Young activists make the best storytellers

If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.

4 mins read
Hannah’s class with visiting speakers from Lifecamp (@LIFECampInc) a gun violence prevention organization based in Queens, NYC.

Get to the table by persuading others to join you with story-telling. Young activists excel at crafting stories to influence their communities.This blog showcases six powerful online stories from students at Hunter College


Hannah R. Rosenzweig, is an accomplished filmmaker and the founder of Intention Media which produces videos and ads on social justice issues. Hannah teaches “Digital Health & Media” at Hunter College. The course introduces students to key technological advances and current use of digital and social media, including mobile technology, as part of community-based strategies for communicating about health.

DemLabs recently trained Hannah’s class on digital story telling with StoryMaps. This free app combines text, images, videos and maps into compelling stories that are easily shared.

STD Rates are on the rise in NYCEspecially for young black men and women between the ages of 15-24.What is the NYC DOHMH is doing to address this?
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) are heart related risk factors such as heart attacks. Generally, CVD is a condition which involves a blockage of blood vessels causing heart malfunction like a heart attack or stroke.

It’s a rising Epidemic. One-third of people who take opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and more than 10% get addicted.
A culture of over-prescriptions. The new culture of medicine is overmedicating Americans and changing societal norms.

New York City prides itself as a city of innovation and a food hub. Yet for Bronx residents, they are dealing with an age-old problem. What happens when the city that never sleeps cannot feed its residents?
Flakka is a relatively new synthetic drug that is gaining increased popularity particularly in Florida, Texas, and Ohio. It is listed as a banned schedule 1 drug by the U.S. DEA.

Shaping public discourse

Powerful interests control major media outlets, radio stations and rural newspapers. They frame the discussion, promote their point of view and drown out other voices online with bots. They retain control by distracting public attention from pressing issues. How can small grassroots groups compete for attention against such loud voices?

An asymmetric response is needed as the other side has the money. Hundreds of stories told regularly, by trusted in their sources makes a difference. Activists trained on the latest story-telling techniques level the playing field, one community at a time.

Hannah’s class shows what’s possible with motivated activists, just a little training and free software.


Campaigns and advocacy groups should use free, innovative apps to create their own social media posts, infographics, Story Maps and videos. DemLabs offers free  training on these apps to Democratic groups. Learn more here.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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