Impact and Knowledge Exchange Project Journey to Justice

Grassroots storytelling and community building for economic justice

This project is supported by The University of Nottingham’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account ES/T501992/1.

ESRC Postdoctoral Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellow - July-Dec 2022

In collaboration with the national human rights education charity Journey to Justice (JtoJ), this project explores the power of storytelling to create change in communities.

The research collects interviews with long-standing volunteers of JtoJ and evaluation from workshops conducted with Sharewear Clothing Scheme attended by a mix of community organisers, volunteers and academics in the East and West Midlands. 
Participants engage with digital resources created by JtoJ and Dr Abi Rhodes that showcases stories of collective action, non-violent tactics and expert analysis of the root causes of economic inequality and clothing poverty. The resources seek to support communities to take action to address poverty and inequality and consolidate understanding of what a more economically just world could look like.

The research asks: what role does storytelling play in galvanising ‘ordinary people’ to take action for economic justice? It aims to better understand the contribution that storytelling can make in grassroots communities to identify and find solutions to important local issues.

Early analysis of the results reveals the effectiveness of stories, tactics and expert analysis on taking action and creating change for economic equality. This leads to the further development of insights into storytelling as political communication for action.

Outputs - publication, events and conferences

Journal article for the project is available here: 

Rhodes, A., (2022) 'Storytelling for economic justice: the role of stories in galvanising for change', Storytelling, Self, Society, Volume 18, Number 2, pp. 257-278. DOI:

Right to Clothing and Economic Justice workshops - Birmingham and Nottingham

Working with the charity Sharewear Clothing Scheme, two workshops explore the right to clothing and its link with economic justice. The sessions introduce participants to the work Sharewear does, while also exploring economic justice and how to make clothing accessible to all. There is an opportunity for participants to think about the issue of clothing poverty, fast fashion and economic justice with the view to working out how they would campaign to ensure everyone has the right to clothing.

Further information

Birmingham workshop - November 1st 2022, 12.30-2.30pm, at Assay Studios, Birmingham, England.  The room space was generously provided by Let’s Feed Brum. A warm write of the event appeared in the St Chad's Sanctuary Bulletin.

Nottingham workshop - December 7th 2022, 2.00-4.00pm, at Djanogly International Centre (DICe), Room DIC015CR, Clarendon Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LP  

Knowledge Exchange Symposium
- Nottingham
A symposium exploring research on storytelling, and the work of the human rights education charity, Journey to Justice, and clothing poverty alleviation charity, Sharewear.

This Symposium introduced participants to the work both charities do, while also exploring social and economic justice and the power of storytelling for change. There was an opportunity for participants to think about whether economic injustice is the fundamental inequality and time for them think about how to build a campaign.

Further information:
Tuesday November 8th 2022, 1.00-4.00pm (refreshments provided) at Sir Clive Granger Building A45, University of Nottingham, University Park Campus, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group Annual (Hybrid) Conference 2022 - 10th-11th November 2022
Paper - Storytelling as political communication for action: grassroots communities and economic justice
Write up

Storytelling for economic justice

A report by Dr Abi Rhodes, Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at University of Nottingham and Project Coordinator with Journey to Justice

The research aimed to better understand the contribution that storytelling and JtoJ’s Economic Injustice resources can make in identifying and finding local solutions to important issues. It does so by asking: what role does storytelling play in galvanising ‘ordinary people’ to take action for economic justice? To explore this question, I conducted interviews with long-standing volunteers of JtoJ and worked with a Nottingham-based charity, Sharewear Clothing Scheme, whose story is told in the resources, to develop a workshop and Knowledge Exchange Symposium (KES) schedule. I also created a questionnaire to collect feedback from each session. Analysis of the answers given in the questionnaire and by interviewees reveals the affective nature of stories and learning-based activities on taking action and creating change for economic and social equality. This offers insights into the role JtoJ’s stories play in galvanising for change, which is the mission of the charity.