Activism

Activism is one of the most important things JSA has to offer. From Fight Apathy to the Fall State blanket drive, JSA stands in support of both political and social activism. Not only speaking, but making your voice heard, and making a social impact. As a state, we must provide students with the resources and opportunities to successfully achieve their goals. Activism separates JSA from a number of other debate organizations. We aren’t just here to talk about the issues, but act to solve them! My plan to facilitate activism in the ORV is outlined below.

  • Resources
    • The activism department will work with local bureaucracy (government agencies) to give students internship opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to work at governmental agencies like the Ohio Department of Education – not only partisan campaigns and offices. This serves to give students government experience.
    • The Activism Department will work with Public Health Organizations, Educational Organizations, and similar nonpartisan organizations to give students connections to volunteering and internship opportunities, to participate in causes they’re passionate about.
    • The activism department will work to obtain volunteering opportunities across Ohio. These will be used for state volunteering initiatives as well as a resource chapters can use to find projects near them.
  • Activism Events
    • Throughout the year, I hope to hold a few activism events — State-held mini conventions directed at Activism, so to speak. This idea originated with Shane and Nari (give credit where credit is due), but I see it as a great way to express a facet of JSA that is largely dormant. This year, the ORV will be holding only one of these. It is a goal of mine to continue this practice, and if possible, hold two or three during the school year. These Activism Mini Cons are a great way to get students involved in their state and their community.
    • At these events, the State would volunteer, learn about different movements, and make political connections. These would be all-encompassing activism events and you can expect to see an array of different initiatives for students of all backgrounds.
    • Likewise, I am interested in continuing the convention activism initiative. The no sew blanket drive this year was highly successful, and having a time during evening activities cut-out out for students who are interested in participating in the initiative is amazing. This would be an optional activism event at Fall State, possibly Winter Congress, and Spring State. These Activism Events could benefit a wide variety of causes.
  • Fight Apathy
    • Fight Apathy is JSA’s largest National initiative. I am interested in getting more ORV chapters involved. To improve expansion and fulfill one of JSA’s goals (increasing civic engagement), I hope to invite students without a JSA chapter at their school to participate in nearby Fight Apathy events. Making Fight Apathy more community oriented will not only help with publicity and chapter expansion, but will share the passion JSAers have with students who may not be fortunate enough to have a chapter.
    • This year, our state had the highest Fight Apathy participation rate across the country. 96% of Chapters got involved! Not only is this incredible, but something that must be continued. Fight Apathy brings attention to a number of issues that students are interested in. Next year, I hope to provide resources to support chapter’s and their Fight Apathy initiatives.
      • The national Fight Apathy guide is very nonspecific. For this reason I hope to create an Ohio River Valley specific Fight Apathy guide.
      • Each chapter does this project differently. This type of diversity is great, and Chapter’s who have it figured it out, should continue doing their thing. However, for those who need help increasing participation, this guide will serve as a great tool to help that. Not only so, it will guide schools that are having the initiative but do not have a JSA Chapter.
  • Continue to emphasize Activism Committees in larger chapters
    • Activism Committees provide students with leadership opportunities as well as promote chapter Activism. These committees go a long way toward creating organized, well thought out Activism Events such as Voter Registration Drives, Community Involvement Projects, Fight Apathy Events, etc.
    • By providing chapters with the information to begin their own Activism Committees, we empower them to actually form said committees and strengthen their chapter’s leadership, involvement, and impact on their communities.

 


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