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Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Chair in Social Justice Established at UCLA

Longtime FrameWorks collaborator recognized for contributions to the cause of social justice and equity.
November 5, 2021

FrameWorks celebrates the establishment of a new endowed chair in social justice at UCLA’s Luskin School named for longtime collaborator and current Board member Frank Gilliam. Professor Manisha Shah, a scholar whose work focuses on issues of healthy equity and exploitation of disadvantaged people around the world, has been named the inaugural chairholder of the Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Chair in Social Justice.

“In celebrating this honor, we join framers around the world who have been inspired by workshops led by Gilliam and who have benefited from his framing research reports on issues from adolescence to race,” said FrameWorks CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor.

Frank Gilliam is currently Chancellor of UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and a founding FrameWorks Board member. Among his many honors was the 2015 Upton Sinclair Award given by the Liberty Hill Foundation for his renowned work advancing civic engagement and commitment to issues of equity. He served for seven years as Dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

“There is no one more integral to FrameWorks’ evolution than Frank Gilliam,” says Founder Susan Nall Bales. “We hope that his commitment to social justice shines through in our work, along with his robust research methods and scholarship. And we celebrate the enlightened philanthropy of Meyer and Renee Luskin, who have championed and sustained his contributions to building a more equitable society.”

In 1999, a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation allowed Bales to found the FrameWorks Institute as an independent nonprofit organization. Frank Gilliam served as co-investigator on that grant “to develop and apply a new paradigm — strategic frame analysis — to describe and explain how communications in general, and media in particular — influence public support for youth programs and policies. A significant part of the study is devoted to identifying ‘reframes’ that hold the potential to help the American public value youth as an asset.” The work set the precedent for FrameWorks’ emphasis on translating science for progressive change and its commitment to communications as an empirical endeavor essential to the understanding of social problems. In recent years, Gilliam has served on the Board of FrameWorks UK, FrameWorks’ newly founded sister organization based in London.

For those who wish to learn more about framing from Dr. Gilliam:

  1. Listen to Gilliam explain the fundamental tenets of FrameWorks’ approach to social issues: “FrameWorks started with the idea that you could merge … data and experience to get people to see the world from a different perspective.”
  2. In this seminal paper, Gilliam and Bales lay out the foundations of communicating about social good and distinguish this work from social marketing and other approaches to strategic communications.
  3. In this article, Gilliam and Shanto Iyengar explain how local crime news follows a violent and racialized script that helps explain the intersection of media and structural racism.