Sparking Civil Activism at School

What is the injustice we are solving?
I hope to start a club at my school that revolves around us becoming engaged civil activists and leaders who initiate projects that can benefit the school, the community, and beyond. Too often we see that young people want to create change--whether it be hosting a clothing drive for those less fortunate or beginning an environmental campaign for zero waste--but don't know where to start or how to realize those aspirations; something which described me. In launching this club I hope to rally together a family of diverse, compassionate, and selfless leaders who can come together, explore campaigns of interest (political, social, environmental, etc.), and engender a lasting impact through our efforts.
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Fish S.

January 30, 2018

Hey Jing! Awesome to see you create your project! Thanks for sharing your vision for this group. I think this is awesome and super needed -- a space for young people to get together and work on taking action, creating projects that address issues they care about. (Here's the great news -- we can support ALL those projects with tools and funding.)

What are your next steps? Do you have a group of people who will help you create and lead this club? How can we help?
Jing-Jing S.

January 31, 2018

Hi Fish,

My next steps would be to outline exactly which injustices I want to help solve through this club. I hope to organize a clothing and shoe drive (at my school) for those less fortunate in the downtown Cleveland area; host a fundraiser for refugees and natural disaster victims; and promote a campaign for zero waste at my school.

I have friends who would support me through this and I hope to recruit more people. I would greatly appreciate it if you had any advice to guide me through this. Once I have an idea, do I independently contact outside organizations (like UNICEF or city food banks) so we can send them the items and money we collect through drives, or is it better to try to do so on our own?

Thanks so much.
-Jing
Fish S.

February 01, 2018

Hi Jing! Sounds like you have a lot of ideas -- awesome. What's your plan for deciding which one to focus on first?

Sounds like you have a lot of folks involved, too. I'd start by getting your friends together for an initial planning meeting, then asking each of them to bring additional friends to the next meeting -- and reaching out to folks you know are interested in social change at your school! Let people know the purpose of the club and what you hope to do -- as you've just told me.

I think generally it can be better to work with local organizations to distribute the materials you collect, because sending things internationally can have a high cost and you'll be able to impact your own community. But you should send out the resources you collect in whatever way makes sense for you!
Adrian B.

February 02, 2018

Hi Jing!

Wow--you have so many great ideas! I love your enthusiasm and initiative, and how you're already thinking about each step of your plan. That will help you out a lot as you get started and see your project through. It's also great that you have a bunch of people ready to help out and support this work--I'm impressed!

Peace First has many tools that can help you create a successful project. The first step is deciding what injustice you want to focus on for your first project. You have so many great ideas, and it's helpful to pick one to start. We have a number of tools for deciding what you want to focus on. If you go to peacefirst.org/resources, you can check them out--try some of the "choose" tools, and, if you're working with a more cohesive team, see what they want to focus on first.

Once you've decided what you'd like to focus on, we'll move to the next part of the process. :) Let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help in any way!

Best,
Adrian