Activism events, links, and resources anyone?
November 19, 2007 12:57 AM   Subscribe

We have a club that has just started and the purpose of the club is to create awareness and provide events that deal with: Humanitarian, Social, and Environmental Issues. In short it is an activism club. I was wondering of the metalfilter community could provide us with any events having to do with H/E/S issues (preferrably not just community service) and also perhaps links or resources. It would be greatly appreciated if you could all contribute before next Monday because we are beginning to lose the interest of many of our members due to the fact that we have not established any solid events. Much thanks to those that contribute! :]
posted by meta.mark to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Where are you?
Who are you? students? employees? neighbourhood group? religious?
Do you want existing events or to organise your own?
I'm more than happy to encourage an activism club, but we need some more information.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:49 AM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: We are a large group of students in Cupertino. I speak for the officers of the club and we would like to organize existing events but also our own. At the moment our priority is existing events so that we can give members and opportunity to be active.
posted by meta.mark at 2:54 AM on November 19, 2007

there are a lot of ways to go.

yall could organize to travel to the republican national convention protests at the end of next summer.

you could have speakers, lectures, workshops... or films and entertainers who allign with your politics. check for some good ideas.

consider organizing a Food Not Bombs chapter, if you've got the resources.
posted by entropone at 5:13 AM on November 19, 2007

I like the cut of your jib there...

- What are you an activist about?
- What have you got?

Seriously, though, here's a site that might be worth checking.
posted by Phanx at 5:44 AM on November 19, 2007

A great resource is SEAC ( They're entirely student/youth run, focus on just the kinds of issues you got, have a strong bench of resources built up over the years for starting up new groups and getting it all going ( and I can't recommend them enough.

First, if you're college kids, start with an issue film series (Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation, They Live, etc). Do five films over five nights (so people who have classes on different nights can attend at least one), then have a open discussion after the films (bring the chairs into a circle and talk about them). Have Pizza.
Second, pick two campaigns, one for the new kids (ending styrofoam on campus, etc) and one for the more radical ones (counter recruitment).
Don't be a group that enforces a powerful central leadership that wants to dictate activities and "allow participation" for everyone else.

Check out the SEAC stuff and call them. They rock.
posted by history is a weapon at 6:19 AM on November 19, 2007

Oh, and I can't believe I forgot
posted by history is a weapon at 6:20 AM on November 19, 2007

When you've got a dry week, write Amnesty International letters. I was in a club in high school where each week they would give us a document about some really heinous human rights abuse, we'd spend the week writing a letter about it, and then the club would use our dues to mail it off. It definitely raised my consciousness of human rights violations all over the world, and when I grew up and had a little more dough I joined Amnesty straight away.

I don't know how effective it was, though. I remember writing to Robert Mugabe back in freshman year of high school and that bad boy is still up to his old tricks.
posted by crinklebat at 6:23 AM on November 19, 2007

I could be wrong here, but it sounds to me as if you're looking for some sort of calendar of activist events you can plan local campus events around. That sort of thing?

The UN has a calendar of World days; December 1 is World Aids Day, for example, and December 10 is Human Rights Day. For WAD you could organise condom distribution with your school's health service, and for HRD you could learn and then teach other students how they can be activists for human rights, perhaps in conjunction with your local Amnesty chapter. I'm sure you can be more creative, but the UN calendar would provide you with international events to organise around locally.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2007

You could also go local. Find your local battered women's shelter, or food bank, or that sort of thing and talk with them about volunteer hours or ways you could hold fundraisers for them (which could be the kind of fun event that would get you more visibility among possible new members) on campus.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:52 PM on November 19, 2007

I like LobsterMitten's suggestion to focus on local issues.

In our small town, we have a new community activist group made up primarily of students from our state university. They are focusing on a local environmental issue and are creating lots of enthusiasm -- even among townies who previously semi-ignored anything the students did. This activist group even held a little artsy-craftsy show in a town park and sold BBQ sandwiches on the side. They didn't make much money, but it's a start.
posted by Smalltown Girl at 10:29 AM on November 21, 2007

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