This guide is a supplement to OpenGlobalRights' previous guide on hope-based communications and is published as part of OGR's series on imagining post-pandemic futures. Produced in collaboration with Thomas Coombes and the JustLabs team, it is a part of JustLabs' and the Fund for Global Human Rights' (FGHR) ongoing narrative work.
Many voices are starting to boldly articulate new visions of how the world could look after the COVID-19 pandemic. But if not tied to an evocative story, the fear, grief, and trauma left behind when this latest crisis recedes may again take us in the wrong direction. To prepare for the better world we can build after it, we have to respond to this moment with determination, courage, and trust, but also with humor, joy, and above all, hope.
Populists thrive in crisis, and the fear, grief, and anxiety caused by this moment could be rocket fuel for authoritarian leaders. How can human rights groups help people to not just see this moment as one of loss and fear, but rather to look back with pride at how we came together to get through this as connected, caring communities?
Human rights actors often focus on reacting to harms and problems, but people also need something to believe in: a vision for how things should be instead and an idea of how to get there. We need to be building that vision and telling that story right now, even as we’re responding to the immediate needs of our communities.
Here are three simple steps human rights groups can use to tell their own story in their response to the pandemic, and to any populist attempts to take advantage of it. This guide draws on and was produced as part of JustLabs’ and the Fund for Global Human Rights’ (FGHR) work with groups around the world developing human rights narratives in response to the populist challenge.
Now share your thoughts and stories
Do you have an example of how you or your organization is using hope and innovation to respond to the pandemic? Questions about the challenges you’re facing or the framing of a message?