Make it real!
Make it real!
Create a visual representation of a poverty statistic.
The visual representation will demonstrate the extent of poverty in your community, state, country or world. The visual representation should be displayed in a high-traffic area and accompanied by an explanation.
The following steps will help you create your visual representation:
Step 1: Find a statistic.
Step 2: Find a representative object.
- Find an object you can use to represent the poverty statistic you have chosen. It is helpful to select an object that is related to the poverty statistic. For example, cardboard boxes could represent the housing deficit in your community.
- The object should also be easy to find and cost-effective, as an advocacy activity against poverty should not be wasteful. For example, bottles, cans, bottle tops, etc. are generally easy to find and can be recycled when the event is over.
- You can also contact local businesses for donated items to use for this activity. See the Example below.
Step 3: Find a location.
- Location is key. Select a high-traffic area in your school or community.
- Make sure the location is safe and that your “Make It Real!” display will not be damaged over time.
- A possible location is a school library, community center, student center, school lawn or other heavily-trafficked outdoor space or outside a sports arena or lecture hall.
Colorado State University and St. John’s University “made it real!” as part of their advocacy campaign during Act! Speak! Build! Week 2007.
- Odell’s Brewery donated 220,000 bottle caps.
- Students calculated that each bottle cap represented 2,900 children worldwide who live without adequate shelter.
- Nine 4 x 8 foot boards were each covered with 4,600 bottle caps.
- Each board had a different statistic relating the numbers, such as, “Every two bottle caps represent one homeless person in Larimer County” or “Each bottle cap represents four homeless people in the state of Colorado.”
- The majority of the bottle caps were poured onto a large tarp, which attracted a lot of people, as it looked like a pile of gold when the sun hit it! A “homeless” display was placed next to the tarp, with a shopping cart, cardboard box, sleeping bag, crumpled newspapers and a “Sleep Well” sign.
- Displays of the statistics and “the faces of homelessness” pictures were donated by the Colorado Coalition of the Homeless.
(Source: Laura Grette, Act! Speak! Build! Week committee chair)