Craftivist Collective founder launches School of Gentle Protest to help people become more effective and kind activists
A new YouTube web series has been created to help individuals and groups tackle prejudice, injustice, corruption and inequality wherever they see it – without resorting to aggression and hostility.
In these challenging and uncertain times, more people than ever are looking to take a stand for what they believe in. But many feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, while others often have good intentions but are taking action without a careful strategy.
The School of Gentle Protest will cover lots of issues such as how to challenge a friend or stranger who has said something harmful, how to campaign by encouraging people in positions of power and becoming their critical friend rather than an aggressive enemy, how to attract and intrigue people to join your protest rather than force your message onto them, and much more.
Participants in the School of Gentle Protest will get access to weekly vlogs featuring the likes of Orsola de Castro (Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution), JP Flintoff (Co-Founder of School of Life), Catherine Howarth (CEO of Share Action) and Tom Baker (Head of Mobilisation at Save the Children UK). There will also be ‘homework’ that will be enjoyable and question your thinking; things like films to watch and activities to do and offline events to attend. There will be an event in Lincoln, home of Magna Carta, at the start of Fashion Revolution Week on Monday 24 April
The School of Gentle Protest is being launched on 20th March by Sarah Corbett, founder of Craftivist Collective, in collaboration with www.1215.today, a project inspired by the Magna Carta which encourages discovery and debate around human rights. Sarah will deliver six weeks of the school curriculum online during her virtual artist-in-residence with www.1215.today.
The daughter of a political councillor and vicar, Sarah grew up in a low income area of Liverpool and has been involved in activism since the age of three. She has worked as a professional campaigner for over a decade for a number of NGOs, most recently Oxfam. One of the leading spokespersons in the craftivism movement, Sarah set up the Craftivist Collective in 2009 and has since worked with the likes of Unicef, Secret Cinema, the Victoria andAlbert Museum, Bauhaus University and Helsinki Design Week, amongst others.
She said: “If we want to make the world beautiful, kind and just, then we need activism to be beautiful, kind and just. Shouting and screaming at people often creates walls not bridges. Gentleness is not a weakness, it’s about treating everyone how you would like to be treated, whether they are a victim, perpetrator or bystander, encouraging them to be their best self and improve our world for all.”
“Gentle protest has been used effectively throughout history for long term change by people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela – they never demonised anyone and not only helped change laws but also hearts and minds.”
“Activism is a craft like any other and with over 10 years as a professional campaigner I am passionate about doing activism with courage and care. I wanted to create the School of Gentle Protest for people who are feeling overwhelmed, who don’t know where to start, how are nervous of activism, and also for those who are taking action but without a robust strategy. I hope these resources will give people the tools they need to protest against systemic, structural or societal injustices in a thoughtful, loving and effective way rather than a violent or unkind way.”
Ann Jones, Project Director of www.1215.today said: ”Sarah’s kind of activism is thoughtful, non-threatening and totally beguiling. Just what we need Today!”
After her online residency with www.1215.today Sarah may continue to develop the School of Gentle Protest on an ongoing basis after receiving feedback. She is asking people to send in their problems and questions, from which she hopes to continue to produce fresh material for the web series.
CRAFTIVIST COLLECTIVE: Founded in 2009, the Craftivist Collective produces projects, products and kits to help individuals and groups across the globe change the world one stitch (or sentence) at a time using slow, gentle, beautiful activism. You can find out more at www.craftivist-collective.com.
SARAH CORBETT: The daughter of a political councillor and vicar, Sarah has been an activist since the age of three. She has worked as a professional campaigner for a range of NGOs, most recently Oxfam. She has delivered workshops and talks around the world, including TED Talks and Do Lectures. Sarah founded Craftivist Collective on the back of a massive response to her blog, A Lonely Craftivist, from people and organisations around the world who wanted to join in.
www.1215.Today: Launched on 14 June 2015 by the University of Lincoln, www.1215.today is a virtual House of Culture where people aged 14-24 from all over the world can discover, debate, create and connect through the arts, while exploring their individual rights and what matters to them.