Public Works recently introduced a new webinar series we’re calling “Hash-It-Out”.
Our first Hash-It-Out topic was “How Personal Responsibility and Self-Sufficiency Rhetoric Undermines Support for Public Solutions and What We Can Do About It.” If you missed it or would like to share the experience with others the recording is now available. And, before it’s too late, vote for the topic you would like us to tackle next time and let us know what you thought of the discussion.
Special thanks to our guest presenters. Gavin Devore Leonard from One Ohio Now and Tazra Mitchell from the NC Justice Center did a stellar job of showing how this challenge presents itself in their state’s debates. And Julie Fisher-Rowe with the Opportunity Agenda walked us through some of the latest research that looks at some of the stereotypes and logic underlying this rhetoric and some ideas for getting past it to create a better understanding and support of the role of government.
Our “hash-it-out” format is as much about talking through tough issues together as it is about sharing concrete recommendations or model language. But we realize that the next step is for you to integrate the ideas discussed into your day-to-day work. To that end please avail yourselves of the following resources that were mentioned:
- Julie Fisher-Rowe’s slides from the conversation.
- Westen Strategies’ recent research on “Speaking to the Public About Unconscious Prejudice”
- Gavin Devore Leonard suggested sharing this video from The Next System Project that makes a compelling case for the role of public systems. It also includes some advice about how to make the case, including be aspirational, be clear about our vision and the importance of telling people that we CAN solve this challenge together.
- As part of her comments Tazra shared this video of Senator Thom Tillis in North Carolina that clearly sets up a false dichotomy of the deserving versus the undeserving.
- In this video the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle-Class talks with Heather McGhee of Demos.
- The Topos Partnership has some great resources to offer on this and related topics including some reports on their poverty and low-wage work page, a memo on how to tell more constructive individual stories, and
- Lastly, check out our new exclusive Facebook page where we plan to keep the conversation going. Pose tough questions or a great example.
As always, feel free to comment here on this blog post or reach out to us at Public Works to talk through this some more or get help with your communications plans and materials more directly.