Title

What will it take? : working together to change the public discourse on racism in Boston

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Abstract

This capstone studies ways to focus the programs of Community Change, Inc. (CCI), a small non-profit in Boston, in order to change the public discourse on racism to "reveal institutional racism and white privilege and construct an alternative vision for a just society." It uses the concept of a collective action frame from Social Movement theory to embed the views and experience of the organization's staff and Board in a larger theoretical context. I conducted a series of small focus groups with the "Strategy Committee," a sub-committee of the Board of Directors. This data was supplemented by a larger focus group comprised of partners and other practitioners working locally in the fields of anti-racism and social change. Follow-up interviews were conducted with a few key individuals who were not able to attend the focus group. The resulting data was combined with the theory and practical advice from practitioners. A previous study completed in 2001 and the resulting 2002-2005 Strategic Plan also provided additional foundation. The conclusions from this research help to narrow down the long list of goals and objectives set out in 2001. The areas of focus recommended include being more intentional about ways to leverage the "supportive space" CCI is known for into a program to share experiences and model what it takes to become an anti-racist and equitable organization, targeting progressive organizations and youth for new programs, and working with media for more visible coverage and media reform.

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