Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Our Share What Works event is the beginning of our Exhibit on Being There that involves a wide community of invited participants including neighborhood merchants, members of several nonprofits and government stakeholders, and youth and families to all partake in sharing gestures that got them through a difficult time. The humanizing event inaugurates a poster series that will focus on young people but connects every community member to the fabric of caring. The effect is to increase participants’ empathic behaviors towards others and mobilize support for the exhibit. When the exhibit is posted in public spaces, it reaches many people who wouldn’t otherwise seek help with empathic behavior.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Our website offers advice on helping others based on our research on support during difficult times. Since January 2014 it’s had 7800 visitors, a majority under 34 who spend up to an hour on the site. Several of our 3700 Facebook fans are educators and youth development professionals. In April 2014, twenty merchants adopted our first outdoor Exhibit on Being There in a San Francisco neighborhood. Emails, calls and texts from countless viewers and participants describe gratitude for motivating them to call a niece who miscarried, text a brother on chemo day, or bring food to a sick neighbor, for examples. Other nonprofits want exhibits for suicide, loss, and special needs children. In December 2014 a premier San Francisco Art Gallery will exhibit our work for use of photography in community activism. Stanford Dept of Medicine is evaluating our campaign impact on cancer stigma.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
We’ll pilot exhibits and community events in the Eastside Union School District in any number of its 12 high schools, work with Santa Clara Office of Ed to expand into other districts with support of school social workers. In five to ten years time, we want to: 1) Enable anyone in world to host an Exhibit on Being There in various settings like schools, neighborhood corridors, hospitals, you name it, 2) offer research-based Being There workshops for youth, school staff, general audience, workplaces that want to develop empathy and 3) provide a comprehensive online resource for helpful gestures