What you can do
As a student activist, you are well-positioned to create real change on campus and in your local community. You’re surrounded by other students who believe in the ideals of justice and equality just like you. They’re also willing to take action. A survey commissioned by MTV found today’s young people don’t want to simply talk about injustice – they want to do something about it.
Your college can be an incredible resource for your SPLC on Campus club by providing funding, equipment, and materials for your efforts. The Southern Poverty Law Center will also assist your club by providing free resources and staff support.
Be a grassroots advocate
Before you tackle the social issues that are important to you and your club, take some time to discover available resources. Check out books or documentaries on the issues you want to address. Search out local conferences and community meetings on those topics. Find out if there are other organizations and community members doing similar work. When it comes to social justice work, you’ll often find you’re not alone. That’s why you should collaborate whenever possible. Quite simply, the larger the network, the more ground you can cover.
Voter turnout reached a 72-year low in 2014. We are calling on SPLC on Campus clubs to help get more people involved in the political process. A voter registration drive on campus and in your community is a great way to start. Maximize its impact by calling on other campus and community groups to assist with the effort. For more resources on conducting voter registration outreach, visit selma.splcenter.org.
Speak out against bias and bigotry
Prepare your SPLC on Campus club to respond to acts of intolerance they may encounter on and off campus. Dedicate a club meeting to discussing your campus’ climate and ways you can make a difference simply by making your voice heard. The SPLC’s free anti-bias guide, SPEAK UP!, is designed to help individuals respond to everyday bigotry. A special version of the guide for students presents scenarios that help prepare you and other club members to speak out and challenge intolerance. It can be found on our resources page.
Host a film screening* and start a discussion
The SPLC has produced numerous original documentaries on civil rights issues – two of which have won Academy Awards®. Screen one of our films on or off campus and begin a dialogue about the issues it raises. For a complete list of Teaching Tolerance films, visit tolerance.org/teaching-kits. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
*Admission may not be charged for any purpose, including fundraising.