Engage for Change is an online, interactive Civics course that gives participants the tools they need to advocate for positive social changes in their communities. Participants will learn the background and strategies for social change movements in North America. Participants will be encouraged to interact, organize, and collaborate on pragmatic solutions to community-based issues.
Participants will develop a plan for social change within their own community. Key activities will include clarifying a community project issue, identifying and collaborating with stakeholders and creating a draft pitch for a social change project with the use of case study examples.
Participants should have a sense of the various types of the pragmatics of community organizing as well as a multi-faceted perspective of the view of various stakeholders within a particular community.
- Provide participants with real-life community-based communication and organizational tools to advocate for an issue or cause that participants are engaged with deeply.
- Encourage participants to experience various stakeholder positions, even ones opposed to their own philosophies, on an issue important to them, so as to foster a comprehensive understanding of a controversial community issue.
- Prepare and practice presentations to deliver participants’ advocacy positions clearly.
- Provide participants with the tools to research and fact-check a myriad of statistical and organizational information from various stakeholders who are engaged in public relations for their project proposals.
- Practice and refine debating, questioning, clarifying, and interrogative skills in public communications.
- Foster a sense of hope, determination, and an ability to be a transformative change agent in the local community.
- Research various positions and perspectives on a social change topic.
- Understand the various types of social change strategies employed throughout recent history by various organizations and leaders.
Module 1: Class introductions and course orientation
Module 2: Civil Rights and Social Movements readings and classifications including
- Direct Action – Civil Disobedience
- Resistance and Disengagement
- Sanctioned Protest
- Education, Media, and Information Outreach
- Legal Advocacy and Hearings Intervenors
- Arts Advocacy
- Online Social MediaMovement (#hashtag movements)
- Consumer Boycotts and Economic Sanctions
- Socially Conscious Ad Campaigns and Company Products
- Parody and Satirical Commentary
- Destigmatizing Labels
Online discussion of the effectiveness of a #hashtag social movement.
Module 3: Analysis of two Community Change Case Studies
Analyze two community projects from initial needs appraisal at the grassroots stage to the final construction.
Module 4: Steps in developing a Project Pitch Proposal
Including steps of pitch, stakeholders, publicity, actions, and funding.
Program length: 4 weeks with an interactive online or classroom format
Total student time commitment: 10 hours/wk
Class meeting location
- Online discussions – 2 hrs
- Real video conference for group work to be determined by the group on weekends
Estimated individual study time/week: 2hrs
Estimated Group work time: 2 hrs
Minimum / Maximum enrollment: 5/20
- The attached reading Civil Rights Movement classification is a general and malleable list of definitions, or activities, for social advocacy that can be used for analyzing different group’s approaches. Please read these over for the Thursday/Friday online class discussions
- Civil Movement Background Reading- this is a list of links of various organizations engaged in social change since the 1960s. Read over the summaries in the reading. Peruse some of the links on the list that interest you. Be prepared to discuss some of the related questions below. Your group will also be using some of these groups as activity examples in the latter part of the week.
- https://tuppergreenway.wordpress.com/(Links to an external site.)
- https://www.straight.com/article/tupper-moves-ahead-with-lanot-memorial(Links to an external site.)
- https://il-asla.org/award/grant-park-skate-park/ (Links to an external site.)
- Chicago's skateboarding community at odds with city over code (Links to an external site.)
- A list of some of the great skateboard related nonprofits that help give ...
This course is for people interested in community advocacy but who do not have extensive experience in community organizing.
The second course is a workshop component, wherein first participants look at the problems of a Vancouver community radio station and study the parts of an example project proposal to address that problem. Then the participants make a proposal statement (pitch) about a local project of their own and then they, create a proposal, along with a list of strategies for each step.
Mentor(s): (To Be Determined)
Designers (s): Charles Coderre, M.Ed.