Using video-ops, Narrative Arts promoted youth voices in North Carolina
North Carolina has been embroiled in a decades-long struggle over education funding. However, youth (the most important stakeholders) needed to have their voices heard. Policymakers, lawyers, and think tanks dominated the conversation.
More than anyone, young people know the needs of their educational institutions. In North Carolina, across demographics, political divides, and geographies, students have been impacted by decades-long divestment in their education system. Elevating their often unheard stories would provide an important voice in shaping the debate on education equity in the state.
“Every Child NC is a statewide coalition that believes in the power of stories to help advance education equity and center students’ experiences in the debate around policy,” says Sarah Montgomery of Every Child North Carolina. “In sharing those stories, it’s essential to bring diverse youth voices across the state to communicate their perspectives. Narrative Arts created a way for us to do this thoughtfully and creatively.”
Narrative Arts worked with Every Child North Carolina (ECNC) and engaged youth leaders across the state to share their perspectives. Narrative Arts created a story campaign that brought video op-eds that amplified youth leaders’ voices into the dialogue on education equity at a critical moment. The strategy included working with Every Child NC’s partners to identify leaders, workshopping stories with them, and recording the video op-eds. The coalition released the video op-eds over several weeks as part of a comprehensive outreach strategy that Narrative Arts co-designed with ECNC.
The youth video op-eds allowed Every Child NC to bring new critical voices into the public debate on school education.
- The videos garnered thousands of views across platforms such as Instagram and Facebook in the first weeks.
- Several reporters viewed the videos and began using youth perspectives in their stories by quoting and interviewing youth leaders. One newspaper embedded the videos in their site.
- The video op-eds were presented at conferences, webinars, and directly to policymakers.
The stories shared in the video op-eds now play a prominent role on the Every Child NC website. The youth’s voices have garnered web traffic and have been shared by opinion leaders.
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