Social and political activism is back on the agenda for students at Sheffield Hallam University as part of a new course on how to organise and deliver effective political campaigns and protests.
The course will involve students organising and running their own political and social campaigns, and experts in direct action, including the editor of award-winning community newspaper the Salford Star, will give students practical advice on organising campaigns.
Stephen Kingston, editor of the Salford Star; Tracey Moberly from Foundry TV and Ruth Ibegbuna, director of learning and community at Urbis in Manchester, are working with lecturers at Sheffield Hallam to deliver the new module in social activism.
Stephen Kingston said: “Courses like this are great. When I studied sociology at college it was all theory, there was no practice attached to it at all. No-one here’s talking about revolutions; we’re talking about giving the community a voice and helping kids.
“None of us speaking today are posh, we’ve built our way up from the bottom and to be able to pass that down to the next generation is fantastic.
“My advice to students and young people wanting to set up a paper, magazine or website is just do it yourself, get people involved and forget about budget because it just won’t happen.”
Course leader Dr Annabel Kiernan said: “The students are learning about the politics of protest, new social movements and how to conduct an activism project or campaign with a theme of their choice.
“The activists involved in the course are all people with experience of running campaigns and creating materials and they will each lead a workshop to discuss what’s possible with the students and help them create the materials they need.
“The students are developing transferable skills in campaigning, which are useful for a wide range of careers like media, marketing and public relations, along with the public and charitable sector.”
The group of students have chosen an anti-fascism campaign and will run a positive voting campaign in the run up to next year’s General Election. They will develop their own campaign materials and hold an event on campus next Spring.
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Sheffield Hallam University