Demonstrations on college campuses can be a powerful way to draw attention to an issue. This Friday, August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day, and we think it’s an excellent opportunity for our students to participate in a direct action during the first weeks of school.
We’ve put together some resources to help you make this happen.
1) Choose a high-traffic location to stage your “die-in”.
Think of places where students are likely to see the action, such as on your campus quad, in front of dining halls, libraries, etc. Also, consider the most effective time to stage your demonstration (maybe in between class changes if possible) so that the maximum amount of people will be around to see it.
2) Get your chapter members involved.
Here are some tasks that can be delegated to volunteers:
– Create a Facebook event and send invitations.
– Create a graphic to use to promote the day of action online.
– Send a message to your listserv encouraging people to wear all black and/or show up to participate in the “die-in”.
– Print materials to hand out. (Check out our campaign page for some talking points)
– Find a megaphone or other way of amplifying the voice of whoever will be speaking during/after the demonstration.
– Bring photo and video cameras to capture footage of the event.
3) Let the media know about your event.
– Contact your student newspaper at least 1 day in advance.
– Download and edit Overdose Awareness Day Sample Press Release (.docx).
– Look up local media outlets’ contact information and send your release out at least 1 day before your action.
4) Learn from experience.
Watch this video of our University of Oregon SSDP chapter successfully organizing such a “die-in” direct action on Cinco de Mayo last year. The organizer of this event, our very own Sam Chapman, will be leading a webinar tomorrow – Wednesday August 29th at 8:00pm EST – to help anyone who wants to participate by sharing his experience organizing this successful demonstration on his campus.
5) Take photos and videos.
– Delegate some volunteers to take photos and videos of your demonstration.
– Send the files (or links to their locations online – ex: YouTube, Flickr) to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them.