Jhmira Alexnder, president and executive director of Public Narrative.

Happy anniversary (month) to us, narrative change community!

When I started here at Public Narrative in November 2019, I set out to become a student of the organization. As its next president and executive director, I knew I needed to understand Public Narrative’s past to ideate its future. And I can write to you today with immense gratitude. The last three years have taught me so much. I’ve learned from many of this institution’s wealthy history makers and supporters — from past leadership and board directors to journalists and community members relying on and benefitting from Public Narrative’s 30+ years of journalism, communications and media literacy expertise and resources.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the city of Chicago, I knew just how important it was to keep Public Narrative accessible to all through all the people and organizations that have recognized it as a beacon for building bridges in the hardest of times. Public Narrative shifted its operations model to survive the financial challenges the virus brought to many organizations across the city. Still, we produced essential training, listening sessions and our signature Community Media Awards.

In the last three years of my leadership, we have:

  • Created building blocks for making vital public health research more translatable for journalists to disseminate in their reporting.
  • Provided communications training for Black and Brown community small business owners and nonprofit leaders to tell better stories and build unique relationships with media makers.
  • Engaged Black and Brown youth interested in storytelling and produced our youth-led podcast, “Our Stories, Our World.”

Under my leadership, we’ve grown our narrative change community. We’re building unique and lasting relationships between communities and media makers by identifying key community issues in public health, public safety and education that impact everyday life for Chicagoans and beyond. As a result, we’re working with more journalists, researchers, caregivers, youth, members of law enforcement, educators and other professionals in the nonprofit space to ensure the actual shifts in the existing narratives — especially those that disproportionately impact marginalized people.

Entering my fourth year at Public Narrative, we’ve expanded our team with two program managers in youth justice, public safety and education. And with a new director of journalism and media engagement, we are weaving connections for our growing portfolio of narrative change through forthcoming updates on essential Public Narrative resources, programming and workshops.

But know this: Public Narrative could not do this work without your support. 

And to continue to build on all that we have accomplished together so far, I’m asking that you support Public Narrative’s mission of balancing, leveraging and engaging with the public narrative through equity, inclusivity and authenticity frameworks with a donation today.

There’s much to be done. So please help celebrate my fourth year as Public Narrative’s president and executive director by making a donation. Whether $4, $40 or $400 — no investment in shifting the public narrative is too small.

Thank you again, and happy anniversary to us! 🥳 


In solidarity,

Jhmira Alexander
President & Executive Director