Community Change’s communications fellows program has proven to be a visionary approach to building power and leaders among our communities – the power to be the ones to tell their truths and be heard. One of the key avenues to power that we articulate as an organization is that impacted communities must lead in the changes and policies that affect them and that they are the best people to develop and implement strategies and compel the support of the powerful to bring about real change. But it is not enough that we prioritize impacted people in our campaigns and programmatic work; they must be the key voices who speak in our communications work as well.
Our fellows are single moms struggling to get by, immigrants raised in this country as undocumented children, parents struggling with child care and individuals battling generational poverty, among others. We raise the voices and experiences of impacted people – no matter the color of their skin, where they were born or how much money they make – to change the narrative of what it means to get by in this society. They are the authentic messengers who provide context to the news of the day and challenge policies and ideas that don’t take into account the real lives of people.