How can local leaders and advocates in Mississippi advance a unified public discourse to improve the educational system, family economic stability, and race relations in the region? Since early 2010, Frameworks Institute has been engaged with local leaders and communities on a multi-faceted project to develop evidence-based narrative tools for informing and reshaping public thinking on these issues.
This project site will be updated with new research and tools throughout the course of our engagement with Mississippi leaders and communities.
This project was generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Appealing to Mississippi Values: Identifying Values that Elevate Support for Education Reform and for Addressing Racial Disparities in Mississippi (2010) In this report, we examine the issues of education, race policy preferences, and communications with specific focus on a state with some of the most severe problems in racial disparities and the educational performance of its students – Mississippi. More specifically, we present findings from two experimental studies in this report.
“Her Daughter Was One of Them”: How Personal Narratives Attach to Public Issues in Mississippi News Coverage (2010) This report examines 12 months of newspaper reporting in Mississippi, from January 2009 through January 2010, on five general subject areas: race and racism, education, health and health care, child development, and children’s health and wellbeing. This research aims to discern whether Mississippians are likely to walk away from newspaper coverage with an enhanced or constrained understanding of the issues that face the state and their potential for solution.
“My Race is My Community:” Peer Discourse Sessions on Racial Disparities (2009) This report shares the results of 9 peer discourse sessions conducted in 4 cities with diverse groups of politically engaged people around the United States. This research shows that Americans have difficulty thinking about the structural nature of racism. Frame elements intended to create different types of group conversation, however, showed the potential to foster greater understanding of systemic racial inequalities and garner support for social policies designed to address such inequities.
This report synthesizes our research findings and recommends strategies to communicate more effectively on education, early childhood development, and race in Mississippi. Understanding the patterns of public thinking and the key communication challenges on these issues can help advocates tell a “New Mississippi Story.”