It’s never been a more exciting time for social justice – the internet has opened up a whole world of activism and movements for change that are suddenly accessible to anyone at the click of a mouse. Not only can real change be made as a result, but young people can use activism to learn about important issues affecting the world around them, to communicate, coordinate and learn from others in different countries, and even sharpen up a whole host of new skills that will be useful for College or University applications and future CVs!
Here are 5 easy ways they can get started…
1. Become an Activist!
Brilliant website Do Something is specially designed for young people and gives them handy advice and tips on how to change the world, with advice on how to get together with other like-minded activists, and information on important campaigning issues like animal rights, bullying, disasters, discrimination, homelessness and poverty. It’s the perfect starter kit for any enthusiastic student looking to make a difference
2. Start a Tumblr!
Brilliant website Tumblr is one of the best ways to share information, pictures and ideas about a cause quickly and easily online and it’s fast gaining a reputation for being at the forefront of the online social justice movement. Advise students to use hashtags to make sure other people can find their content more easily, and follow similar campaign organisations to repost their ideas and calls to action.
3. Make a T Shirt!
There are so many online T-shirt design companies available now that it’s become quick, easy and inexpensive to design your own slogan and have it printed and on your back within a couple of days! Try Streetshirts or Café Press, where you can even add a photo to your design to demonstrate your cause for real impact, whether it’s a puppy or a melting ice cap.
4. Start a Petition!
Thanks to brilliant, simple-to-use websites like Change.org it has never been simpler to find thousands of people around the world to rally round your cause. The website is easy and free to use – just work out exactly what you want to say, perhaps bullet pointing the main ideas so it’s clear to the reader immediately what you think needs to happen and why. You can also use the site to directly address someone in a position to affect change – you can petition anyone, from the manager of your local library to the President of the United States!
5. Use Social Media!
Once you’ve started a petition, it’s important to get the word out to help it grow! Starting a Facebook page is a great way to raise awareness, allowing you to add articles and pictures to support your cause, and get others’ input too (have a look at No More Page 3 for inspiration – they’ve managed to use Facebook to drive traffic to their petition very effectively, collecting nearly 100,000 signatures!)
Have your students used the internet successfully for activism? Let us know below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, boltron-.