No one wants to meet roadblocks to changing the world, but when we do, we need to know how to overcome them. The tools we need already exist- we just need to find them. Sometimes everything we need is within reach; other times, our friends and family have them. The things we need to change the world are almost always in our communities, even if we can’t see them.
The following questions are designed to help you explore why, what, how, and where you can find the resources you need to change the world. Give careful thought to why and when you need these resources.
WHO needs to be involved?!?
- Who does our action immediately affect? Who does it indirectly affect?
- Who else wants to see change in your community? What do they stand for? Who and what do they stand against?
- What people do we need to take action? Are we the people most affected by the problem? Are we engaging the people most affected? Do we need a small team? A large crowd? Mass mobilization? City-wide action? A national effort? A global movement?
- What specific jobs can specific people do to get our aims done? Why do we need these jobs done? Background researching, phone calling, web outreach, group meetings.
- Who can help us? Friends, people we know, people we don’t know, felllow students, teachers, college professors, parents, community activists?
- What skills do people in our community have?
WHAT are we trying to accomplish?
- Have we explored our assumptions?
- Do we have reasonable, accomplishable goals?
- Are our goals measurable- can we see the outcomes?
WHEN are we trying to make change happen?
- Do we have a timeline set?
- Do we have reasonable expectations?
- Have we asked people who have done this before?
WHERE are we trying to make change?
- What is the scope of our action- our neighborhood, city, state, nation, or is it global? Why work beyond our community?
- Where does our action immediately affect?
- What are the traditional places in your community to get the resources you need? Schools, churches, businesses, community groups, foundations…
- What are the nontraditional places in your community to get the resources you need? Family, friends, children, youth, seniors, activist groups..
HOW do we get the job done?!?
- Do we need to learn more about the issue? Conduct background research? Map our community?
- What can our culture provide to our action? What customs, language, morals, literature, dance, art, poetry, philosophy, religion, ideals and rituals can help us?
- What physical materials are needed? Where can we acquire those materials? What are the instruments, tools, machines, clothes, or other things we need? Why do we need them?
- Do we need space for our work? Can we meet at someone’s house, in our school, at the community center, or in the park?
- What about money?
5 IMPORTANT Points
- Before you ask anyone for anything, give careful thought to why and when you need it- your first “ask” might be your only one.
- Document the reasons you need certain items. This may be useful for future “asks”. It might look like this: “(4) gardening hoes – Two for each community garden plot” or like this: “Conducted a community drive for spray paint for a new youth-created graffiti mural, intended to establish ownership and belonging for youth downtown.”
- What is the expected outcome if you get what you need? Make sure you let givers know that, as well as the recipients of your intended action.