Exploring Social Justice with the CHANGE Initiative

I had the opportunity to attend a training program for new CHANGE Leaders that took place between July 22 and July 27 in Quincy, Massachusetts. The CHANGE Initiative is a program run by Oxfam America, an international, non-profit organization that fights to end social injustices around the world using a rights-based approach. This initiative empowers college students from all around the country to be leaders on their respective campuses and promote Oxfam's mission in a variety of ways. The 2017 cohort of CHANGE Leaders comprised of 36 students from 36 different universities in the U.S. and a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 

The goal of the training program is to educate the new cohort of CHANGE Leaders on Oxfam's mission and the ways in which they can fight for social justice by organizing events and empowering others on their college campuses. Some of the sessions included as part of this week of training were a session on how our different lived experiences placed us in differing positions of privilege and how those positions could be used to fight for social justice; a session on marketing and outreach that talked about how to get others to advocate for Oxfam's mission alongside us; and a session on branding and social media use that educated us on the ways in which Oxfam chooses to present itself to the world and why it is so important that we frame its mission in the correct way. The sessions were a combination of lectures and facilitated discussions, presenting multiple opportunities to collaborate with our fellow CHANGE Leaders in coming up with original and inventive ways to get people on our respective college campuses involved in our fight for social justice. We were also given the opportunity to visit the Oxfam headquarters in Boston, where we got to meet Oxfam staff members and present our action plans for the year and receive feedback on them. 

Through the CHANGE training, I was able to meet 35 other college students who are as passionate about social justice as I am. It was incredible to get to learn from them, especially those who have had Oxfam Clubs at their schools for many years and have been very successful in their efforts to fundraise and raise awareness on some of Oxfam's campaigns. I left the training feeling full of energy and extremely motivated to share what I learned with the rest of the Oxfam Club at Dartmouth so we can start the 2017-2018 academic year with a bang. 

-Submitted by Lucia Caballero​ '19, Rockefeller Center Mini Grant Recipient

The Rockefeller Center's Mini-Grants program funds registration fees for students attending conferences, as well as the costs of bringing guest speakers to Dartmouth. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.