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Family Story Launches New Site

Family Story, a think tank founded to recognize, validate, and protect the many ways individuals form and re-form families, today announced the launch of its redesigned website at FamilyStoryProject.org. The site features original research, resources, and a new blog which will present timely insights and commentary, information about important campaigns and policy work in the field, and personal storytelling.

Family Story, a think tank founded to recognize, validate, and protect the many ways individuals form and re-form families, today announced the launch of its redesigned website at FamilyStoryProject.org. The site features original research, resources, and a new blog which will present timely insights and commentary, information about important campaigns and policy work in the field, and personal storytelling.

“Families are under attack everywhere you look — immigrant families separated at the border, same-sex adoption under threat, single moms and Black families stereotyped and scapegoated for the issues of the day,” said Nicole Sussner Rodgers, Founder and Executive Director.  “The essence of ‘Make America Great Again’ is dog-whistle nostalgia for a myth of white, middle-class, ‘traditional’ family. That’s not the world we live in, and frankly it’s not one most of us want to go back to.“

Family Story’s mission is to support and defend the dignity, value, and well-being of all families through research and fresh analysis on changing family structures and modern family life; to correct false and deceptive information; and to set the stage for family policy that reflects the realities and needs of all families. Family Story’s work is focused on 5 key areas:

  • Exposing The “Traditional Family” Machine and Its Harms
  • Interrogating The Data on the Evolution of Family
  • Supporting Families Under Attack
  • Providing Tools For Advocates And Journalists
  • Showcasing A Diversity Of Real Families And Telling Better Stories

“Too often we see articles published citing questionable research, that casts the evolution of family in exclusively negative terms, stoking hyped-up fears of family breakdown,” said Rodgers. “These stories help to justify gutting welfare and other social insurance programs by suggesting that if individuals just made better choices about how they form families they wouldn’t need any assistance. We should be asking better questions about family, and policy-makers must stop dictating what form families should take to be worthy of our support.”  

Recent research by Family Story includes “A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families: Representation of Families, By Race, in News and Opinion Media,” co-commissioned with Color of Change, and “Unmarried Women & Mothers,” a survey done in partnership with Lake Research Partners. Both reports received high-profile media coverage in outlets including the Washington Post, Newsweek, Marie Claire, Colorlines, Salon, Psychology Today, and more. Family Story is currently working on a report about the insidious ways research has been weaponized to attack families, to be released in January 2019.

Family Story was founded in 2015 by Rodgers, a former Vice President at Fenton Communications and PhD candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Together with then-Co-Director Mia Birdsong, and support from the NoVo Foundation, Rockefeller Family Fund, and other funders, Family Story has commissioned research, held cross-sector convenings, and developed a number of interventions to counter the largely negative political and cultural response to changes in American family structures. The organization supports the work of advocates on expanding definitions of family, paid family leave, and other issues.

Highlights of Family Story’s work are available here and include a video on the truth about so-called “traditional” nuclear families, cross-sector convenings in Washington DC and Berkeley, California, an “All Our Families” storytelling series, regular media commentary on a wide range of issues and opinion pieces like “There’s Nothing Dysfunctional About Single Motherhood” and “Marriage is No Safeguard Against Poverty.”

“We envision a world in which any individuals bonded by love, support, or care for each other, who are interdependent by choice or circumstance, can be recognized as family; a world which elevates the strengths and ingenuity of all types of families rather than focusing on their perceived deficits; a world where we are served by inclusive policies and in which we are able to form and re-form families–free from judgment and discrimination,” reads Family Story’s vision statement.

For more on Family Story’s work or to interview Executive Director Nicole Rodgers, please contact media@familystoryproject.org.

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