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Unlocking Collaboration Across Difference: Exploring Narrative Practices for Broad-Based Movements in Contexts of Democratic Decline

March 29, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

March 29, 2023, 13:00 – 14:30 EST

Watch the recording for this event.


Amid democratic backsliding, rising authoritarianism, and the securitization of our civic spaces, activists and organizers working for democratic change are seeking to reach across deep societal divisions and work across movements.

The narrative practices that social movements employ to nurture diverse relationships and create space for reflection together are more important than ever, so that we model the democratic values we are advocating for and can find common cause with potential allies who may have different approaches or priorities.

A consortium of organizers, academics and funders recently came together for the NEAD Project (Narrative Engagement Across Difference) to take a deep look at narrative practices from a multidisciplinary lens and to reflect on how we can better unlock more effective collective action. To ground NEAD’s future exploration in existing research, the team recently released the findings of an initial literature review. You can read a summary blog of the project and research here.

This was a discussion between the NEAD research team and a group of global activists who are engaging with narrative work in deeply divided societal contexts. Together they explored the implications for organizing between and beyond social justice movements.


  • Julia Roig, Chief Network Weaver, The Horizons Project

Research Team

  • Alison Castel, Assistant Professor, Regis University
  • Sara Cobb, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, GeorgeMason University
  • Jale Sultanli,Senior Advisor for the Eurasia Programme, CMI


  • Alexa Bradley, Knowledge Development Director, Just Associates (JASS)
  • Kwem Kimtai, Community Manager, Narratives Network Initiative
  • Monica Roa, Founder and Executive Director, Puentes (Bridges)


March 29, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm