Student Action Project
Here is an action project that students carry out in our courses. But really, it can also be a guide for anybody wanting to plan a political action. We suggest working with others, but you can do the action on your own. From our experience, students who work individually almost always reflect that they wish they had worked in groups. As Margaret Meade reminds us: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has”.
What:What issue(s) are you trying to address?
So What: Who does this affect and why does it matter? How are you located in this power dynamic? Who are your allies? What do you anticipate as obstacles to making change? What assumptions are you making about how change happens? What challenges have been raised about this kind of action and how do you respond?
Now What:What can you do to address these power dynamics? What is your plan for action? Are you planning an individual or collective action? Who needs to be involved for this to be effective? Does your action involve speaking for others, rescuing others, or being philanthropic? Does this action challenge interlocking systems of oppression? How will this meet your goals?
What:What did you do?
So What:How did things change from the action plan? What challenges did you face? Did you meet your goals? To what extent have your views on change (and yourself as an agent of change) been modified, challenged or reinforced by this project (refer to your response in the action plan)? What key lessons have you learned about making change?
Now What:What will (would) you do differently next time? How will (could) you build on this action?