Charting Change 2021: Continuing the Fight

Nearly four decades ago, Fenton was established to use strategic communications to advance social justice. But this year was different. Like never before, clients partnered with us to help protect American democracy, ensure health equity during the second year of a pandemic, and to continue the fight for racial justice. This year was about pushing for action on the many social issues that were amplified in 2020.

Fenton also welcomed a new CEO this year—our first woman and person of color in the role. We brought on more than 50 new clients and exponentially grew our national staff, which is now more than 50 percent people of color. We are poised to stay on this growth trajectory and continue our dedication to diversity as we approach our 40th anniversary.

As 2021 comes to a close, Fenton’s strategists are reflecting and sharing lessons learned from working in the trenches on some of society’s most pressing issues—from combating voter suppression in Georgia to unionizing a major hospital complex to protect health workers, to accelerating divestment from fossil fuels worldwide.

 

This is more than a year-in-review. This is a year-in-perseverance and a year-in-learning. As the world changes, it presents new challenges, and the people of Fenton adapt and respond to help our clients advance a more just and equitable society every single day. We hope that our insights are empowering and our outcomes are inspiring.

 

 

 

The fight to reform policing has been turbulent. Right-wing support for status-quo policing is ironclad, and police unions are aggressively opposed to reforms. But as our client Color of Change’s president Rashad Robinson put it, “We are on the right track. We would have not even been part of the conversation a couple of years ago.” We have momentum, and we’re not backing down.

The fight for police reform is best fought on the state and local level. This year we partnered with the New Jersey advocacy group Salvation and Social Justice to launch a campaign to reform public safety in that state. The Make The Right C.A.L.L. campaign is pushing state and city leaders in New Jersey to pursue budget reallocation into community-based solutions that keep people safe—not police or prisons.

 

 

 

 

On October 26, the Wallace Global Fund and their many partners announced a significant update for the Divest-Invest movementnearly $40 trillion has now been divested from the fossil fuel industry. After a decade of work, the Divest-Invest movement is seeing true progress in combating climate change. Fenton produced this video to chart the movement’s growth:
 

 

We’ll share more of our 2021 insights and stories from the ground here on the Fenton blog over the next few weeks. Stay tuned, and share this newsletter with friends and colleagues. Bookmark our blog and follow along for more updates.