This year has been one of action, growth, and impact at Change Consulting.
We are proud to have grown our team, and, along with it, deepen the communications services and partnership we provide to organizers, advocates, and visionaries on the front lines of the fight for racial justice.
I talked with Nesima Aberra (Director of Digital and Content), Anna Ghosh (Vice President of Strategy), and Stephanie Ong (Vice President of Communications, Engagement) before Change Consulting dropped the curtain on 2022 to reflect on a big year for us and for our partners.
Change Consulting grew this year – what has that meant for you and your team?
Nesima Aberra: Growth this year has meant being able to experiment and offer greater support to our clients looking for exceptional storytelling, design, and strategy for their digital and content needs. I’m grateful that we now have an official digital and content team that used to just be me two years ago!
We have new processes, workflows, and foundational documents that capture our best practices so we can be ready for our clients wherever they are in their communications experience and capacity. It has also been exciting to develop how we work with the other Change teams on clients that move between strategy and to engagement so they get the full spectrum of our services and get their ideas and stories out into the world.
Anna Ghosh: The Change strategy team doubled in size, but tripled in talent and expertise with the addition of Kay Cuajunco and Mariah Cochran. Kay brings to the strategy team experience as a trainer, coach, and communications strategist directly supporting organizers and statewide alliances across movements for racial, economic, educational, and environmental justice. Mariah brings her depth as a visual artist and experience developing communications strategies and messages that center the voices and experiences of Black people and people of color in education and health policy spaces.
Meanwhile, Dina Sigal spent the year focusing more attention on building out Change’s methodology for how we conduct research and apply best practices to develop brands, messages, content, and strategies that make real change possible for our clients.
Stephanie Ong: This year, Change Consulting expanded the earned media team with the addition of Kyung Jin Lee. As a Director of Communications specializing in earned media, Kyung Jin brings a unique background as a former reporter for KQED and community organizer in AAPI communities to lead projects for movement building clients. Fun fact – she was Change’s first employee back in the day as well.
Kyung Jin rounds out our team along with Director of Communications Alexis Meisels who is taking the lead in building up political communications expertise with 501c(4)s, political action committees (PACs) and issue- based advocacy. The best part about this growth is being able to evolve Change Consulting’s earned media practice to better suit the needs of the full diversity of our client partners. We have made unique connections with race and culture reporters and news outlets who understand how to tell complex stories about power, race, and privilege.
Question: What have been some of the greatest hits for your team in 2022?
Nesima Aberra: Some of the highlights of our team this year include:
- Supporting the social media, web design and graphic design needs for the Black Girl Freedom Week, which drew special guests like Sanaa Lathan, Marley Dias and Tracee Ellis Ross.
- Managing content and rebranding for MISSSEY’s redesigned website, logo and brand.
- Managing two successful events – one virtual webinar for grantees and one funder reception on location in Los Angeles – for the California Black Freedom Fund.
- Coordinating grantee storytelling campaigns for Akonadi’s So Love Can Win and All in for Oakland funds.
Anna Ghosh: The strategy team had the honor of working with many incredible organizations this year, including:
- Along with Nesima, bringing to life a beautiful new logo, visual identity and website, and a tagline that represents MISSSEY’s transformative, multi-generational approach to co-creating a world where girls and gender expansive youth are safe from sexual exploitation and know their power: Healing Wounds. Breaking Cycles.
- Amplifying the vision and story of Compton Foundation’s Executive Director June Wilson. The thought leadership platform we are working on together to develop tells the story of June’s experience advancing reparations and relational repair.
- Partnering with FM3 to develop research-based messaging to help the Alameda County Community Food Bank communicate how we cannot solve hunger without addressing racism and poverty.
- Working with the San Francisco Foundation to support the Bay Area Regional Recovery Community Advisory Committee in ensuring that COVID relief and other federal dollars go toward equitable, long-term, targeted community investments.
- Advancing economic justice on the national level through our partnerships with the Economy Security Project and their Guaranteed Income Community of Practice and two projects at the Brookings Institution: the Workforce of the Future initiative and Brooking Metro’s groundbreaking longitudinal analysis of the diverging employment pathways of young people.
- Facilitating our first in-person narrative change workshop and convening with Zellerbach Family Foundation grantees who are increasing belonging, connection, and a shared sense of safety among people and communities across San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties.
Stephanie Ong: We are so grateful to have worked with clients this year who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in politics, philanthropy, and issue-based advocacy. We have so many earned media highlights from 2022:
- Change Consulting secured dozens of feature stories and TV spots on Black Futures Lab and Black to the Future Action Fund’s critical data polling initiatives, and their work to on build political power among Black people, including on the ReidOut, Cross Connection, Roland Martin, in Essence, Ebony, Politico, USA Today, the Hill, the Grio and Capital B.
- We helped the California Donor Table interrupt the false narrative that progressives were losing elections through dozens of stories affirming that voters made a resounding showing for reformers like District Attorney Diana Becton and District Attorney-elect Pamela Price, as well as Attorney General Rob Bonta.
- Through a targeted media strategy and editorial board meetings, we worked with legislators’ offices and the Stop AAPI Hate coalition to tell the stories of communities impacted by a surge in anti-Asian hate and violence, leading to two bills being signed into law to address street harassment.
- We lifted up Urban Peace Movement’s critical work to create safe, healthy, and peaceful communities in Oakland through their work with the Free our Kids Coalition and their commitment to reimagining youth justice in Alameda County.
- We also leveraged our political communications expertise for the release of Power California’s 2022 Youth poll; securing coverage on The Root, the California Report, the San Francisco Chronicle and more.
Thank you to all of our clients for your partnership, and to our amazing team for your hard work and for bringing your whole selves to the fight each and every day. It has been an honor to work alongside our many inspiring partners in the movement for racial justice and we can’t wait to do it again next year — see you in 2023!