Democracy Narratives and Sacred Values

May 5, 2021 2pm – 3pm ET

Narrative engagement has become an essential competency for all social change leaders. What is the essence of the stories that underpin how we and others are making sense of the issues we care about? And how can we communicate more effectively about our values, and incorporate others’ values to galvanize collective action for change? While democracy is alarmingly under threat around the world and in the US, many activists are urgently re-thinking the narrative strategies we should be deploying to build broader constituencies and powerful, winning movements for inclusive and pluralistic democratic societies. Join us for a discussion of both the theory and practice that can help us re-think these democracy narratives, and how we might draw upon sacred values (our own and others) to identify and align around effective democracy narratives. 

The Horizons Project, together with Over ZeroBeyond Conflict, and the Hudson Institute discussed recent research, practice and insights to help lead this discussion. This event was part of the the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the U.S. Peace, Justice, and Democracy Working Group weekly webinar series called Preventing and Reducing Conflict and Instability in the United States: Shaping What Comes Next.

Moderator: Julia Roig, from the Horizons Project is the President of PartnersGlobal, Chair of the Board of AfP and author of Engaging Narratives for Peace.  

Discussants: 

  • Michelle Barsa is Program Director at Beyond Conflict and manages a growing portfolio of initiatives on social inclusion and behavior change communications
  • Nichole Argo, PhD, is the Director of Research and Field Advancement at Over Zero. Her research centers on sacred values and intergroup conflict and she recently co-authored “What Immigration Issues do Americans Hold Sacred?” 
  • Tod Lindberg is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute specializing in national security issues and the role of U.S. leadership.