© 2018 by the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics

Students explore their identities and communities, identify civic issues that matter to them, and consider how they might use digital media for civic participation.

Students work to understand and analyze civic information online, and consider what information they

can trust.

Students navigate diverse perspectives and exchange ideas about civic issues in our inter-connected world .

Students consider how, when and to what end they can create, remix and otherwise re-purpose content that they share with others in online spaces.

Students consider a broad range of tactics and strategies for acting on civic issues. 

ACTION

RESPOND TO ISSUES YOU CARE ABOUT,
EXTEND YOUR DEFINITION OF CIVIC ACTION
IN THE DIGITAL AGE

QUESTION TWO:

WHat DOES IT MEAN TO TAKE ACTION

IN THE DIGITAL AGE?

Activity 1: Video - Digital Media and Struggles for Justice

(30 minutes)

To start to make sense of what it means to take action in the digital age, ask your students to watch the first 2-5 minutes of the “Digital Media and Struggles for Justice” video, produced by the Black Youth Project (BYP). As BYP explains, “the video features interviews with prominent activists, scholars, organizers, and others involved in justice work” as they reflect on what digital media brings to their activism. “Those featured include Cherno Biko (Activist and Co-Chair of the New York Young Women’s Advisory Council), Mychal Denzel Smith (Author and Fellow at The Nation Institute), Charlene Carruthers (National Director BYP 100), Toussaint Losier (Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst), and many others.”

 

You can use this video to deepen your discussion of how your students may be thinking about the ways in which digital media can help them re-think what it means to take action around an issue of shared concern.

 

As they watch the video, ask students to keep notes on the following:

  1. What are the advantages of using new media to take action on an issue that the activists mention?  

  2. Can you think of any additional advantages?

  3. What are some challenges and limitations mentioned?

  4. Can you think of any additional challenges?

 

You can then ask students to pair up or get into small groups to discuss the above questions and flesh out their notes further. Bring the class together and ask students to share their thoughts about advantages and disadvantages.