Created: March 2017
Last Updated: April 2020
This learning experience is part of a playlist — two or more learning experiences focused on specific areas of the digital world. You can find this playlist, Creating the Change You Want, here. This particular learning experience is the first in a sequence of six. Learning experiences in a playlist build off of each other, but they were designed so that they can also be completed on their own!
|Group or individual activity:||Individual|
|Ages:||13-18 years old|
|Online / offline elements:||This learning experience contains an offline activity and challenge.|
Main area: Civic and Political Engagement
Additional areas: Content Production, Context, Digital (Literacy), Identity Exploration and Formation, Information Quality, Media (Literacy), Positive / Respectful Behavior
|License:||This learning experience has been created by Youth and Media and is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 4.0 International license. For more information, please visit https://dcrp.berkman.harvard.edu/about|
Learn about the concept of advocacy by identifying an one issue that affects your community and consider two positive changes that you want to see in the future concerning that problem.
[Optional] Computer or mobile device with Internet access
[Optional] Pen or pencil
Report: The World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement - by The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
Website: Fight for $15: About Us - by Fight for $15
Website: Women’s March Unity Principles - by Women’s March
Website: #Enough: National School Walkout - by Women’s March
Video: What Is Advocacy? - by Advocates for Children and Youth
Video: Fight for 15 - by Fight for $15
Video: How Do I Get Started? - by YouthInFront
Video: What Happens After the March? - by YouthInFront
Video: Why Protest? - by YouthInFront
There are many aspects of our communities and surroundings that we appreciate. Maybe we are grateful for our friends. Maybe we love having the opportunity to listen to new music from artists we like. Or perhaps we enjoy getting to play on a certain sports team.
However, sometimes there are aspects of our community that don’t sit well with us. Let’s say you noticed that the transportation options where you live are not designed to take you places you need to go. Perhaps your school just put a new dress code in place, requiring expensive clothes that your family can’t afford How might you try to change that?
In these kinds of situations, we often feel like things might be better if we were able to change what bothers us. This desire to stick up for what you believe in and create change is called “advocacy.” If you’d like, check out the resources above and learn more about how people have tried to solve issues that affect their communities.
You’ll then identify one issue in your community that you’re passionate about and some next steps you and your community might take to solve this problem.
Identify some aspect of your community (a “community” could be your school, neighborhood, or a local group you belong to) that you would like to change. You can talk to your friends and / or family about things they would like to change or about the problems affecting them. Feel free to visually represent these issues (e.g., a drawing, digital collage, etc.) Next, write a paragraph briefly describing one such issue, which will be the cause you will be advocating for if you choose to complete the other learning experiences that are part of this playlist. Note at least two different ways the issue is damaging your community and two potential ways to solve this problem.
Excellent job finishing this challenge! We are sure that others would love to see what you learned! If possible, please share your write-up (and photos / drawings, if you took or created some!) with an educator, mentor, or advisor, or a family member or friend (this can be the same person you spoke to earlier, if you chose to do so, or someone new). You are also welcome to share your write-up with the Youth and Media team through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please specify the title of the learning experience in the subject line of the email.