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Student Social Action Guide: How To Go Beyond Social Media

Off the screens and into the streets: protests, volunteering, clubs, and voting are some of the many ways students can extend their 15-second Black Lives Matter Instagram story into an impactful push for social justice.

Protests, Rallies, and Marches

Attend a protest by joining others on the streets to fight collectively for a cause. Marches are held often across the Bay Area and are a straightforward way to get involved. Online calendars list events for the upcoming months, and logistical information is linked for each event. Sign up for the email list and follow the social media pages of the organizations you care about. In response to current events, many organizations will put out a call asking supporters to rally for their cause. Almost all protests are held outside, so they are safer in regards to COVID-19. Bring a friend, a poster, and your walking shoes to a rally, as you join your community in an active and effective push for change. 

Volunteer

Helping out at a food bank, cleaning up trash at your local park, and tutoring struggling students are some influential ways to get involved in your community. Volunteering opportunities for teens can require a weekly work commitment, or be a one-time job. Find a multitude of volunteer positions online. By actively working in the community, you can directly support the issues that affect the Bay Area the most. 

Join a Club

There are over 90 different clubs at Berkeley High School (BHS), all with different missions and purposes. Many of these clubs, like Advocates for Equal Education (AEE) and Berkeley High School Students Demand Action, focus on social justice and student action. Visit the BHS club list to find information regarding each club’s time requirement, mission statement, and more. By joining, you can learn how to create change both in and outside of the BHS community, all while getting to know your fellow peers. 

Support Small Businesses and Organizations

Instead of buying from Starbucks, visit local Black-owned restaurants, like Alchemy Collective Cafe or Nabolom Bakery. Skip Old Navy for one of Berkeley’s many recycled clothing stores. By purchasing directly from the people and causes you care about, you can support their existence and success. Donating straight to organizations like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) is another great way to make sure they stay alive and strong. 

Political Action

If you are over the age of 18, voting is an important way to make change. Register early to vote, and take the time to fully learn about every candidate and proposition on your ballot. Encourage your friends who are also of voting age to join you at the polls. If you are under 18, take advantage of your platform both on social media and in your physical community. Post voter registration steps, and promote the candidates and propositions you support online and in your neighborhood. If you are 16 or over, pre-register to vote volunteer to work at the polls and support voters on election days. Help your friends and family members who have never voted to register and learn how to fill out a ballot. 

Educate Yourself and Others

Watch documentaries, listen to the news or podcasts, talk to your family and friends, attend speeches and workshops, and read books. Take time to learn about issues that are important to you. It is critical to research and debunk propaganda that surrounds important matters. Correct friends and family that believe false information and teach them the facts behind different movements. If you are inclined to repost an event or picture on social media, make sure that the account is relevant and always check your facts. Stay open to learning more about different causes, and don’t be afraid to stand up to a friend when they make false or insensitive claims about an issue.

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