Why We Do Media

The following was originally written for the February 2023 edition of our newsletter. To sign up for our mailing list, add your email in the sign-up box in the footer!

Many of you will receive a 🔥special mailer🔥 in the next few weeks. All our members with (current) addresses on file will receive a fold-out poster illustrating (literally and figuratively) our new 5-year strategic plan. For all of 2022, our Board, Staff, and National Member Council labored over this expansive set of guiding principles. 

Like all nutrient-rich soils, we needed a mixture of components to bring to life the final 5-year strategic plan. We added our history (can’t forget about our ComfortZone™ origin story), mistakes and wins, dynamic shifts to our organizing model, and the dreams for a reimagined world where racial capitalism has been dismantled and a restructured economy, where everyone has enough, thrives. (Bare with me while I continue this soil/plant metaphor) We grew a strategic plan(t) that unapologetically states our mission, vision, values, expanded organizing model, and theory of change. 

Rooted in this reimagined organizing model is our commitment to shift mainstream narratives and our culture. As the Communications Manager at Resource Generation, I know that making culture shifts is integral to our organizing strategy but was previously unwritten. 

We are all here because we chose not to be complicit in wealth hoarding and racial capitalism. But, choosing not to be complicit is not a one-time decision, it’s an ongoing action that needs to be continually reinforced. On an individual and interpersonal level, we have been extraordinarily effective in organizing each other. Beyond our own inner circles, our effectiveness wanes. And it’s in this nebulous “rest of the world” that has the most power to make colossal changes, the final kind, that we want to see. 

So, are we being complicit in allowing narratives of wealth hoarding to dominate our airways, fiber connections, and sound waves? Unequivocally, yes. 

We, young people with wealth, have a vital role in the redistribution movement. Whether it makes us uncomfortable or not, we have power, and we need to use it. We have the ability to disrupt popular thinking around money. The success of our movement and our dream for a world where everyone has enough hinges on how much we are able to grow, build, and reach more people. 

Organizing a subset of a subset of folks will never be enough. This movement—the reason why we share our stories with strangers, attend chapter meetings after a long day at work, stick through a 6-month praxis where we lay bare all the shit we have about money, and by doing so, become incredible activists—deserves all that we can give. That’s why we must do media. 

Media participation has been a contentious issue at Resource Generation. The journalists and media companies we speak to are not perfectly aligned with our movement. If we take a maximalist* approach to our organizing, where “we hold to overly idealistic tactics and demands,” we constrain our ability to build power in favor of keeping us small but pure. 

Clinging to lofty ideals may make us, young people with wealth, feel good and righteous, but it actively harms the communities our work supports. By placing our sense of virtue above all else, we give up resources that could go to frontline communities. 

Resource Generation will never leave power on the table because our movement is dependent on our ability to grow and build power. 

 

Jeannie H.

Communications Manager 

*Please read Maurice Mitchell’s “Building Resilient Organizations” which greatly influenced this post. Maurice is the National Director of the Working Families Party.