Think about, Act on it, Stand for it
How can young people create positive change with their voices and action?
- Paper and pencils
- Chart paper
In this activity, youth explore the process of social change to make a positive difference for the good of all. Participants discuss a community need, design a process for change, and recruit others to the cause through small group activities and role-playing.
- The facilitator forms small groups of 4-5 people and asks them to find a quiet place in the room. Next, they pass a box containing some scenarios of community problems that need to be addressed. See these issue area toolkits for ideas. Each small group takes one. Note, this activity may be completed remotely by incorporating breakout rooms via platforms such as ZOOM.
- After each small group has their scenario, they are asked to follow these four steps of social action.
Think About It
Each small group should consider their scenario and begin to write down or draw some ideas on how their group or other individuals might address the community need. Brainstorm for 5-10 minutes. These toolkits provide many ideas.
Act On It
They decide how best to address the need. They plan a short presentation with the goal of recruiting others to help their group address their community need. Using their voice in advocacy is a form of philanthropy.
Stand For It
After each small group makes their presentation to the full group, each individual participant decides which of the community needs they feel passionate about supporting. They move around the room and stand by the issue of their choice. Each participant should listen to their heart when making this choice: What spoke to them?
With the new groups formed, they make a plan of action using the Live It Handout (handout below).
- Discuss the process of change:
- A person needs to think about it.
- A person needs to act on it.
- A person needs to stand for it.
- A person needs to live it.
- People can be sparked to think about an issue, such as helping people who are homeless, and learn about causes and effects. Someone can act on their interest by volunteering at the rescue mission or delivering supplies. Sometimes people stand for it by talking to their family and friends about the problem of homelessness and getting their support to help. When someone lives it, they make a commitment to learn more and stay involved until the need is addressed.
Each of the acts is important, but if the goal is to have change occur, then a person needs to do all four -- think, act, stand, and live.
- Describe what you liked about the activity and why.
- In what ways is it important to do all of the above steps?
- What were some of the reasons you chose the need you wanted to address?
- How do the four steps apply to other decisions you make in your everyday life? How does it help you grow as a person?
- How do these four steps apply to caring and sharing for others?
- What would happen if citizens did not take a stand on issues in which they believe?
- In what ways does democracy promote civic action of this sort and in what ways does it hinder it?
In conclusion, explain to the group that “Think about It, Act on It, Stand for It and Live It” is the process for change. What every person does is important. Each action taken is part of a bigger process to create an increasingly more positive society. In the process, each individual will experience personal human growth and development, even when things don’t go exactly as planned.