10 Sample Actions ... Ideas for Activism on
Campus and in the Community
||Bad Ad Campaign - Protest media images of women in print and on the screen. Bring magazines and videos to a meeting or set up a table in a public space. Tear out advertisements. Label these advertisements: "REJECTED. We disagree with the way you represent women in this advertisement." Include paper for people to write comments. Create a petition and have members sign it and send the rejected ads and petition back to the magazine or company.
||Pay Equity Speak Out - Have a bake sale that educates your campus about pay equity. Have members bake or buy cookies, cupcakes or other goodies. Sell the baked goods for 75 cent for women and $1.00 to men to symbolize the inequality in pay scales in New York State. After speaking with the interested person, sell the item for the same amount to both women and men. Be sure to have information about pay equity to hand out.
||Lobby Day - Let your local legislators hear your voice. Make appointments to meet in their local offices. Research information on specific legislation that is important to women and bring it with you. There is strength in numbers - bring as many people as you can.
||Hold a Teach-In - Choose an issue that needs attention on campus and bring attention to it. Reserve an area on campus, somewhere in a well-traveled area if possible, and bring signs, banners and posters. Whatever your topic - be it lesbian/gay equality, reproductive rights or discrimination - be informative and visible.
||Take Back the Night - Voice your opposition to violence against women. Many colleges and community groups have organized "Take Back the Night" protests . March around campus, hold a candle light vigil, allow people to speak and bring attention to the violence that is committed against women.
||Vote Now! - Hold a voter registration drive. Educate your fellow students about local candidates. Contact your area's Board of Elections and request registration cards. Contact candidates' offices and request information to hand out.
||Petitions - Write a petition that addresses a particular issue on your campus. For example, if oral contraceptives are not offered or covered under your student health insurance, demand that they are covered, write that in a petition, and ask students, faculty and staff to sign the petition. The more signatures you have, the better.
||Love Your Body Day - Promote positive self-image for women and girls. National NOW sponsors Love Your Body Day to speak out against advertisements and media images that are offensive, harmful, dangerous and disrespectful to women. Hold a picket, rally, house party or campus discussion to bring attention to the way the tobacco, fashion, and diet industries promote an unhealthy, unattainable image. Check out NOW's Love Your Body Day web site for more ideas.
||Celebrate International Women's Day - Recognize women around the world on International Women's Day, March 8. Educate people about global problems for women. The United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This 23-year-old convention already has the approval of 169 countries. Ask people to contact your elected officials and urge them to support this international human rights document and promote women's rights. See NOW's web site for more on global feminism.
||Produce the Vagina Monologues - Create a student production of Eve Ensler's show built on interview with women about their vaginas. Donate the proceeds to a specific group that benefits women on campus. See the V-Day web site for more information.