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Take A Stand Lab

How will you Take a Stand?

Visit the Take a Stand Center and find the tools and resources to get engaged with issues you care about.

The Take a Stand Lab features interactive media kiosks that illustrate how to take action on issues important to you. Discover your personal advocacy style – is it raising awareness, giving, advocating, or participating? Success Story Flip Books share strategies and actions of individuals and organizations that have taken a stand and enacted positive change in their communities. Before leaving the exhibition, write down how you will make a difference on the Leave-A-Pledge wall.

Advocate

Raise your voice. Use your pen.

Talk to Your Elected Officials
Elected officials work for their constituents – which means you. You have the right to communicate your beliefs to them. Here are some tips on how to talk to them and the best way to get your message across.
Download ToolFind Out Who Your Congressperson Is

Lead a Letter-Writing Campaign
When you want to take a stand on a policy, a letter-writing campaign could be your best response. Personal letters from a large group of people have the power to persuade businesses or the government to change their practices and may even inspire the public to support your cause.
Download ToolWatch a Video About a Successful Campaign Launch a letter-writing campaign to reach your elected officials.

Create a Petition
Petition objectives can range from changing a school rule to passing a law. Here’s a template and tips for how best to communicate your goal and gather the signatures to support it.
Download ToolSee Malala’s PetitionCreate a Petition on Change.org

Raise Awareness

Bring attention to a cause.

Create an Eye-Catching Protest Sign
One of the best ways to draw attention during a rally is by holding up a powerful sign. Here’s how to create one that will make passersby and policymakers take notice.
Download Tool

Promote Your Cause on Social Media
Using social media to help spread your message will allow people from across the world to hear your voice, creating awareness for the issues you care about. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Clubhouse, and/or YouTube is one of the best ways to target like-minded people and create more awareness for your cause.
Download Tool

Write a Letter to the Editor
A letter to the editor is an opportunity to share your opinion directly with a newspaper’s audience. It should be a concise response to a recently published article. Whether your letter’s purpose is to show your support for a cause or to set the record straight, your letter should present a persuasive argument. While reaching out to national papers such as The New York Times can garner broad attention, writing a letter to your hometown paper to address a more local issue has the potential for real impact.
Download ToolSubmit a Letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune

Give

Help others by donating.

Organize a Fundraiser
Popular types of fundraisers include: bake sale, lemonade stand, garage sale, and craft fair. But the possibilities are endless! Think about who’s spending money and what they’re most likely to buy, and use this list to turn your idea into action.
Download ToolWatch a Video About 4-year-old Alex Scott’s Lemonade Stand Fundraiser

Tips for Crowdfunding Online
Crowdfunding enables you to raise money from a large group of people using an online platform, such as Kickstarter or Crowdrise. With crowdfunding, you post information about a project that needs funding and gather contributions from anyone who’s interested in helping your cause.
Download ToolTips for crowdfunding

Plan a Donation Drive
In every community, there are people whose basic needs, from food to school supplies, are not met. A collection drive is a good way to address those needs if individuals or local businesses can donate items they have or can easily purchase.
Download Tool

Participate

Make change through direct action.

Steps for Organizing a Demonstration
When you demonstrate, you take a public stand on an issue. By gathering like-minded people and declaring your beliefs through marching, speaking, or holding signs, you put pressure on an individual or group to take action.
Download ToolNonprofit Startup Resources by StateApply for Tax-Exempt Status

Start an Organization or Club
Creating a club or organization is a good way to ensure longer-term commitment to an issue you care about. By finding others who want to achieve the same goal and working towards it together, groups can obtain critical mass and become leaders in advocating for a cause.
Download ToolNonprofit Startup Resources by StateApply for Tax-Exempt Status Here

Identify the Best Volunteer Opportunity for You
Volunteering takes many forms, such as: tutoring, cleaning a park, providing support to refugees, or serving meals in a homeless shelter. Here’s a quiz to help you figure out the best volunteer opportunity for you.
Download ToolWe.orgDoSomething.orgVolunteerMatch.orgIdealist.org

Photo credits: Scott Edwards; Robert F. Kusel; Emily Mohney

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