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Social change wheel

Adapted from the Minnesota Campus Contact Social Change Wheel available at https://mncampuscompact.org/programs/publications/social-change-wheel/For use by Dorchester Bay Youth Force, May 2020



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Strategies that can contribute to social change

Supporting (advocating for) an idea or cause; advocates will often advocate for specific laws and policiesExamplesTalking or writing to individuals, groups, or elected officials about a specific cause, such as homelessness in BostonSharing information about your cause in a workshop or on social media

Tactics that directly address problems and goals; can be nonviolent or violent; nonviolent direct action includes civil disobedienceExamplesProtestsStrikesSit-insHacktivismStreet blockades

Actions that help to meet meet people's immediate needs, like food, housing, safety, and education; can also be called "direct service"ExamplesServing food at a soup kitchenTutoring a younger student

Efforts that provide economic opportunities for communities and improve social conditions, including people's quality of lifeExamplesDorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation's workSmall business loans or training for local entrepreneursAffordable housing development

Participating in and mobilizing others to participate in elections and electoral politicsExamplesVotingHelping register people to voteRunning for public office or volunteering on a campaign

Donating money or goods to help other people and/or a social causeExamplesHolding a fundraising event for a local nonprofitDonating clothes to a shelter

When groups of people or communities work cooperatively to take care of one another and ensure everyone's survival, especially when the systems we live under fail to meet our needsExamplesNeighborhood mutual aid networks in response to COVID

Using principles of business and entrepreneurship to benefit society and address problemsExamplesLaunching a business that employees community members and increases local access to nutritious and affordable foodDeveloping a new product that provides clean water to people in areas without it

The process of gathering people together who are part of the same community, in order to build power and take collective action, with the goal of achieving concrete and long-lasting changeExamplesDeveloping a campaign to increase transportation equity along the Fairmount LineDeveloping a campaign to get Boston Public Schools to protect undocumented immigrant students

Acting on your values and beliefs in your everyday lifeExamplesChallenging racist or sexist words or behaviorShopping at locally owned businessesLimiting your electricity use

"You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored."-Martin Luther King, Jr., from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

"Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world." -Dolores Heurta, labor organizer, co-founder of the United Farm Workers labor union

"If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time." -Marian Wright Edelman, Founder & President of the Children's Defense Fund