Brainstormed in August 2016 as a response to the need for progressive grassroots activism, USUnited preaches non-donation, participatory activism. Formed as a reaction to big money and donation based politics, USUnited seeks to give grassroots activists the social platform, tools, advice and outreach they need to successfully advocate for change in their communities.
Made up of one main USUnited Facebook page, 52 state United pages (for example, Tennessee United) and Global United, USUnited’s strategic structure is comprised of six, successive levels of participatory engagement:
1. Strengthening individual knowledge and skills
2. Promoting community education
3. Forming coalitions and networks
4. Educating institutions, organizations
5. Changing institutional and organizational practices
6. Influencing policy and legislation
USUnited uses social media platforms, primarily Facebook and Twitter, to promote social change. That can be done by encouraging readers to commit to advocacy participation through:
A. Presenting and reporting stories/information of interest
B. Encouraging comments and sharing
C. Facilitating discussion in comments and posts sections
D. Finding and establishing areas of agreement and alignment
E. Committing to an action or event.
Thus far, USUnited’s social media focus has centered on the first level of engagement: strengthening individual knowledge and skills. Many people, disenchanted with a main stream media system that delivers the same news, the same spin, and the same lack of policy options, would agree that their news sources have become Facebook, Twitter and, to a lesser degree, Instagram.
USUnited wants to capitalize on that. With a main FB page that serves as a daily national commentary source, USUnited supplements that content with local and regional news, actions, and events delivered by its USUnited State editors on their state pages. Both the main page and the state pages seek to encourage readers to join in increasing levels of engagement.
Since USUnited’s launch on late August 2016, their social media reach through Facebook has grown to about 30K readers weekly. USUnited continues to boost readership through promotion, post shares and cross posting. To further increase their outreach, USUnited will be releasing a newsletter and has partnered with People Powered Live Streams, a FB based live stream video page, and Progress for All, a Florida-based activism organization.
As new opportunities for collaboration occur, USUnited chooses their actions upon their mission statement:
“USUnited: Concern for our communities starts here. Join us as we advocate for change that involves us all and benefits everyone.”
For more information about USUnited, please visit their website.
Visit USUnited on Facebook.
Images used are sole property of Jeannette Hoyt
© 2016 Jeannette Hoyt