Julie Mastrine / January 25, 2017

How Care2 is Training Activists in San Francisco

Well, we’re officially here. It’s the age of President Trump, and I’m sure your Facebook feed is teeming with political news of the day in ways it rarely had before. Maybe you’re feeling outraged, scared, exhausted, or all three. Suddenly, a whole new swath of citizens are asking, “What can I do to stop this?” And Care2 is here to help.

Care2 has been in the business of activism for years, and online activism needs to exist alongside on-the-ground action. I mean, that’s why I stepped out from behind my computer screen to attend the Women’s March in San Francisco on Saturday. That’s why I helped organize a protest outside Bill Cosby’s comedy tour back in 2015 amid rape allegations. It’s why I stood outside a judicial building in June to protest unfair sentencing. It’s also why I organized Activist University in San Francisco on January 19.

Julie Mastrine, Care2's Activism Marketing and Social Media Manager, addresses a room of participants

Julie Mastrine, Care2’s Activism Marketing and Social Media Manager, addresses a room of participants at Activist University in San Francisco on Jan. 19

Care2 is dedicated to training you in how to be an engaged citizen, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to share this knowledge with Bay Area residents! The event took place at Impact Hub, a co-working & events space for professionals taking action to drive positive social & environmental change. It was a wonderful venue, and people from all over the Bay showed up to learn how to shape the Future of San Francisco by harnessing activism.

I walked participants through all stages of creating an online petition campaign from start to finish, including identifying a problem, picking a theory of change, identifying power structures, writing and messaging your petition, getting signatures, alerting the media, and holding an on-the-ground rally or delivery event.

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I went over a few examples of petition campaigns based in San Francisco, including my petition to stop Bay Area artist evictions and Tad Tadesse’s petition to stop Muni from kicking off pit bull service dogs. We also chatted about using petition campaigns to end police brutality in the city, alleviate homelessness and create affordable housing. Afterwards, we broke into small groups to brainstorm creative ideas for promoting a petition on homelessness.

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I was so happy that people from all backgrounds attended the event, not just seasoned activists!  We had designers, nonprofit workers, rape crisis counselors, and even someone who worked for a solar panel company. We were all bound by a common thread: wanting to make the world better.

Check out some more photos of the event below. Will I see you at the next Activist University event or webinar? I sure hope so!

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