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Changing Our Narrative about Narrative: The Infrastructure Required for Building Narrative Power

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Editors’ note: This article from the summer 2020 edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly was originally published by the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, on April 18, 2018, as part of its Blueprint for Belonging project. It later appeared in the Quarterly’s winter 2018 edition, with minor changes. We reprint it now as part of the series we are running on the need to change the design principles around much of the work we do in this sector. Additional articles in this cluster are hereherehere, and here.

The culture of the progressive sector—as with all sectors—is rooted in stories. They are stories that convey values, mental models, assumptions, and identities, all of which ultimately guide our behaviors. Unsurprisingly, the most powerful stories that define the culture of our sector are not the stories about the issues we work on but rather the stories we tell ourselves about who we are (and aren’t), and how we should (and shouldn’t) act in the world to make change.


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  • Published

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Subject Area
    • Information, Referral, & Advocacy
    • Organizational Development
  • Audience
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
  • Category


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