Home For Youth Forming a Group Wednesday, July 27, 2011 
Main Menu
For Youth
For Parents & Teachers
For Music Industry
Contact Us
Buy CD
Latest News
Most Read
Forming an Anti-Bigotry Group PDF PDF PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 06 July 2004

In the High Schools

High schools are a favored recruiting ground for white supremacists. Organized bigots have become adept, through the use of their music, at reaching out to alienated young white people searching for a sense of identity and place. Organizing an anti-racist group at your high school is an effective way to respond to a problem that already exists and is a good way to prevent one from happening.

The first step in creating a group is finding a supportive teacher, counselor, coach, or administrator. Approach a teacher you feel comfortable talking with; even if they are not able to help, they can probably direct you to someone who might. Talk with them about ways that you can attract members, and about a range of different projects you can work on.

Meet with the dean of students to reserve a room during lunch or after school, to learn what rules there are concerning passing out fliers, and to find out what the possibilities are of having an announcement about your first meeting read during the next school assembly.

There are a number of different activities that a high school group can do. Many groups have started graffiti patrols. They regularly check on high graffiti areas, document any racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, or homophobic graffiti, and then clean it up. It is important to document everything and provide school officials with photographs. Other groups have organized daylong diversity events, combining student plays, role-playing, workshops, and discussion groups that are centered on issues of race.

In the Colleges

There is a long history of anti-racist organizing on college and university campuses. In the 1960's, many students from the North traveled to help register voters in the South. In the 1960's and 70's students participated in a myriad of civil rights activities and worked to establish black studies and women's studies programs at their schools. In the 1980's, Student Committees Against Racism (S.C.A.Rs) across the country challenged their universities' economic support of apartheid in South Africa. In the 1990's, broad-based coalitions organized to protect Affirmative Action and minority studies programs.

The first step in forming a campus anti-racist group is to visit the office of student activities or student affairs and learn exactly what must be done to become an official campus group. Only officially recognized organizations are able to get the full benefit of campus resources, such as meeting room access and funding. Typically, schools require that a new student organization draw up a constitution, write a statement of purpose, and recruit a minimum number of members as well as enlist the support of a faculty advisor.

A good way to recruit members is to attend meetings of other groups on campus and ask to speak briefly. Remember to include religious and cultural groups when you reach outthey may be vital allies when working on larger projects.

Find out if there are policies regarding posting fliers (you don't want to make any enemies in the administration) and handing out leaflets around campus in high traffic areas. Do not forget to post your fliers at nearby off-campus hangouts as well. Include contact information so that people who cannot attend have a way to get involved. If it is the beginning of the year, find out if there will be a student activities fair and how you can get a table.

Finally, plan an agenda for the first meeting. A good agenda will help everything to run smoothly and efficiently. No one wants to spend more time at a meeting than is really necessary. Make a place on your agenda for contributions from new attendees. Remember to set a regular meeting time, and elect officers. Ask for feedback on which issues people consider most important. Have an easy project in mind for the group to start, such as co-hosting an event with an established student organization. Be sure to get everyone's telephone number and e-mail address and call to remind them just before the next few meetings.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 July 2004 )
Related Items
© 2011 Turn It Down
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.