For positive social change to occur, our communities rely on all of us engaging in multiple ways, along various pathways. This positive change creates conditions, access, and opportunities for everyone to have enough of what they need to thrive, which in turn creates healthier, more vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities.
The Pathways for Civic Action and Social Change describe a range of possibilities by which we can be civically engaged in our communities and create social change, regardless of career/field of interest. We need people working within all of these pathways to create change, however one person does not need to be involved with each path - it's all about finding what you're interested in, or have knowledge and expertise in. You can also be involved in as many paths as you would like.
How will you work for a just, fair, and inclusive society?
Students have the opportunity to take a survey to help them identify their preferred strategies for creating change, and can meet with a Community Engagement Peer to discuss their results and get connected to the community.
Click here to see examples of how you can use the Pathways to create social change around specific social issues, with examples of how to get involved here at Drake and in the local Des Moines Community.
Community Engaged Learning and Research: Connecting coursework and academic research to community-identified concerns to enrich knowledge and inform action on social issues.
Take college classes that allow you to connect your field with community issues and see real-world applications of what you are learning (i.e. service learning). At Drake, search for the CEL attribute when searching for classes.
Conduct research to further investigate how your organization can positively impact the community
Review existing publications and research, and learn more about the community issues, priorities, and initiatives that you are passionate about
Participate in a community-engaged internship or research experience
Partner with local agencies to help survey or interview residents for community-based initiatives or services
Hear from Drake student CJ Younger about her experience with Community Engaged Learning & Research
Community Organizing and Activism
Community Organizing and Activism: Involving, educating, and mobilizing individual or collective action to influence or persuade others.
Join an activism or community organizing committee such as SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility
Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility: Using ethical business or private sector approaches to create or expand market-oriented responses to social or environmental problems.
Join a social entrepreneurship focused group, working on projects like helping teenagers interested in entrepreneurship to start small businesses
Get involved with the Lorentzen Hatchery at Drake which is aimed at fostering student startups.
Only purchase fair trade products and encourage others to do the same, with the goal of pressuring other businesses to also adopt fair trade.
Start a student-managed investment fund that invests only in socially responsible businesses.
Design a mobile app that helps urban residents donate to services that support people experiencing homelessness, with a small percentage fee.
Ask to set up a meeting with the Sustainability Coordinator at Drake, Sophia Seigel, to partner in creating sustainable events and practices within your organization
Create sustainable partnerships and collaborations with other people and organizations
Brainstorm new business ideas and road map out your best idea to create change within that sector
Used with permission from Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University
The Office of Community Engaged Learning would love to speak to your class or student organization about the Pathways for Civic Action & Social Change. We can cater to your specific goals and needs. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Careers in Social Change Panel Series
From 2020-2022, we held a series of virtual career panels with professionals working in fields tied to the Pathways. You can view recordings from these panels here.