Category Archives: Action

Social Movements: Seeing Change Through to Fruition with Strategy and Partnerships

By Claire Lewis

Earlier this year, I participated in my first protest ever – The Women’s March. I cannot remember who organized it or who invited me to the Facebook event group; I just knew I wanted to make a difference. If raising awareness was the key objective, then we definitely accomplished that goal. According to USA Today, 2.6 individuals across 32 countries participated in this historical march. Celebrities from America Ferrerra to Madonna gave powerful speeches about the importance of women’s rights. News stations across the globe covered this momentous day.

How was such a feat accomplished? The answer is social media. Facebook protest events across various cities and states filled my newsfeed leading up to the day. I witnessed many friends mark they were “interested” or “going” to these events.

However, despite this outpouring of support, there is little to no reform. One of the issues with “social media” marches is the lack of strategy behind the effort. I, like many others, was unclear as to the main purpose or end-goal of the Women’s March. Was it a particular policy change? If so, was it related to sexual harassment, gender inequality in pay, freedom of choice, and/or all of the above?

In order to sustain long-term change in policy and legislation, strategy, goals, and hard work need to be put forth and adhered to. This Ted Talk goes into more detail on the lack of strategy behind online uprisings. As, Zeynep points out, the Civil Rights movement was incredibly successful because there was a well thought out strategy, what she refers to as “slow and sustained” and “painstaking long-term work.” The Civil Rights movement also had specific, tangible goals such as ending segregation and reversing “separate but equal.” Both individuals (ex. MLK) as well as the work of SMO’s led to major change. For example, the NAACP was instrumental in policy change. NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall, challenged segregation in the landmark case, Plessy V. Ferguson that later led to Brown v. Board of Education. The Brown Case resulted in large-scale protests such as the March on Washington.

These powerful protests are the reason for both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Clearly, both SMOs and individuals are important in a social movement. So the question is, in our current social media climate, how can we harness the power of these social media inspired protests and actually produce tangible results? To me, this is more important than whether an SMO or an individual creates a protest event on Facebook. I do not care who starts it, I just want to contribute and see change actually happen.

The first step is creation of a strategy. Many SMOs already have strategy and goals built into their programming. For example, the NAACP has various toolkits for social change initiatives. The trick is to connect SMOs to these grassroots movements so that everyone is on the same page.

Below are some ideas I brainstormed that could create movements that are more effective. I assume (and hope) that at least some of these ideas are already in place.

  • SMOs identifying and working with various grassroots protest planners to create strategies and goals together that can be communicated to the masses
  • SMOs training leaders to be part of these small grassroots movements and educate groups
  • SMOs attending various protests as guest speakers and/or handing out information
  • SMOs collaborating with influential social change leaders such as Michael Moore to ensure a goal is put in place and communicated. He does a great job, but a partnership with an SMO could be even more impactful
  • SMOs and/or individuals harnessing various media sources to make it clear what the public needs to do in order to achieve the goal (make it easy to do, easy to understand)
  • SMOs educating the public at various venues on what legislation is related to the current issue, what propositions to watch out for, etc.
  • SMOs partnering with small grassroots groups to create follow-up sessions after protests
  • SMOs and/or individuals partnering with schools and universities to provide education on various social issues and legislation to build a pipeline

Our current social media climate has so much potential for enacting real, tangible change. By harnessing the strategies that SMOs already construct and articulating clear goals, we have a chance at influencing policy change. SMOs and individuals can be much more powerful as a team, and I hope there will be more partnerships in the future. I am so proud of the Women’s March and awareness it spread, but I want to see women receive equal pay, a right to choose, and fair trials in the cases of rape and sexual assault. I want to see not just a short-term uprising, but long-term change. The partnership of SMOs and individuals can act as a catalyst to bring reform to fruition.

AGI-ROME STUDENTS KNOW ALEPPO

agi-2017

The University of San Francisco (USF) students who participate in the Academic Global Immersion (AGI-Rome) on Refugee Service Management know about Aleppo. They know about the crisis in Syria, the refugees coming through the Mediterranean to Europe and the current global humanitarian crises. Unlike some of the US presidential candidates, our students get to know refugee crisis and humanitarian solutions up close. Our Programs expose students to important knowledge in the field of refugee service, refugee international law, and policy issues related to forced migration.

