Framing and Messaging


Frames are the way information is organized in individual minds, and, as such are part of how humans make meaning. Further, growing brain research indicates that only about 2% of meaning making occurs with conscious intention (per dr. john a. powell implicit bias presentation); the rest happens almost instantaneously and without conscious thought.

Why is this important for racial equity communication? Per the Praxis Project in Fair Game“If speaking truth were enough to overcome clever distortions and well-funded lies, strategic communications would be simple. But, the way people receive messages is shaped, in part, by underlying concepts that already reside in their minds. These concepts, called ‘frames,’ can reinforce or contradict racial justice messages. Framing is a communications tool that all racial justice communicators need to understand and utilize.” The Women’s Donor Network and the Communications Consortium Media Center, in their work to reframe the language of reproductive rights in recent health care policy debates, also note that, “Whoever succeeds in framing the debate often wins the debate. Cognitive linguists often point that frames are often applied instantly and unconsciously, and are powerful parts of the message beyond the actual words used. They connect to deep values and ignite unspoken biases. If the facts don’t fit the frame, people usually reject the facts.” Moving Forward Case Study

This section provides examples, resources and tools to help groups think more deeply about framing and messaging as important parts of racial equity communication and work.




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