Center News

Back to News

Center for Public Interest Communications Awarded $100,000 Gates Foundation Grant on Poverty

The Center for Public Interest Communications and the  Radical Communicators Network (RCN) announced that they are the recipients of a $100,000 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge Grant for their collaborative proposal “Changing the Poverty Narrative by Changing the Voices.” This project was one of 28 proposals funded from more than 1,200 submissions.

The goal of the Challenge is to elevate diverse voices that can help broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness and actionable understanding.

This project will seek to change the narrative of poverty by helping those most affected tell their stories. The Omidyar Network, one of the Grand Challenge co-funders, will provide the funding for this initiative.

Based on a fundamental belief that those with lived experience are the most powerful and compelling activists for change, the project will equip frontline activists with the latest science on developing compelling stories as they work to dispel harmful narratives and produce constructive ones. The goal is to provide activists with an analysis of the stories currently coming from the social sector, and the behavioral, cognitive and social science insights behind building persuasive and compelling narratives.

Through trainings and media guides, the project will help activists build skills in the science of storytelling and help the social sector build skill sets in telling more nuanced and accurate stories. The counternarratives will be developed in partnership with frontline activists and  disseminated through workshops and trainings . These resources can be used to promote a new narrative on poverty that recognizes the systemic conditions responsible for the problem and the voices of those most affected.​

In May 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new strategy on Economic Mobility and Opportunity, which seeks to increase the number and diversity of actors working in coordination to address barriers to economic mobility. This effort seeks to build on the understanding of poverty gleaned from the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty Initiative and to identify promising ideas to combat widespread, harmful and inaccurate assumptions about poverty, deservingness, income, and wealth gaps.

Posted: June 11, 2020
Category: Center Update