Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Bridgit Antoinette Evans

Chief Executive Officer | Pop Culture Collaborative
Pronouns: she/her

Bridgit Antoinette Evans is widely recognized as one of the foremost thought leaders in the
culture change strategy field. A professional artist and strategist, she has dedicated her career to
the relentless investigation of the potential of artists to drive cultural change in society. Fifteen
years of work at the intersection of pop culture storytelling and social change has evolved into a
vision for a new, hybrid culture change field in which creative and social justice leaders work
together to create and popularize stories that shape the narratives, values, beliefs and behaviors
that define American culture. In 2016, Bridgit was a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, piloting
Culture Changes Us, a coordinated learning system designed to accelerate the social justice
sectors’ understanding and use of culture change strategy. For Unbound Philanthropy and Ford
Foundation, she has led multi-year culture change research and strategy design projects aimed
at unearthing breakthrough narrative and engagement strategies for the immigrant rights and
gender justice movements.

In 2008, Bridgit founded Fuel | We Power Change, a culture change strategy studio in New York
City, as the home for her collaborations with leading social change innovators. Through this work
she designed long-term culture change strategies for social movements that used transportive
story experiences, often in the pop culture realm, to shift the thoughts and feelings of mass
audiences. Strategy design commissions include the NYCLU/ACLU Policing Project, Make It Work
campaign, National Domestic Workers Alliance’s #BeTheHelp strategy featuring Viola Davis,
Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson, Amy Poehler and other artists; Breakthrough’s #ImHere for
Immigrant Women strategy; GEMS’ Girls Are Not for Sale strategy featuring Beyonce, Demi
Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Sinead O’Connor, Mary J Blige and more; and Save Darfur’s “Live for
Darfur” campaign chaired by Don Cheadle and Djimon Hounsou. Drawing insights from these
commissions, Bridgit has traveled by invitation to the UK, France, Austria, Croatia, Brazil, South
Africa and throughout the U.S. to present talks, lectures and workshops for some of the world’s
most innovative movement leaders and artists. She often points to her roots as a professional Off
Broadway actor and devised theater producer as the source of her deep passion for culture
change strategy. She received her MFA from Columbia University and BA from Stanford


Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Public Education: The Foundation for Multiracial Democracy

The future of our society hinges on our ability to truly realize a just, equitable multiracial democracy and it must start with honest and fully funded multiracial public education. Neither our political nor education system were set up for this, but that is the promise of what our movements can achieve by uniting our communities across all the lines used to divide us.

Moderator(s): Dennis Chin Speakers: James Ford, Alex Ames, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Becky Pringle

The Freedom to Learn: The Fight for Honest, Equitable, and Fully Funded Public Schools as the Foundation for a Just, Multiracial Democracy

In school districts across the United States, we have seen the results of the far-right’s relentless attacks on public education - whether through the proliferation of educational gag orders on race, gender, and sexual orientation in our public schools, the harassment of teachers who refuse to be silent on matters of equity and inclusion, or the banning of books that represent the full spectrum of experience that is essential to understanding our pluralistic world. Attacks on public education are not new; they are part of a long-term strategy to dismantle public schools (and public systems, writ large) and ultimately, undermine democracy. In this plenary, we are joined by movement leaders who are not just countering the far-right's attack on public education but are also fighting for a more just, multiracial democracy through organizing and narrative change.

Moderator(s): Dennis Chin Speakers: James Ford, Alex Ames, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Becky Pringle

Transforming our Narrative Waters through Narrative Systems Design

Achieving a racially just future in which the majority of people are engaged in building pluralist culture requires more than just changing a few narratives — it requires transforming the toxic narrative oceans in which we swim. But how can we transform our narrative waters so that hundreds of millions of people can change their beliefs and behaviors in order to engage in the hard, delicate work of belonging together? And how can we design for impactful narrative strategy at scale across a broad range of sectors, issues, and stakeholders?

The Pop Culture Collaborative approaches these questions through narrative systems design. To transform the narrative landscape in America around people of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and Indigenous peoples—especially those who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and/or disabled — we focus on bolstering the infrastructure and impact of the pop culture for social change field. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, the Collaborative team will share about narrative systems design — the creative, powerful, and responsive narrative framework and strategy at the heart of our grantmaking and field organizing. Participants will learn about the six components that work in synchronized relationship: a culture change goal, mental models, narrative archetypes, specific stories, inciting experiences, and desired behavioral norms.

Through storytelling and interactive exercises, the Collaborative will help attendees analyze past examples of cultural change processes, and learn about the building blocks of a narrative system — so that they can utilize narrative systems design to advance racial justice values and issues in their own work.

Speakers: Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Tracy Van Slyke, Nayantara Sen

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Making Waves: Cultural Strategies for Racial Justice

The social justice field has been abuzz with talk about cultural strategy and cultural shift. With escalating attacks on communities of color across issue areas of immigration, labor rights, mass incarceration and more, the need for deep cultural change for racial justice is becoming urgent. But what exactly do we mean by “cultural strategy for racial justice?” What does cultural strategy look like in the fields of community organizing, media and entertainment and policymaking? And how do we ethically partner with artists and leverage creative ecosystems to advance equity and justice?


Come join our workshop featuring some of the best thinkers and doers in cultural change, where we’ll explore strategies for fueling artist-powered change through organizing, pop culture and narrative shift. This session will be facilitated by Nayantara Sen, Manager of Cultural Strategies at RaceForward,and will feature short talks by Bridgit Antoinnette Evans from the Pop Culture Collaborative, Betsy Richards from the Opportunity Agendaand Rufaro Gwarada from Power California.


Presenters will share examples from the field and dig into questions like: How should a cultural strategy talk about communications, organizing, narrative, and art? How do we build organized creative ecosystems that advance equity and justice?

Speakers: Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Nayantara Sen, Rufaro Gwarada, Betsy Richards

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

How to Use your TV: Using Small Screens to Move Racial Justice

Calling all TV addicts — this is the workshop for you. Today’s television industry has more room for the stories of racial justice than ever before. This double panel presentation will focus on strategies for making the small screen work for racial justice by engaging writers’ rooms, taking advantage of reality TV opportunities, by hosting watch parties or generating social media commentary on TV content that applies to communities. We will include a special focus on the Netflix documentary “13th,” featuring activists from the documentary and a Skype appearance by its director, Ava DuVernay.

Speakers: Van Jones, Malkia Cyril, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Brandon Andrews, Tracy Van Slyke, Sharda Sekaran

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Change Culture, Change the World: An Introduction to Pop Culture Strategy for Social Movement

While many agree that well-conceived cultural change and pop culture intervention strategies can dramatically accelerate the pace of social change, the progressive community has only just begun to formally map the theory, methodologies and creative techniques that make these strategies effective. In this deep-dive workshop, award-winning artist and strategist Bridgit Antoinette Evans will guide participants through a rare, hands-on exploration of the process of designing long-term culture change strategy designed to bring urgent issues to the center of mainstream conversation.
Speakers: Bridgit Antoinette Evans