Building power for social justice

January 17, 2018

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

Those words, written by Martin Luther King from jail 55 years ago tell us that everything is connected, justice, health, economic opportunity and, yes, a sustainable environment.  It is no accident that the ongoing blatant racist bile from President Trump has been accompanied by proposed policies that would expel hundreds of thousands of hardworking immigrants, break up families, foul our air and water, make health care unaffordable for millions and go backwards on our need to confront climate change, the biggest social justice issue of our time.  That single garment of destiny envelops all of us, whatever issue is on our own front burner.

The connectedness between all people and the challenges they face makes harnessing those connections a strategic imperative. It is the way we fight back. That realization is at the heart of Resource Media’s updated strategic framework. In our new mission, we acknowledge that longer view:

Resource Media develops and implements communications strategies to build power for sustainable and equitable social change.

We embrace these connections in other ways. Resource Media will continue to work across the artificial dividing lines between issues and expand beyond from a sole focus on short-term environmental policy. Examples of this crosscutting work already abound in our portfolio; from a project to help groups addressing health disparities between advantaged and disadvantages communities in Seattle/King County to making the connection between clean energy development and economic revitalization in the Midwest. Under our updated framework, we will hold ourselves accountable for looking at the impact of our work beyond the next legislative session.

Our framework outlines a number of strategies for continuing this evolution.  We want to engage in projects that will allow us to use long-term narrative building as a primary tactic. We think it is critical that we develop transparent and non-exploitative approaches to building communications capacity in groups working close to the ground in communities bearing the brunt of racial injustice, economic disempowerment and environmental degradation. We will continue our own work to build both our internal diversity and to bring an equity lens to our external work.

None of these trajectories are radical departures for us. They are an articulation of our own ongoing evolution as a mission-driven organization, from a white dominated, single issue PR shop to a multi-cultural communications firm committed to the broader view of social change outlined by Dr. King and many, many others. Nor are we walking a solitary path. Given the words of exclusion and privilege that continue to spew from our President and his ilk, we treasure all the company we can get.

Scott Miller

Photo by Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash