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How we work

RBC seeks to build knowledge, power, and community by helping our clients answer society’s pressing questions, while creating spaces for organic collaboration. Bringing together research and community, RBC provides hands-on strategic communications, applied research, and convening support. Through a participatory approach to research design and messaging development, we aim to demystify the narrative process, and provide our clients and the communities they serve with actionable tools and insights.

Past Projects 


  • Challenge: In 2022, we were commissioned  by Education Trust-West/Sobrato Philanthropies to help them better understand and address the underlying beliefs and assumptions about multilingual learners — including K-12 English learners and young dual language learners — and champion a new narrative that centered asset orientations, racial equity, and youth voice.

  • Strategy: We designed a three-part research and messaging project, which included: an extensive review and synthesis of existing literature and messaging material; qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, including advocates in the field, teachers, students, and parents; the development and administration of a statewide representational survey; message testing and audience segmentation; and finally the creation of a messaging guide to be distributed to the wider field.

  • Impact: Research revealed key actionable insights establishing that there was fertile ground for a new narrative related to English learners and dual language learners in California.


  • Challenge: As part of the Gates Foundation’s broader efforts to understand the mechanism that results in narrative change and what elements can be replicated across the field, The Opportunity Agenda received funding to conduct research to examine the communication efforts of advocates working to shift the narrative on a range of issue areas. 

  • Strategy: We designed case studies that examined advocates' efforts to reshape the narrative in six different issues areas. In all, we interviewed twenty-eight individuals whose input was critical to our understanding of how the narratives had changed over time.  For example, in the case of the death penalty, our interviewees include Bryan Stevenson, Sister Helen Prejean, and Richard Dieter, the founding director of the Death Penalty Information Center.  Their memories and analyses illuminated a four-decades-long process that moved American public opinion from strong support of the death penalty to its waning popularity today.

  • Impact: In addition to the 114-page report, “Shifting the Narrative: Six Case Studies” published in  2021, we developed five podcasts based on the studies in which the voices of people directly impacted by the issue were paramount.

Our Values 

We are guided by the following key values:

Radical Inclusion

We believe in creating solutions that are accessible and actionable for all audiences, particularly those directly impacted by social inequities

Centering those directly impacted

We believe those directly impacted by social inequities are the best positioned to drive change. We center traditionally underserved communities in the development of research designs and strategy solutions

Collaboration first

We know the best results are achieved when there is widespread buy-in and all impacted stakeholders feel heard. Collaboration is a central component of our approach - informing of work from design to dissemination. 

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