Teresa Gonzales, Ph.D., Elizabeth M. Thissell and Soumitra Thorat take home $10,000 Hon Prize in Public Interest Communications Research
Researchers using ethnographic research in a small Midwestern town exploring discursive frames that link class, race, place, and behavior were winners of this year’s Research Prize in Public Interest Communications, awarded annually by the University of Florida Center for Public Interest Communications.
Celebrating the 10th year of the research prize in public interest communications, the Center also recognized the contributions to the field of public interest communications by University of Florida Professor Emerita Linda Hon, Ph.D., with formally naming the prize in her honor.
Participants of the 2023 frank gathering selected “The Stories We Tell: Colorblind Racism, Classblindness, and Narrative Framing in the Rural Midwest” by Teresa Irene Gonzales, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola University of Chicago (presenting on behalf of the team); Elizabeth M. Thissell, NOVA Community Organizer at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia; Soumitra Thorat, Ph.D. student at King’s College London, as this year’s top prize. The team will receive $10,000. [Watch the presentation]
The two other finalist teams will each receive $1,500.
The prize was supported in part this year by the Rita Allen Foundation.
A team represented by Bennett Callaghan Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality: the City University of New York and Leilah Harouni, Behavioral Scientist at Change Healthcare, and including Cydney H. Dupree, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University College of London; Michael W. Kraus, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Yale University; and Jennifer A. Richeson, Ph.D., Professor at Yale University were finalists for their paper “Testing the efficacy of three informational interventions for reducing misperceptions of the Black-White wealth gap.” [Watch the presentation]
The second finalist team was represented by Tafadzwa Tivaringe, Ph.D., Associate Program Officer for The Spencer Foundation and includes Ben Kirshner, Ph.D., Professor, Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of Colorado Boulder; and Jesica Siham Fernández, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. Their paper was entitled “’This was 1976 reinvented’”: The role of framing in the development of a South African youth movement.” [Watch the presentation]
The Hon Research Prize in Public Interest Communications is awarded annually at the Center for Public Interest Communications’ frank gathering, a convening for social change communicators and movement builders. Finalists presented their papers to the frank community of practitioners, who voted for the top paper.
The prize is awarded for work that contributes to the understanding of the public interest communications field as a unique discipline, offers insight that can improve the effectiveness of public interest communication practice, details a specific public interest communication campaign, explores evaluative measures, documents specific ways in which public interest communication differs from similar disciplines, or provides insight on how to communicate effectively. This year, nearly 80 papers were submitted.
The papers presented this year at frank represent the future of the field of public interest communications. The work shared was selected for its rigorous methodology and direct application to social change communications. The scholars are leaders within their own disciplines, which represent diverse perspectives, including social psychological, counseling psychology, and social movement studies. The insights from their presentations will help inform and innovate campaigns and initiatives designed to drive effective social change.