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Empowering Change: Alumni Campaigning on International Women's Day

On 3 March, Raleigh alumni came together in London to discuss this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) and its #PressforProgress theme. The workshop used IWD as a successful example of how to create powerful change and sought to equip attendees with the skills and knowledge they need to engage in campaigns on issues they are passionate about.

What is International Womans Day?

IWD celebrates the social and economic achievements of women around the world, highlighting the importance of women across cultures and society. It is also a day to declare and act. The recent rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, plus forecasts that gender parity may still be over 200 years away, show that there is still much work – and much campaigning – to be done.

Celebrating Achievements from Women Campaigners

Raleigh alumni took action by learning about how they can use their voices to create social change. The workshop explored how to design a campaign’s voice, how to set a campaigning agenda, and how to engage and collaborate successfully with others on an issue. Speakers at the session included a range of successful campaigners, including Tessa Trabue from Let Toys be Toys. Tessa’s campaign focuses on ending gender stereotyping in children’s toys. Over the space of just four years, the campaign has successfully ended the use of gendered signs in virtually all UK shops, and engaged with 14 top retailers on the issue.
Checkout how Raleigh promotes inclusivity and the impact we have made so far

Alumni also heard from fellow former Raleigh volunteer Jasmine Bigden. Jasmine is an Ambitious Autism campaigner who has appeared on Channel 4 News discussing autism and has worked alongside authors David Mitchell and Anne Hegerty on improving opportunities for those with autism.

Raleigh International woman volunteers doing a silly pose for a photo

Tips For Successful Campaigning

Jasmine shared her advice for successful campaigning:

“Be approachable, open-minded, and have confidence in yourself. We all have our own message and values that we want to share, so give it a go…as long as you’re aiming for something you can be proud of, that’s all that matters.”

Final tips for campaign success

Jimmy Thompson, a campaigner for Plan B and Raleigh Leader of Change, shared his top 6 tips:

  1. Have a clear message
    Be clear about what your campaign is trying to achieve and know what needs to happen to get there.
  2. Don’t take on too much yourself
    Get as many people involved as possible – there’s something everyone can do, from promotion and research, to contacting potential supporters.
  3. Invest time in reaching out. Spending the time to focus on finding out the best people to involve and communicating with them directly will pay dividends down the line.
  4. Learn by doing
    Make mistakes. Don’t assume people’s responses and be aware of other perspectives.
  5. Make it enjoyable
    Your campaign is something you want to build and grow – make sure it’s something people want to be part of and enjoy doing.

Contact us and out more on how to successfully campaign, and explore our future expeditions

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