Advocacy tools

Call on Your Senators to Fund Youth Justice Improvements!

Congress is still working to set government spending levels for fiscal year 2020, through the appropriations process. The U.S. House of Representatives has completed its appropriations bills, and the Senate is working on its version. Please take a minute to call and urge your Senators to fully fund the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. States need these funds to improve justice approaches, protect youth and promote safer communities.

How do you #SparkSelfCare?

 Our new series aims to lift up conversations about mental health and wellness, and how we can nurture ourselves as activists and changemakers. What is self-care and what does it have to do with the advocacy work and activism that many of us take part in every day?While we may not always intentionally practice it, taking care of our mental, emotional and physical health sets the foundation for how much energy we have to give to the world and the causes we are passionate about.At SparkAction, we work with advocates, activists, allies and co-conspirators in social justice from all backgrounds and communities who are making the world a better place. The work is important, hard and often emotional. We can’t help but notice that nearly everyone has different ways to practice healing and care for themselves and their communities—and that many of us struggle to integrate it into our lives and our work.We believe that everyone needs and deserves space to reflect, heal and nurture ourselves and our communities. That’s why we’re collaborating with our partners to launch a multi-faceted content series on self-care in all of its forms. In this series, we’ll use blog posts, video interviews, social media activations and more to explore and support self-care healing, trauma recovery and every day mental health. We invite insights from all changemakers—all ages, issues, backgrounds and communities—with a focus on centering the perspectives and ideas from young social justice leaders.We’re launching this series first and foremost with the intention of holding space to help remind us all that we must take care of ourselves as humans first and advocates and activists second.Do you want to explore ways to practice self-care? Maybe you know someone who has radical, creative or innovative ways they self-care, or someone who finds ways to build in healing into their every day. We want to hear from you! Let’s talk about building self-care into our work so we can be the best changemakers possible.Read some of our initial blogs and conversations about self-care:The SparkAction Team’s Personal Reflections. We’re kicking off the series by walking our talk and sharing our own honest reflections on self-care. Find those here. Reflections on Managing Self-Care from a New College Student. Our Editorial Intern Timeka, who recently moved from Guyana to Brooklyn and has been learning to navigate her new life, shares how she came to realize she needed to be prioritizing her mental health and taking better care of herself during her second semester of college. Read it here. Share Your Self-Care StrategiesMay is #MentalHealthMonth and that’s why we’re choosing this month to launch this series. Here are two ways to get involved in the conversation:Share your self-care ideas and questions using the hashtag #SparkSelfCare on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can share an image below with your answer, whatever it is:Sample Post:I #SparkSelfCare by [add your ideas or what you’d like to do for self-care, or encouraging another person to self-care]  Join our partners at Youth Engaged 4 Change for their May #YE4CSelfCare activation to support young people in talking more openly about mental health and taking care of yourself. Sample Posts: Destigmatizing mental health is important, and so is how we care for our own mental health. What’s one self-care strategy you’ve learned that’s helped you manage? Use the hashtag #YE4Cselfcare to share how you #selfcare and to help inspire others.#selfcare is important for all of us and there are so many ways to practice it. SHARE how you practice self-care this #MentalHealthMonth by responding below or posting a photo or video with the hashtag #YE4Cselfcare. Learn more: for Help and HealingCall the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.If you're seeking an LGBTQ+ specific resource, the Trevor Project is here for you, with a 24/7 lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, and a text line at 678-678.Top 25 helpline resources from National Alliance on Mental IllnessResources for Help and Healing from Trauma from SparkActionHow to Cope with Traumatic Events from Youth Engaged 4 ChangeBanishing the Stigma Around Mental Health from Youth Engaged 4 ChangeQuestions? Ideas?Please contact me at

Action Alert: Thank Congress for Getting the JJDPA Youth Justice Bill Done

UPDATE: After 16 years, the bipartisan Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was reauthorized on December 13, 2018! Learn more.

Tools to Help You #VoteYouthJustice

September 25, 2018
A SparkAction Round-Up
Pew social media research

Activism in the Social Media Age

August 6, 2018

Congress, fully fund the JJDPA!

The JJDPA sets federal standards to ensure a minimum level of safety and equitable treatment for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

As the Appropriations Committee begins the process for FY 2019, it's important for your representatives to hear from constituents about the importance of funding the JJDPA.

Phone Script:


Tell Rep. Culberson to fully fund the JJDPA!

Rep. John Culberson is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science of the House Appropriations Committee. This subcommittee is responsible for allocating funds to programs within the Department of Justice, including the JJDPA. The JJDPA sets federal standards to ensure a minimum level of safety and equitable treatment for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

New YOrker

From The New Yorker: Does Calling Congress Work?

December 20, 2017
Kathryn Schulz
Shy person at computer

A Shy Person’s Guide to Calling Representatives

January 8, 2018

You Should Know: The Citizen Resource Center

March 7, 2018
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