How to Use the Videos
Determine Your Objectives
The Power of an Equal Voice: Resource Videos for Family Empowerment put a human face on the struggles and successes of low-income families. Use the stories of individual and collective effort—either offline or online—to:
- Empower families to share their own stories.
- Demonstrate the value of being a member of an organization or network.
- Make the case to decision-makers that families should play a role in shaping policy.
- Put a human face on the work you do every day.
- Inspire dialogue among family members, community leaders and policymakers.
- Recruit families to join an active campaign or initiative.
- Inspire dialogue among community residents about challenging issues.
- Prompt coalition building among various organizations.
Consider your format
Depending on your organization’s audience and objectives, determine the platforms/opportunities that will make the most effective use of the videos, including the following:
EMBED ON YOUR WEBSITE
Give your organization’s website a boost! Allowing families to view the videos online on their own time is a great way to draw people to your website and highlight the community work your organization does. You can also engage viewers in an online discussion by adding that option under the embedded video using free software applications like [Disqus]. [Click here for easy video embedding instructions.
SHARE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Sharing the videos via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media platforms allows your organization or Equal Voice network to easily communicate the meaning of Equal Voice to families in your area.
Although the stories may not profile your organization or your community, they are a great way to show that your organization is working to ensure that low-income families have an equal voice in shaping the policies that affect their lives. To make the connection clear, think about framing the story by pointing to what it has in common with the work you do every day. For example:
“Kentucky may be hundreds of miles away, but Tayna Fogle’s story of fighting for her voting rights after serving a prison sentence sounds a lot like challenges many families in Chicago are facing. Check out this video, and let us know us what jumps out at you.”
“Like the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network shown in this video about the power of collective action, the Equal Voice for Southern California Families Network values the perspectives of families in our region and encourages you to speak out on issues affecting your life. You know better than anyone what your family needs to thrive! Watch the video to learn how Equal Voice networks work with families and like-minded organizations.”
INCORPORATE INTO WEBINARS OR MEETINGS
Video can be a simple way to give context to Equal Voice and frame issues and policies with compelling personal experiences.
- Spark dialogue among local families about the challenges they face and the solutions they propose by showing one of the videos at your organization’s next community meeting.
- Provide context for the work your organization does by starting a presentation to funders, board members, the media or policymakers with one of the videos.
- Educate young adults about the challenges facing poor and low-income families in the United States, and instigate dialogue on the subject of individual and collective action by showing one of the videos in the classroom or at a youth gathering.
- Train social workers, organizers and other service providers about the challenges facing low-income families as well as their individual and collective-action approaches to those challenges.
USE AS THE CENTERPIECE OF A COMMUNITY EVENT
To inspire residents to get involved in organizing efforts, show all three videos as part of a community event. After the viewings, consider holding discussions about the ways in which the stories mirror challenges and successes in your community.