The ideal book for young people wanting to make a positive difference in the world.
While many teens, college students, and young professionals are passionate about social issues—whether climate change or gun violence, hunger or homelessness, or any other of the countless difficulties which face our world today—and want to help, enthusiasm alone is not enough to make a meaningful impact. But effective advocacy and activism can be learned, and with the right tools, achieving positive social change is possible.
Inspired to Action: How Young Changemakers Can Shape Their Communities and the World provides readers with the knowledge and tools they need to turn passion into effective action. From the basics of how civic engagement and political participation form the framework for lasting social change, to learning how nonprofit organizations function and whether to consider starting one, this book gives young people the background they need to find their place in the world of social activism. With practical guidance regarding the importance of communication skills, community building, fundraising, and organizing, this book offers an accessible and lively grounding in what is needed to become an effective changemaker.
Featuring personal stories and advice from twelve successful young activists, thoughtful recommendations from seasoned professionals, and an extensive list of resources for further information, Inspired to Action is essential reading for any young person interested in the world of advocacy and activism.
Jean Rawitt is a freelance writer and a consultant for the Department of Volunteer Services at Mount Sinai Hospital (New York). For ten years, she oversaw the hospital’s Varsity Volunteer Corps, where she developed and coordinated a program for high-school students to volunteer on hospital inpatient units. Rawitt is the author of Volunteering: Insights and Tips for Teenagers, A Loved One with Dementia: Insights and Tips for Teenagers, and Friendship: Insights and Tips for Teenagers. She lives in New York City.
Chapter 1: Why Teens Can Be Powerful Agents of Change
Chapter 2: Twelve Young Changemakers – Who They Are, and How They Made Things Happen
Chapter 3: Becoming an Activist
Chapter 4: Three Fundamentals of Activism
Understanding Your Cause
Organizing for Action
Chapter 5: Tools for Activism
Civic Engagement and Political Participation
Networking and Support Systems
Connections and Community
Social Media Savvy
The Elevator Pitch
Self-Efficacy and Self-Confidence
Looking the Part
Willingness to Learn and Grow
About the Author
Rawitt, the author of several teen-advice books, uses real-life examples and current resources for this comprehensive guide to changing your world, even as a teen. Readers facing a world full of distressing problems are encouraged to become involved in changemaking. The writer argues that teens have characteristics that make them particularly effective: energy; a willingness to take risks, try new things, and speak out about their passions; and wide-ranging social networks. She begins with stories of 12 young activists, most from the U.S., although three international subjects are included, two from Brazil and one from Uganda. Refreshingly, these are not the usual examples, and they cover a wide variety of causes and projects, from distributing athletic shoes to kids who need them to working for criminal justice reform. The book describes some necessary qualities for successful activism and cites the astute observation of Katie Eder, one of the young people profiled, that being “the odd one out, maybe a bit of a misfit,” can help people feel motivated to challenge inequities. Rawitt breaks down activism into fundamentals—understanding your cause, motivating people, organizing, and strategy-building—and offers tips on tools and skills from fundraising through self-care. With plentiful examples and extensive quotations, the densely packed narrative is broken up in ways that will make it less daunting for the intended audience. Text boxes define relevant words and concepts such as canvassing, stakeholder, and pro bono. A helpful guide for would-be advocates.
In a conversational voice full of optimism and practicality, Jean Rawitt offers young people a scaffold to support their desire to be agents of change in the larger community. Engaging and inspiring, this book can help you design and construct your path to activism.
In an accessible, informative, engaging, and radically hopeful way, Inspired to Action humanizes the activist experiences of twelve changemakers and offers tools, strategies, and wisdom to support the power of youth. In every social justice crisis young people have made the difference—they have led movements for transformative justice and systemic change!
Inspired to Action empowers youth to impact their world. A comprehensive toolkit and reference guide, the book showcases the stories of young activists in their own words. This combination of expert know-how and down-to-earth heroism will give young people both the confidence and the skills to make their mark for the betterment of us all.
Chock-full of practical advice, encouragement, and inspiration, this book is the indispensable resource that any young person yearning to make change needs. Accessible and engaging, it will become a go-to guide for the next generation of changemakers.