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Health Reform Messaging Workshop on Nov 7th

The Power of Articulation: Turning Values into Political Messages - Using Value-Laden Language to Communicate about Health Reform.

A special one day workshop for leaders in health reform.


For too long, health reform leaders have been bogged down in policy-speak. That is, they have focused on policy minutae and failed to speak a language that connects with everyday Americans. This approach fails in the public arena, because the reality is that many Americans don’t have the interest or time to sift through the endless array of issues, personalities, and competing agendas in today’s political culture. As a result, individuals look for ways to simplify their intake and evaluation of information. One way that has become increasingly commonplace among citizens is to rely upon “cues” — that is, credible people or information that can be confidently used to guide decisions. The most politically potent cues, often, are core values and beliefs that unite Americans and inspire them.

The bottom line is this: Progressives must become effective — much more effective — in identifying and communicating their core values in ways that are moral and culturally resonant. We call this articulation: the use of language in purposeful, everyday ways to create clear connections between guiding principles and social priorities. To do this is hard work — far harder than one might suspect. The approach we utilize is highly interactive and hands-on: Our goal is to help you identify and pursue your goals by clarifying and working through key ideas, issues, strategies, and concerns. We strive to merge our scholarly expertise with concrete, realistic, and applied understandings of contemporary politics and media.

Proposed Workshop Agenda:

The Archimedes Movement is proud to sponsor a 6-hour workshop to help activists craft a purposeful language to communicate about the issues that are important to us.

More details and registration:


David Domke, is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. He worked as a journalist for several newspapers in the 1980s and early 1990s, including the Orange County Registerand Atlanta Journal-Constitution, before earning a Ph.D. in 1996. His research and teaching focus on how political leaders strategically craft their public communications and how news media and the public respond to these messages. His most recent book is The God Strategy: How Religion Became A Political Weapon in America, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press. In the last few years he has spoken about politics and news with academic, political, media, and public audiences around the country. In 2002 he received the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s highest honor for teaching. In 2006 he was named the Washington state Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. And in spring 2008 he was selected as the favorite professor of the UW graduating class.

Crispin Thurlow, also a professor in the Department of Communication, has an academic background in psychology and critical linguistics, and his work examines the ways that people use language and other forms of communication to negotiate their differences. Specifically, he is committed to understanding how relations of power and conceptions of privilege and inequality are sustained in everyday human interaction. His latest book is Talking Adolescence: Perspectives on Communication in the Teenage Years (Peter Lang, 2005). In 2007, he received the University of Washington's Distinguished Teaching Award.