Jan 2022

Framing Racial Equity in Adolescence: Messaging Strategies for Social Change

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This framing playbook helps practitioners, advocates, policymakers, and journalists communicate more accurately and effectively about racism and equity and their impact on adolescent development. In addition, FrameWorks is publishing a messaging supplement that distills these recommendations into a strategy checklist.

These messaging resources come at a critical inflection point in the nation’s public discourse about race, racism, and equity – particularly with regard to young people. The recommendations – which also include examples of what to say and how to say it – serve as a practical guide for difficult conversations about topics that are deeply impacting American adolescents.

Recommendations include:

  • Define and explain equity, inequity, and equitable solutions early and often.
  • Don’t talk about disparities without naming their causes.
  • Explain racism as embedded in institutions young people interact with every day, not only as interpersonal experiences.
  • Opportunity for all is a powerful value for talking about equity in adolescence.
  • Use the Community Connections value.
  • Connect anti-racist advocacy and civic engagement among youth with healthy development of identity and agency.
  • Talk about supporting parents, not just telling parents what they have to do to support their adolescents.
  • Amplify the voices of those who are most directly affected – youth of color.

The Framing Racial Equity in Adolescence playbook and supplement are part of a broader effort to change how people think and talk about adolescence and adolescent development in America.