On 9th April Boingboing and the CRSJ partnered up with Amnesty International to deliver some training to Amnesty’s young campaigners as part of their ‘Rise Up’ training programme. Rise Up trains 16 to 24 year olds who want to lead creating change on the issues that matter most to them. This ties in very well with our research and practice objectives of exploring activism as a tool to build resilience.

We weren’t put off by the challenges of Covid but we did have to adapt a bit. In order to involve some of our Blackpool activists we used Boingboing Henry’s amazing film-making skills to put together a clip for the Amnesty campaigners. It was a great opportunity for the Blackpool crew to share what they have learned from research about the power of campaigning to build resilience as well as tips for how to feel resilient when it feels like a big task to help shape society.

Gabrielle, from Boingboing, delivered the training remotely with Grace Farmer, who leads the programme at Amnesty and was there live. It was a great partnership and shows how much we’ve learned about live online training since 2020.

“It was so great to hear what the campaigners were working on,” Gabrielle said. “They were really inspirational and committed. But I also heard how they are sometimes told to ‘be resilient’ by people who are basically telling them to put up with inequality and just get on with it. Happily, I was able to share the evidence that resilient behaviour is related to resources around you. Research also suggests that their campaigning would help their own resilience and contribute to community resilience. Beating the odds, whilst changing the odds.”

The Rise Up course helps build skills, knowledge and power to bring about the change young people want to see. Grace was delighted with our input: “It was really engaging and I know they all found it so so useful. It was something that came up in the reflection session from many of them. A good demonstrator of effective online training.”

After such a positive start we’re looking forward to doing more work alongside Amnesty International in the future.



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