Those who know me know that I love working on projects that help my community. That’s why I was psyched when I was asked to lead a media training workshop for high school students on behalf of Chicago Fair Trade. These superhero students are organizing clubs and leading student activities that promote Fair Trade and help Chicagoans gain awareness about labor rights issues. The students wanted to learn more about effective communication and using digital media for a cause, so I led an afternoon workshop last Friday at the Chicago Fair Trade office.
We talked about the meaning of Fair Trade. We practiced elevator pitches and video interviews. We discussed different forms of online media and what makes a campaign more likely to go viral (i.e. what increases the probability that a campaign will be shared and re-shared). Then we sat down and really thought about realistic goals for each school, and specific actions that students can take to reach those goals. The students wrote action plans and left the workshop feeling pumped about their next steps and inspired to make a difference in the world. Their awesome ideas ranged from organizing a Fair Trade bake-off to getting their classmates together for a camping trip where they would sit around a campfire and tell scary stories about sweatshops.
I was blown away by the group’s creativity and passion. We all had a lot of fun at the training, and I’m looking forward to seeing what these young leaders accomplish.
One last note: I give major props to Martin Macias Jr. for coordinating the event, rocking the Fair Trade overview, and supporting youth leaders all over Chicago. You can stay up to date with Chicago Fair Trade programs on Twitter and Facebook.