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Youth Activist Toolkit

The new Youth Activist Toolkit was developed with youth writers and activists to be a detailed guide to help young people develop a plan, organize a coalition, and define and implement strategies to achieve measurable social impact goals.

Through a partnership with entertainment company Level Forward, we are launching a new Youth Activist Toolkit with resources to help young organizers take action on issues they care most about.

The Toolkit will reach Advocates’ network of 75,000 young people, on 1,200 campuses throughout the country and throughout the country and serves as a social action companion to the new film “American Woman,” which made its worldwide premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. The film raises questions about power: who has it and who doesn’t, and how best to change that. The story’s center is a young pacifist who is wrestling with her choices as she joins a cohort of young radicals and their kidnapped convert.  With accessible guides to power structures and how to build power the resource is available for free for those who are spurred to action inspired by the film.  

“I think a lot of ‘resources’ these days are out of touch, using academic language and talking about policy my peers and I can’t understand,” said one of the Toolkit writers and a member Advocate for Youth’s International Youth Leadership Council, Madelynn Bovasso. “While writing the Toolkit, I just wanted it to be accessible, approachable and understanding of the hectic lives we live as young people.”

Level Forward works to extend the opportunity and influence of creative excellence by developing story-driven/impact-minded properties that take the cultural conversations they provoke into account. The Company works closely with non-profit organizational partners to develop programs that create sustained social change inspired by storytelling. Level Forward’s unique model is also addressing industry economics: Advocates for Youth will receive donations totaling 10% of Level Forward’s net proceeds from American Woman, to continue building capacity for youth to take action on intersectional social issues.

“Is it radical for a young person to take up space in important political and cultural conversations? Viewers of American Woman can decide where they draw the line and youth activists can feel supported in continuing to stand up for their beliefs thanks to Advocates For Youth and the young writers who created the Youth Activist Toolkit inspired by the film,” said Adrienne Becker, CEO of Level Forward.

The partnership engaged AMPLIFIER, a design lab that builds art to amplify the voices of grassroots movements, to participate in the development of the toolkit through their “We the Future” Campaign. The Toolkit shares best practices on how to use storytelling and art as a tool to engage communities and change minds.

“Young people understand that reproductive and sexual health and rights are inextricably tied to social justice and the fight for liberation. This Toolkit provides invaluable training and best practices for organizing for change in our communities,” said Julia Reticker-Flynn, Advocates for Youth’s Director of Youth Organizing and Mobilization.  

Young people are walking out of classrooms for climate change. They’re standing up for people killed by gun violence. They are ending stigma around abortion. And they’re rewriting the script that tells us how to think, behave, and treat one another. In short, young people are organizing.

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