!) talking about race, but it’s up to all of us to ensure we have honest conversations that uphold our values. Julie Fisher-Rowe, Daryl Atkinson, and Tia Oso shared practical tips for making that happen.
July 12, 2016
Leading With Values: Social Justice Messaging Tips
There’s a reason why Martin Luther King Jr. never said, “I have a complaint.” Shared values are a powerful communication tool, especially for reaching across lines of conflict, and this webinar, led by Silky Shah, Jon Rodney, and Julie Fisher-Rowe, discussed how to use them.
May 18, 2016
Countering Misinformation While Avoiding the Pitfalls of Myth Busting
In the age of “fake news,” it is critical to distinguish between fact and myth. But, research shows the “myth-busting” only reinforces the original myth. This presentation, shared here, included advice from Julie Fisher-Rowe, Nicole Pittman, Jesse Van Tol, and Soffiyah Elijah on navigating this critical communications challenge.
April 18, 2016
2016 Creative Change Awards
Happy 10 year anniversary to us! We honored Linda Sarsour and Susan Butler Plum, heard from D'Lo and Toshi Reagon, and partied with 200 of our closest friends.
August 17, 2015
Changing the Script: Media, Culture, and Black Lives
This panel on Martha’s Vineyard had a blockbuster lineup--Danny Glover, Patrisse Cullors, Issa Rae, and Alan Jenkins--and discussed how culture makers and activists can use media and creative strategies to tell authentic stories about Black lives.
May 12, 2015
2015 Creative Change Awards
Together with Lorraine Toussaint, Phillip Agnew, Daniel L. Greenberg, D'Lo, and Negin Farsad, we celebrated another year of spreading opportunity for all.
May 7, 2015
Creative Change: Gulf Coast
This meeting brought together artists, activists, and funders from across the South to develop strategies for using the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to refocus attention on inequality.
March 23, 2015
2015 Criminal Justice Convening NYC
At this meeting, The Opportunity Agenda convened advocates, artists, and funders to develop a core narrative for communicating how we can and why we must shift policy on criminal justice.