On March 24th, 177 young students and staff attended the 2023 Launch Day for ERA For Change where the idea of advocacy was explored. The Launch Day successfully enabled students and staff across Edmund Rice schools to broaden their social networks and participate in discussions around advocacy. All who attended participated in a variety of workshops intended to build their advocacy skills. In doing so, ERA for Change’s Launch Day allowed the empowerment of students and teachers in their advocacy journeys and facilitated the preparation of national advocacy projects in 2023.
Our keynote speaker for the 2023 ERA for Change Launch Day was Richard Mavros, an educator at Aquinas College and previous leader in the ERA For Change organization. He spoke about the practical steps of advocacy and the difference between advocacy, charity, and activism. He offered resources to students that made making a difference seem tangible and empowered many to rethink their social justice frameworks.
Mavros also introduced the idea of 'downstream vs upstream' activism. A 'downstream' response to an issue is when you take an immediate action to address the consequences of a structural failure. Looking more 'upstream' means learning about the cause of these consequences and aiming for prevention. Sometimes this means proposing a solution to the people who have the power to enact structural social change.
Thank you to Richard Mavros!
Following a very successful keynote presentation, students and staff participated in various workshops covering a range of topics.
Here are the amazing organizations who spoke at Launch Day 2023:
- Red Cross Australia- https://www.redcross.org.au/
- DVConnect- https://www.dvconnect.org/
- Black Dog Institute- https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
- Reconciliation Australia- https://www.reconciliation.org.au/
- The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change- https://www.arrcc.org.au/
Launch Day this year empowered and inspired many students with an understanding of how to make change both more effectively, and where to go from having a simple idea to making a practical difference in their schools and communities. Thank you to every student and staff member who attended, and a massive thank you to all of our presenters.
See you at Launch Day 2024!