How cultural campaigning shifts the status quo and helps us win
Cultural campaigning – hacking pop culture, memes, organising around film, television, music, fiction and more – is becoming an important strategy for social change leaders and campaigners. Creating and tapping into cultural moments can transform narratives, mobilise communities and advance rapid response campaigns. We’re seeing campaigns shift public perception about abortion, immigration, wildlife consumption and trade, female genital mutilation and more.
At the next MobLab Live we’ll talk about approaches, examples and lessons to integrate cultural campaigning into a larger winning strategy.
On 30 August, 2018, MobLab Live was joined by change makers around the world and special guests Masih Alinejad (Journalist, author and founder of My Stealthy Freedom, Iran), Dr. Paul Kuttner (University of Utah and CulturalOrganizing.org) and Dr. Toby Jenkins (University of South Carolina). Learn more below about our featured guests.
Miss this MobLab Live? Watch a recording of the conversation below or on our YouTube channel.
Journalist, author and founder of My Stealthy Freedom
Masih Alinejad is an Iranian journalist, author and activist who works as a presenter/producer at VOA Persian Service, a correspondent for Radio Farda, a frequent contributor to Manoto television, and a contributing editor to IranWire. She founded My Stealthy Freedom, a movement against against compulsory hijab in Iran. The movement quickly attracted international attention, and has garnered hundreds of thousands of likes. In 2015, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, which is run by UN Watch, gave her its women’s rights award for “giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom, and equality.” Alinejad’s memoir, The Wind in my Hair, dealing with her journey from a tiny village in northern Iran to becoming a journalist and creating an online movement that sparked the nationwide protests against compulsory hijab was published by Little Brown in 2018.
Dr. Paul Kuttner
Associate Director at University Neighborhood Partners, University of Utah
Paul Kuttner is Associate Director at University Neighborhood Partners, University of Utah. In this role, Paul builds university-community partnerships that promote educational equity, access, and justice for young people while producing valuable knowledge to advance scholarship and social change.
Paul is a qualitative researcher and ethnographer, committed to engaged scholarship that is conducted in partnership with youth and communities. Paul’s research focuses on community-based, culturally-sustaining approaches to education and civic engagement in urban low-income communities and Communities of Color. He is a co-author of A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (Oxford, 2011), and a co-editor of Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline (HER, 2012). He is a board member for Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts and a Cabinet member for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. Paul blogs at Cultural Organizing.
Dr. Toby Jenkins
Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of South Carolina
Dr. Toby Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her work focuses on culture (contemporary culture, folk culture, and pop culture) as a politic of social survival, a tool of social change, and a transformative space of critical and creative pedagogy. She is also interested in the ways in which education has served as both a space of liberation and oppression for minoritized communities. Dr. Jenkins has authored three books focused on the evolving ideologies of culture, family, and education in contemporary society. My Culture, My Color, My Self: Heritage, Resilience and Community in the Lives of Young Adults (Temple University Press, 2013) was named by the Association of American University Press to the list of “Top 100 Books for Understanding Race Relations in the US.” Family, Community & Higher Education (Routledge Press, 2012) is an edited volume that explores the critical role of family and community in the lives of first generation college students.