Narrative Justice Project
The Narrative Justice Project is a tactical response to the continual misrepresentation and under-representation of people of color in the media. Through community organizing and training, people of color in communities around the country will have access to free media training. Participants will learn how to leverage the media in times of crisis, or during community challenges.
Media representation of black and brown people is rife with racial undertones and negative stereotypes that undermine communities of color. Victim-blaming and false perceptions often sway public opinion. This destructive distortion of the true narrative is a grave injustice. It damages the perception of people of color, creating a negative ripple effect, with deep and broad consequences.
While the most negative stories seem to make media headlines, many stories of African American and Latinx people remain untold, with the result that communities are overwhelmingly silenced. In addition, research shows that stories of injustices towards Native Americans and Asians are often entirely absent from media reports.
The Narrative Justice Project seeks to empower people of color to own their narratives, allowing their humanity to be seen. We continually see one-sided stories weaponizing race as the reason for acts of violence or mistreatment. These patterns create a continuous cycle of trauma and fatigue for communities. Through customized media training, we seek to train marginalized groups how to interact and engage with the media. We see this act of empowerment as a critical opportunity to shift the media landscape.
As a social change agency that has a history of collaborating with underserved communities, while successfully working with the media for a wide range of nonprofit clients, The Wakeman Agency is uniquely positioned to address this issue. In addition, as one of the only social change agencies led by a woman of color—we bring profound passion for equality, as well as expertise, to our communications and public relations work.
In November 2019, Wakeman will launch the pilot and offer “Narrative Justice Media Training” sessions in New York, New Jersey and Chicago. In these sessions, we will provide local residents with strategies and tactics for interacting with the media to address, counteract, and reduce/eliminate negative slants to news stories that arise.
After the pilot, Narrative Justice Project will continue around the country beginning in Q1 of 2020 with a goal of offering training in 20 cities. Our goal is to help people take control of their own stories and defeat racist stereotyping in the media. Without a doubt, providing justice in the narrative is a crucial component of equality and justice overall.
Please check back soon to hear about the pilot, get updates on the 2020 schedule and other NJP happenings.
If you would like the Narrative Justice Project to come to your community, please complete the following form.