Live From Summit 2017: Viewing Our Students and Communities as Assets, Not Problems

May 17, 2017

This provocative session was led by Trabian Shorters, CEO of BMe Community. The session explores the award-winning approach called “asset-framing” to foster understanding and inspire constructive action to counter the narratives that the students and communities we serve are “threats” to America’s future.


Some key quotes and takeaways from the session:

  • “Asset-framing is defining people by their aspirations and contributions, then acknowledging the challenges – which extend beyond them—and investing in them for their continued benefit to society.”
  • “Deficit-framing is defining people by their problems, ignoring their contributions, then remediating them to be less burdens on society.”
  • “People make decisions based on priming, anchoring, substitution, and confirmation bias – all of which happen before thought.”
  • “The mind is prone to disregard ‘facts’ that do not fit its associated narratives.”
  • “Narrative and storytelling is a form of cultural grooming – every story you tell has a moral to it – every time you tell a story, you’re reinforcing a moral.”
  • We don’t have as much exposure to assets in communities as deficit-based facts and statistics – why is your knowledge pejorative only?
    • 95% of black millionaries are not through sports, even though most people would assume the opposite.
  • “Your brain floods with associations automatically. If all you can quote are negatives, then your brain literally blocks out positive associations. So you ignore at least half of your potential solutions To see more clearly, you need better frames.”