March 9, 2013 | News
Eighteen students from across CUNY campuses attended an activist boot camp on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Brooklyn College Women’s Center. The purpose of the boot camp, co-hosted with Betty Yu from The Center for Media Justice, was to teach students the different techniques used to gain traction in advocacy work for their communities.
Students spent the Saturday learning about many areas involved in advocacy including how to identify problems in their communities; develop an understanding of the issues; analyze the bigger picture and the power structures at work; and develop campaign strategies including a plan for running and winning a campaign. Working in small groups, students were told to identify a problematic issue in their community and to formulate a campaign to advocate for change. Students remarked that the mock campaign helped them to understand the different strategies better and how to work with and compromise with others. “I understand how to work with others, and the activity put my skills to the test,” shared one student. Another stated that “Being specific is vital. Changes, even if small or not completely what you want, are possible.” At its conclusion, the workshop participants had learned important lessons noting that in order to make big changes, one can target smaller issues first; and that by building a solid foundation first, one is better positioned to achieve a bigger impact