To fight back against the radical right we have to recognize, utilize and integrate three critical components: community organizing, electoral politics and public policy. This is how we build our power. Wellstone Action, an organization committed to working with groups nationwide to achieve progressive change, calls this approach the Wellstone Triangle:
The radical right’s attacks on Texans’ religious freedoms, individual liberties and public schools certainly provide more than enough fodder for outrage. Unfortunately, righteous indignation alone has never achieved a progressive victory. Rather, disciplined strategies supported by diverse tactics are necessary for raising awareness, rallying others and creating change.
When’s the last time a book made you laugh out loud? Or a movie made you ugly cry in public? (happens to the best of us). Chances are you empathized with compelling characters, related to a struggle integral to the plot, or were shocked by a twist you didn’t see coming. Bottom line: you were moved.
Social media is a game changer, plain and simple. Digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to share information in real time and collect data from individuals to build your base. Whether you’re creating a Facebook event for an upcoming rally, live-tweeting quotes from speakers at that rally, or posting pictures of your group’s awesome rally signage on Facebook (wow – you really got behind that rally!).
Beyond social media, You have one other avenue you can use to communicate your carefully crafted message: the news media (aka: reporters and journalists). Just like social media, there are best practices when interacting with the media as a leader of your Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter to make sure you accurately represent the group’s values and mission.
They keep your chapter relevant and active and share the responsibility of the group’s success. In the long-term, officer positions create sustainability for your chapter. They offer a leadership ladder for people to climb and gradually gain responsibilities, confidence and familiarity with your chapter so they can lead the organization after current leadership (aka: you) moves on.
Although this opportunity may seem intimidating at first, all Texas Freedom Network student chapters share a structure and guidelines to help leaders like you organize on campus. This section will provide a detailed explanation of what you need to get your chapter up and running and best practices to help your chapter thrive. Let’s get started.
Here’s where the nerves may kick in: hosting your first Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter meeting. It’s the same fear that has haunted nearly all of us since our first birthday party: what if no one shows up?