Informed Activism

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Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action

It is important for youth to participate in their communities and contribute their own ideas. However, as Alecia DeCoudreaux points out in her article, youth must be informed before they become involved. DeCoudreaux discusses how young people are becoming more aware of politics and world events because of new media. Yet at the same time, new media is so fast-paced and constantly changing that not all of its information is reliable. DeCoudreaux offers solutions, such as media literacy and greater emphasis on the discussion of civic affairs in school curriculum. A well-informed voice can formulate well-informed ideas, which can subsequently create the most effective change.

DeCoudreaux, Alecia. “Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action.” Huffington Post. 26 June 2012. Web. 3 July 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alecia-decoudreaux/youth-politics-online-media-_b_1628348.html >.

 

BERHIE: Self-Serving Motives Disguised as Activism

In this article, author Sophia Berhie analyzes celebrity activism, a type of activism frequently covered by the media. Berhie presents an interesting question: Who receives the most benefit from celebrity activism? She slams some celebrities for supporting humanitarian causes primarily for personal gain, but she applauds others, such as George Clooney, for genuinely supporting causes with decades of focused support. Berhie’s disdain for selfish humanitarian efforts is evident throughout the article, and she questions the ethics and morality of celebrities whose humanitarian efforts coincide with promotions for their products. She emphasizes that it is important for us to take a stand on causes we are passionate about, but it is equally important for us to ensure that our efforts and donations are going to causes that are legitimate and selfless.

Berhie, Sophia. “BERHIE: Self-Serving Motives Disguised as Activism.” The Hoya. 19 March 2012. Web. 12 July 2012. <http://www.thehoya.com/opinion/berhie-self-serving-motives-disguised-as-activism-1.2821833#.T_-wIGiTNUQ>.

 

Films For Action Launches New Website, a ‘Learning Library for People Who Want to Change the World’

In this press release, the organization Films For Action conveys one important message: anyone can be an activist with the right knowledge. The article may look like a self-advertisement, but it does make a few fairly valid points. Firstly, many people are eager to make a positive impact on the world, but they do not know where to begin. Secondly, of the people who are working to make a positive impact, many are receiving inaccurate information. Films For Action attempts to fill the gap between watching a video for information and creating change. The website describes specific ways that the public can connect with other non-profit organizations and partake in their causes and events.

“Films For Action Launches New Website, a ‘Learning Library for People Who Want to Change the World.’ ” Films For Action. 3 February 2011. Web. 19 July 2012. <http://bit.ly/PXyAWb>.

 

Kony 2012: What can we learn about informed activism?

Is the distortion of facts justifiable when it is done in the name of a “good cause”? This is one of the biggest questions when discussing the controversial Kony 2012 video produced by the human rights group Invisible Children. As Craig Moxley explains, Invisible Children is accused of including out-of-date information and of oversimplifying facts about Joseph Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), as well as the current state of Uganda. For example, many of the young victims shown in the video are now adults facing new or compounded struggles. Some argue that although the Kony 2012 video is partially inaccurate, it still received over 20 million viewers and brought a pressing global concern to the table. Either way, the article emphasizes that it is important to double-check claims and “facts” made on the Internet.

Moxley, Craig. “Kony 2012: What can we learn about informed activism?” Coalition for a Conflict-Free Duke. 11 March 2012. Web. 29 July 2012. <http://conflictfreeduke.org/2012/03/11/kony-2012-what-can-we-learn-about-informed-activism/ >.

 

Kony Is Not the Problem

Angelo Izama is a journalist who was born and raised in Uganda, who offers a first-hand analysis of the Kony 2012 video. He begins by stressing that violence is not the work of just one lone man or organization; Kony is not Uganda’s only threat. Thus, according to Izama, capturing Kony will not heal the devastated region. Politics are what devastate the region as country leaders turn blind eyes to crimes against humanity. These shrewd politicians hope that the media will focus on the people’s woes, and distract the media from uncovering the root of the violence. This article demonstrates that humanitarian campaigns like Kony 2012 may not provide reliable information, and it demonstrates that a problem’s widely sought-after cure may not be the real solution.

Izama, Angelo. “Kony Is Not the Problem.” The New York Times. 20 March 2012. Web. 5 August 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/opinion/in-uganda-kony-is-not-the-only-problem.html?_r=1>.

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