Investments in Narrative Transformation

The Convergence Partnership’s narrative efforts support grassroots storytelling focused on power and structural solutions and strengthen philanthropy’s capacity to align around shared narrative strategies that build political and public will for racial justice and health equity.

Read below for highlights of our investments over the years:

2022: The Power of Podcasting guide & philanthropic narrative scan

Podcasting Guide: Released in March 2022, The Power of Podcasting: The Convergence Partnership Approach to Reimagining Grant Reporting [link coming soon] aims to inspire other funders to similarly reimagine conventional grant reporting norms and to support communities to tell their stories in their own words. The guide highlights our rationale for pursuing podcasting; offers practical dos and don’ts to support similar efforts; details the step-by-step approach that Convergence followed; and shares helpful podcasting resources.

Philanthropic narrative scan: The Partnership has commissioned Moore + Associates and the Narrative Initiative to conduct a landscape scan of narrative efforts currently supported by racial justice and health equity-focused philanthropic institutions and collaboratives. Research is currently underway, with a report detailing the findings expected in late spring/early summer 2022. This research is intended to help the field of philanthropy better understand the breadth of currently funded narrative change efforts and offer recommendations for how to better align investments toward large-scale narrative transformation to advance racial justice and health equity.

2021: Convergence Partnership Podcast Series, season 1

In 2021, Narrative Arts collaborated with teams of local audio producers, media artists, grassroots grantees and their community partners to produce the Convergence Partnership Podcast Series. Each episode serves as an optional final grant report for the Partnership’s 2020 COVID response grants. The Convergence Partnership podcast series introduces listeners to some of the people and organizations who are building social, political, and economic power in the San Joaquin Valley in California; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisiana; Chicago; and Buffalo, New York.

2020: Grassroots COVID-19 narrative support; identifying meta-narratives

Narrative Arts and Moore + Associates provided storytelling and narrative strategy support to the Partnership’s 19 COVID response grassroots grantees. They also began to identify relevant meta-narratives as part of developing the Partnership’s overarching narrative framework.

2018-2019: Launch of narrative work

Narrative transformation emerged as a key strategic priority for the Partnership in late 2017. In 2018, we brought on Narrative Arts and Moore + Associates to serve as the Partnership’s narrative strategy advisors. They began by assessing, guiding, and supporting the narrative strategies of seven place-based grantees in geographically diverse regions, representing urban and rural communities from the West Coast, East Coast, South, and Midwest. Specific support included conducting narrative audits, holding narrative workshops, and supporting message development and storytelling.

In October 2019, Narrative Arts, Moore + Associates, and the Center for Popular Democracy facilitated a Convergence Leadership Institute for local and regional funders that focused on supporting racial and health equity through grassroots organizing and narrative transformation.

Narrative Arts and Moore + Associates have served as the Partnership’s narrative strategy advisors since 2018:

Narrative Arts is a non-partisan social justice organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering communities to address issues that affect their lives. They are narrative and story strategists, artists, and community organizers dedicated to advancing social justice and equity. From their home base in Wilmington, North Carolina they work with grassroots groups, nonprofits, foundations, and communities to change the story on the most enduring social justice challenges of our time.

Moore + Associates is a boutique creative agency in New York City. They believe that cultural and narrative change are critical to political change, and that humor is an effective way to shift culture. Their work provides clients and artists with new ways to succeed at the intersection of public policy, pop culture, and new media. For foundations and nonprofits seeking to understand and shift popular narratives, they develop cultural and narrative strategy plans that analyze the landscape and recommend ways to effectively intervene.

In late 20221 the Narrative Initiative partnered with Moore + Associates to conduct a landscape scan of narrative efforts currently supported by racial justice and health equity-focused philanthropic institutions and collaboratives on behalf of the Partnership.

Podcast Series