On which of the following California counties does your project focus its impact? (check all that apply):
San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey.
How does your idea help cultivate empathy skills to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change?
We Act and We Day cultivate empathy by encouraging young people to seek out social justice issues in their communities and then design ways to address them. Leveraging storytelling of personal experiences, our staff help to show students issues that exist for others around them. Students then take ownership over understanding those issues and working together to create solutions. Deeper friendships and understanding of fellow classmates result from this method. By gathering annually with thousands of peers, these youth see a physical representation of their CA-based youth social justice community. Students leave We Day aware of the power of their collective actions, feeling responsible for leading efforts among peers to deepen that impact.
Tell us about your partnerships
State-level (to reach school districts): Superintendent of State Schools Tom Torlakson, Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom.
City-level (to ensure local support): City of San Francisco, City of Richmond.
District-Level (to facilitate our work in their schools): Los Altos, West Contra Costa.
Community-Level (for additional resources for youth): Youth Speaks.
Educational Bodies: California Association of Student Leaders (CASL).
As We Act and We Day CA continue to grow, we will face issues of scale - numbers of students involved and their geographical distribution could put strains on our small staff. We plan to address this in several ways. First, we aim to increase our internet-enabled offerings for students. Additionally, we will build teacher capacity through professional development opportunities, so they feel equipped to implement the program in their classroom. Finally, we will strengthen leadership skills of students so that they can guide their peers in researching issues and building action plans.
Does your project use any of the following approaches to cultivate community members as empathetic and collaborative leaders?
encouraging philanthropy, creating a safe space, building leadership skills, group play, immersion, collective problem-solving, identifying shared values and differences, enabling action.