The Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network has debuted a new website, featuring its “Action Frame” — 10 questions designed to guide young people on how to make civic change in this digital age. From the website:
Sixties activists insisted the personal is political. Change-makers in the digital age get that idea, and one-up it with another rallying cry: the political is social and cultural. Your platforms and digital strategies need to make this principle count, so that you, your peers, and your audiences engage each other, and the allies you all want, in high-quality, equitable, and effective participation in digital-age civics, activism, and politics. What’s more, you need digital environments that actively support the secure development of your identities as participants in public spheres, so your civic and political engagement today doesn’t harm or haunt you later. Thinking that through comes first.
Whether you’re creating your first Facebook page to support a cause you care about, or seeking to engage your friends, associates, and even strangers in a new platform aimed to achieve civic ends, these 10 questions will help frame your decisions. Use them to shape your strategy and to check whether you’re doing everything in your power to achieve maximum impact. These principles have been developed on the basis of national research (by the MacArthur Foundation research network on youth and participatory politics) on experiences and structures that support young people’s agency with respect to matters of public concern.
Rather than a list of to-dos, we opted to form a framework for thoughtful practice. The framework is based on 10 key questions. With these principles, we seek to help change-makers get smarter about the best use of digital tools and platforms for their specific efforts, based on what we’ve learned from youth-driven campaigns and organizations pursuing a hugely diverse range of civic and political activities, “By Any Media Necessary” (as the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics crew says!) across the US. We seek to cultivate nimbleness in the people who use these principles — not entrenched practices but the capacity to adjust and pivot as circumstances change, which they always do.
- Why does it matter to me?
- How much should I share?
- How do I make it about more than myself?
- Where do we start?
- How can we make it easy and engaging?
- How do you get wisdom from crowds?
- How do you handle the downside of crowds?
- Does raising voices count as political action?
- How do we get from voice to change?
- How can we find allies?
Banner image credit: YPP
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