From Online Awareness to Real-World Change
On Wednesday, June 21st, three organizations joined Information for Action to present how to go from online awareness to real-world change. Here are highlights from their presentations. A download of the presentation is available below.
We live in an increasingly digital world: according to recent studies, 80 percent of Americans get their news through social media or online sources, 48 percent of us are following issues but not actively getting involved, and Facebook users spend around 50 minutes a day on the platform. How we consume information for real-world change has completely shifted. In this context “slacktivism” has been lauded and criticized. It is the act of supporting a cause via liking, sharing, or commenting about an issue through social media (for more articles on the issue check out our previous twitter posts). This can be hugely powerful to promote movements. It also isn’t the entire picture – real-world engagement is also important for sustained change.
The way we respond to hot button issues is evolving. The news cycle is churning out headlines every hour that provoke our passions and stoke our fears. Harnessing this digitally-sparked motivation and breathing life into it is what three organizations are doing. Here are highlights from their presentations:
Key Question: How do we help people understand purchasing a cup of coffee makes a huge impact?
Highlights from Doug Hewitt, Co-founder
Key Question: How can we put Indigenous rights and territories at the forefront of the fight to defend our planet?
Highlights from Christian Poirier, Program Director
Christian coordinated Amazon Watch’s Brazil Program since 2009 and also led the organization’s efforts to encourage a shift toward non-hydro energy alternatives in Brazil’s electricity matrix. He has over sixteen years experience in the fields of international development and advocacy focusing on environmental, agrarian, and social justice issues. Surprisingly to some, California is a major importer of Amazon crude and Amazon Watch is leading the way to pressure companies to stop the practice of drilling in the Amazon. Whether Californians’ know it or not, they have the unique potential to make a huge impact in the fight for the plant. Through advocacy, awareness, and collaboration, Californians can make a difference by joining Amazon Watch’s efforts to lobby for an end to crude drilling in the Amazon. In addition, by empowering and protecting Indigenous leaders, homegrown efforts can thrive to stop the supply of oil from the Amazon while also preserving the Amazon rainforest. Join Amazon Watch’s campaigns and learn more at www.amazonwatch.org
Key Question: How do we shift from power ‘over’ to power ‘with’?
Highlights from Ashlee George, Senior Program Associate
An Oakland, California native, Ashlee is deeply committed to social justice with an emphasis on healing. She has amassed a range of expertise in restorative justice philosophy and practices, curriculum design and development (especially development of youth curriculums and programs), restorative practices training, and pre-adjudication diversion. As Einstein said, “If we want to solve a problem, we can’t solve it if we continue to think the same way we were thinking when we created it.” Restorative Justice helps us to re-think the status quo of criminal justice, which currently asks three questions when a crime is committed: What rule/ law was broken? Who broke it? What punishment is deserved? Restorative Justice asks instead: Who was harmed? What are their needs? Whose obligation is it to meet those needs? Once we shift our thinking, Impact Justice believes we can help divert youth from the criminal justice system through community programs, reduce recidivism by improving prison conditions, and strengthen communities through research and engagement. Various opportunities to volunteer, learn more, and support communities across the country are available at www.impactjustice.org