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Framing in Race-Conscious, Antipoverty Advocacy: A Science-Based Guide to Delivering Your Most Persuasive Message

Bill Kennedy, Emily Fisher, and Colin Bailey

Framing builds upon an understanding of the science of cognition that tracks how the brain processes information and prompts certain analytic frames through which facts are sorted. The most effective way to frame a message to achieve an advocacy outcome may differ from the way advocates talk about the same issues within the legal aid community. The most effective messaging in an advocacy strategy may require that we employ language that feels uncomfortable because it seems incomplete or even inaccurate in some respects. In those cases, we may face a choice between using language with which we are comfortable and familiar and pursuing a winning strategy for our clients. 

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