Since 2015, our students from the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) have been participating in a program of the School of Management (SOM) in an international immersion and study of refugees, humanitarian emergency and international organizations. The program involves expert speakers from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) along with testimonies of refugees and visits  to refugee welcoming centers such as the Centro Astalli.

Our USF students participating in the AGI-Rome develop their knowledge, sensitivity and cultural competence to better respond to the current global refugee crisis. They learn about Aleppo, Syria and other conflicts and human insecurity situations forcing people to leave their homes. They learn about European policies and international laws in relation to the refugee crisis. They learn first hand about the best responses from NGOs and IGOs engaged in the services, hospitality, regulations and security related issues with asylum seekers and forced migrants. They compare the EU situations with the US policies for refugee resettlement and the Brexit syndrome with the US nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetorics. They  conduct applied research projects useful to the partnering organizations and helpful for their career trajectories. They present their funding in the annual conference on Refugees with San Francisco Bay Area refugee agencies and scholars and experts in forced migrations, human trafficking and human security USF4freedom.

Participants are able to earn a Graduate Professional Certificate in Humanitarian Emergency Management (HEM) for their own professional development and earn credit towards their graduate degree. Participants earn a certificate of participation in the Academic Global Immersion Program in Rome, Italy.

2016 Symposium on Refugees

Global Refugee Mural, Silver Spring, MD

USF for Freedom 2016

Symposium on Refugees, Forced Migrants, and Human Security

There are many names for people who flee war and violence across borders: refugees, forced migrants, unaccompanied minors, displaced people. This symposium looks at the quest for freedom through the lens of human security and asks: Why do people leave their homes? What happens through the migration journey? How do youth and adult migrants navigate the process of relocation?

Symposium on Refugees, Forced Migrants, and Human Security

This symposium examines global issues and local perspectives on refugees and forced migration, bringing together scholars, migrants, service providers, and activists. The two panels and networking reception will offer a rich opportunity for building awareness and solidarity through dialogue and exchange.

Panel 1: Displacement and Human Security

Moderator: Annick Wibben, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco Department of Politics

Confirmed Panelists:
Olivier Bercault, Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco Department of International Studies
Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, Executive Director, CARECEN – Central American Resource Center
Bill Ong Hing, Professor & Dean’s Circle Scholar, University of San Francisco School of Law
Ali Khoie, Management Consultant, ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration
Marco Tavanti, Professor & Director of the Nonprofit Administration Program, University of San Francisco School of Management

Panel 2: Relocation, Resettlement, and Human Security

Moderator: Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco Department of International & Multicultural Education

Confirmed Panelists:
Lindsay Gifford, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco Department of International Studies
Lauren Markham, Community School Program Manager, Oakland International High School
Vivian Faustino-Pulliam, International Faculty of Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins & Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco School of Management
Meron Semedar, Huffington Post Blogger, Youth Ambassador for One Young World, & Master’s Student, University of San Francisco

Dr. Marco Tavanti on the MNA Program and Refugees

What role can nonprofits play in the global refugee crisis?

Learn more about USF For Freedom 2016

This symposium is sponsored by CRASE Interdisciplinary Action Group and organized by Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor, International & Multicultural Education, School of Education; Shabnam Koirala-Azad, Associate Dean, School of Education; Tika Lamsal, Assistant Professor, Rhetoric, College of Arts & Sciences; Marco Tavanti, Professor and Director, Nonprofit Administration, School of Management; Kathleen Coll, Assistant Professor, Politics Department, College of Arts & Sciences; Vivian Faustino-Pulliam, Adjunct Professor, Economics, Law and International Business, School of Management; Lindsay Gifford, Assistant Professor, International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences; Annick T.R. Wibben, Associate Professor, Politics & International Studies, College of Arts & Sciences.

Read more at: http://www.usf4freedom.org

Missed the 2016 USF4Freedom symposium? Check these feeds at https://storify.com/ATRWibben/symposium-on-refugees-forced-migrants-and-human-se