How do we make sure our action events are linked to our goals?
Now that you have created a strong foundation and support for your CAT, it's time to take action by staging a local awareness event or implementing an activism campaign.
Activism Campaign: a series of activities designed to achieve short, medium and long-term goals.
"Where do we start?" Many different considerations can influence a CAT's choice of a first campaign event (or single action/awareness event). Estimates from public records about the severity of domestic violence in a particular community, individual CAT members' skills and prior experience with event-planning or crafting media messages, the availability and interest of allies in the community--any and all of these factors may help CAT members select a community action focus. In weighing different options, team members need to consider how a potential action event helps to fulfill one or more of the CAT's major goals. Ideally, the final choice of action event should clearly reflect and fit with the CAT's stated mission. Build momentum with smaller activities that help prepare for a major event in which you engage public policy officials and decision-makers.
What do we want to accomplish through this local action event?
Once the CAT has decided on an activity, planning should include several key ingredients. The first is to make sure the event gives you an opportunity to tell the public what your group stands for and why taking action matters. Orient your activities towards convincing community residents (and decision-makers) that what you are offering is a positive and viable solution to violence and abuse. A second key ingredient is to build in opportunities for audience members or event participants to learn about action steps they can take to support CAT activities. Suggest concrete steps they can take to help, such as signing a petition, writing a letter, attending a public forum or bringing a friend to the next CAT meeting. Make it easy for them to do so by having the petition available to sign, providing them with a sample letter with a preprinted address label or having a flyer with information about upcoming meetings for them to take home.
Potential Campaign Activities:
- Community Art Events
- Toy Gun Exchange
- Letter Writing Campaigns
- Court Watch
- Take Back the Night Campout
- Trainings with Community Leaders
- Film Screenings
The Tips & Tools contained in this module include ideas for local action events, case studies of campaigns launched in diverse California communities and information sheets about two national domestic violence campaign initiatives.