Team: Liz McKenna, Grace Park, Jessica Angel, Amanda Yuen in partnership with DPI collaborators Joy Cushman, Tianyi Hu, and Miriam McKinney Gray

Key Question: What collective capacities do we need to turn values of racial justice and solidarity into political and institutional power?

Research Products: 


DPI, which stands for Democracy, Power, and Innovation, is a new multi-year learning community and research cohort of 14 base-building organizations. It’s funded by a collaborative grantmaking initiative led by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and 2020 Vision Ventures.

The goal is to advance the practice and strategy of organizing, civic engagement, and power building over the next three years by:

  • Building a venue for strategic collaboration and critical reflection among a set of leaders in the sector; and
  • Collecting, analyzing, and publishing sets of organizational data to improve strategy and strengthen the case for base-building as a key strategy to increase civic participation and advance structural reform.

The P3 Lab one of many research partners collaborating with DPI. Our research is focused on data, organizing and power. This includes:

  • mapping the political terrain in all fifty states to better understand the landscape these organizations are building power in;
  • analyzing the characteristics of movements that enable them to build durable multiracial and class conscious governing power;
  • measuring power built by organizational ecosystems in key states;
  • understanding the collective capabilities needed for an organization to wield a constituency-base.

Core to all of our work with DPI is supporting organizational learning and identifying innovative ways of making visible an organization's power. Consequently, we work with organizational staff to support them in applying the learnings from our research and building the infrastructure to capture relevant metrics about their organizing.

Research Partners

Joy Cushman, Democracy and Power Innovation Fund

Miriam McKinney Gray, Democracy and Power Innovation Fund

Tianyi Hu, Democracy and Power Innovation Fund

Katrina Gamble, Sojourn Strategies

Tova Wang, Harvard Ash Center

Sandhya Anantharaman, Kairos

Miya Woolfalk, Analyst Institute

Logos of DPI Organizational Partners

Liz McKenna


PhD student in sociology, UC Berkeley