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ATTENTION TEENS: What is Stopping YOU from Being a Community Leader? (Seriously we really do want you to answer this…)

Okay, listen folks - I know you are living the jet set lifestyles of the cool and famous. So you don’t even have to read this whole blog post. Just go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SHIFTDemand) – and type your answer to our question.

However, you might want to consider the following:

There are a million ways to be a leader in your community!

Okay –truthfully I might only be able to think of a thousand but that’s still a lot of ways to be a leader in your community and a leader for SHIFTDemand. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Make a video about your access to healthy foods and beverages in your neighborhood on your phone (or your friend’s phone)

Perhaps you are saying to yourself “I don’t have a phone that shoots video” but I know you know somebody with video capabilities on their phone.  Trick/ask them to let you use their phone and put them in the video. Tell them that you know First Lady Michelle Obama and she asked you to make this video about the state of healthy food and beverage options in the community. Tell them that they get to be the producer when your video blows up!!! Bribe them with fruit:-) I know you can do this. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Have you seen You Tube lately!!

If you can shoot video on your phone - Come on! What are you waiting for? There are videos to be made! There are corny commercials to make fun of that pretend that whatever they say you will believe; fast food companies to ridicule for their crazy marketing tactics; and you have helpful information to share. There’s You Tube fame to be had - Let’s get it!

2. Hold a family or community meeting about an important issue in your neighborhood. Think about it. People get together all the time for recreational reasons. What’s stopping you from getting them together to talk about something like oh I don’t know uh…Is chicken really the way to freedom?

Think about this for a minute…George Zimmerman’s arrest in the case of Trayvon Martin is a step on the road to justice and a result of widespread community action.

First of all, as you all know, George Zimmerman has been arrested in connection with the death of Trayvon Martin. Before communities all over the country got involved with the case, the Sanford police department was finished with it. Although it was fairly clear who the shooter was, the case was closed. Without the work of communities around the country marching, blogging, wearing hoods, taking photos, donating funds etc., this case would not have gotten the national attention and legal support that eventually led to George Zimmerman’s arrest.  Even before any conviction or ruling Zimmerman’s case shows us that WE the community can hold systems of power accountable when we educate ourselves, get focused, and come together. This is also an important example because youth played a key role in helping to make this case visible across the country.

I’m often reminded of the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” So be the leader you are destined to be and let your voice be heard about the things you want to change in your community.  

We are and we hope you will too - SHIFTDemand!   

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