When planning the workshops, we learnt so much from bouncing off of one another and sharing our knowledge as individuals. It really helped to have a team with a variety of talents and I believe this dynamic made a more cohesive presentation that the young people would respond too with greater success. I remember being encouraged to critique and produce what we would present, and how it would look. This formed an approach that not only sought to include famous activists that we all would know, but local activists too, as we wanted to push this idea that activism can develop anywhere. I believe understanding that parents and teachers can be activists helps too, because young people look up to them on such subjects. By the end of the workshops, young people had identified school staff that they felt made a big difference in their community.
After listening to what some of the young people had to say, we also found that including a diverse example of activists is also wise, as we are trying to represent a whole spectrum of people. This is to hammer home the idea that activism is open to all who strive to make a change for good, not just celebrities/famous people or those that have additional privileges because of class or race. In addition, I found that at the beginning of the workshops a few of the young people thought they didn’t know enough about activism or mental health in order to truly participate. After a few slides and activities in our presentation however, these young people were actively discussing and commenting on why they thought activism was vital in local communities. This change in self-belief was a true theme of the workshops, and one I empathised with as I discovered how to present slides of my own, which is not something I have ever done before this project. I doubted my ability to even host such workshops, but through practice sessions, previews of the presentation slides and an open mind, I soon felt comfortable enough to take on a slide or two.