THE
YOUNG
ACTIVIST
TOOLKIT

1.

DEFINE YOUR WHY

•Who are you doing this for?
•Why are you doing this?
•What do you hope to accomplish?
•How can you do this?
•Who can help you?
2.

CREATE YOUR PLAN

•Establish a committee or group
•Research the issue
•Compile  research to form a letter
•Post the letter/statement publicly
•Identify your action
3.

TAKE ACTION

•Protest: express an objection
•Rally: come together for purpose
•Policy: engage with government
•Boycott: stop buying goods
•Fundraising:  financial support

PROTEST

Establish start and end time. Choose a location that is easily accessible to other protestors so you can start on time. Create or have rally chants ready to go that align to the message and the demands; example “ No Justice, No Peace!”. Make sure to have bullhorns so your message is heard loud and clear. Bring posters, signs and any powerful visual representations that help to send your message. Stay United- start together and end together. Do not engage with police for the sake of creating conflict. Assign 5-10 people to write down badge numbers and names as well as film the police if they abuse their position and become aggressive and violent (it’s important that these people don’t make themselves noticeable as they do this- be discreet in order to protect and preserve the movement).

RALLY

Repeat the same steps from Protest..annnd) Create an agenda/program of dynamic YOUTH speakers (community leaders, performing artists etc). Reach out to the local news stations to cover the event ( one of your adult allies can help with this). Make sure to make very clear demands for what it is you want changed for example “ We are demanding the city give 2 million dollars to our local community centers to provide after school care”.

Policy

Identify and know who your local elected officials are ( town/city council members, school board members, Mayor, Governor, County/City Supervisors, State Assembly Members, Congress, Senators. Find out when and where they have meetings and organize your group to attend (even if virtually; their meetings regarding the community and policy are open to the public and open to public comment- usually no more than 2minutes per person). Email, write and call their offices to set up a “meet and greet” and come ready with your questions and list of demands. Email and call daily until they have given you an update about your demands-remember that there are adults who can help you (community leaders, mentors, religious leaders, teachers, family members, neighbors).

BOYCOTT & FUNDRAISE

Organizing an action to stop spending money on companies and corporations that perpetuate systems of racism, discrimination and oppression-organizing social media campaigns against injustice or for justice. Organizing bake sales / or other fundraisers and donating proceeds to black businesses or non profit / community based organizations that are supporting Black Lives Matter and other social causes.

ADDITIONAL HELP

Talk  about current events with your friends, peers and family members to understand different perspectives. Research, read and try to gain a full understanding of racism, groups that have been traditionally faced discrimination, gender bias, systems of oppression, and how they impact you and/or the people you love. Talk to your teachers and school leaders about how your school can support the cause. If you are 18 or older vote locally too!

THINGS TO REMEMBER

Find adults and community organizations to donate snacks and waters to you and your fellow activists at protests and rallies. Communicate your plans to at least two people you trust who will not be at the protest or rally. If you are under the age of 18 you cannot be arrested without the notification and presence of a suitable adult in your life. You have the right to remain silent until your guardian can get you support with legal aid. If you for any reason engage with the police in a way that feels conflicting, say little to nothing aside from what is asked of you. Anything you say can be used against you.

Do not loot! Remember the juvenile justice system has not been reformed or changed for the better and there are no cameras to catch those officers abusing children. We need you free and safe to continue to lead in the revolution. If your family safety is already threatened by ICE and immigration getting arrested for looting and robbery is a federal offense and could lead to you and your family being in further distress.

Self-Care is important. Drink lots of water. Eat 2-3 meals daily. Sleep 8 hours every night. Take a day off to sit with yourself, your thoughts, and emotions. Take personal time to be creative (journal, draw, paint, music, dance, exercise). Say, “ No” when things don’t feel right.


"Violence is not the answer, We must outsmart, out strategize, and outwork the oppressor... then we can win."