United 4 Social Change is a nonprofit startup that develops effective civic leaders who write persuasively, speak passionately, and actively participate in the creation and dissemination of ideas.
We enlight them about existing issues, ignite the fire within them to care about important issues, and unite them to find impactful solutions. We have an international scope in mind and envision stimulating a global conversation through a worldwide network of advocates.
Discussion has the power to shape and influence the social and political landscape. At U4SC we harness that power to make the world a better place.
There is a lack of meaningful public deliberation on important issues. The public sphere lacks the ability to participate in reasonable discourse on matters of social importance or effectively discuss differences with those having opposing views.
Advocacy is currently dominated by political and social influencers. Democratic processes have become a one-way street with ‘leaders’ attempting to persuade passive listeners and followers. The society-at-large has not acquired the rhetoric or leadership skills to be effective participants in this process.
We currently run online programs where students participate in 8-week internships in argumentative writing or public speaking.
This involves reading a lesson that covers a relevant technique (argumentation, research, use of visual media, etc.), taking a follow-up quiz, pitching a topic, and formulating a thesis.
After researching their topic, they submit an outline for our us to review and then write an article for publication using the outline and the skills from that week's lesson.
We launched this pilot program in India in 2017 and received over 500 applicants a month.
After making improvements, we launched an updated version in India and the US. In summer 2018, we received over 350 applications from students in high schools and colleges across the US.
Students participate in a variety of interactive workshops that center on building student skills in public speaking and argumentative writing. We also include discussions on social advocacy, social issues, and justice throughout the workshop.
These workshops help students master the steps to persuasive communication and effective leadership as they prepare to serve their communities and the world.
We have hosted social advocacy workshops to participants of all ages (elementary to mid-career professionals). Our workshops have been conducted in two languages (Hindi and English), and we are in the process of adding two more languages (Gujarati and Spanish).
We have hosted multiple workshops in India (one in partnership with SEWA Bharat); two two-week long summer workshops in Boston (in partnership with Global Academic Commons); and many other workshops in the United States (in partnership with Yale Splash, MIT ESP, The Academy at Harvard Square, Educational Development Reform, and others).
We work with school and nonprofit partners to support the work they do.
We share stories about other nonprofits, introduce volunteer and job opportunities to our students, and serve as a zero-cost “PR” firm for our nonprofit partners.
We conduct workshops and training with educators and provide resources for them to incorporate our material in their classrooms.
We have partnered with over 50 non-profits around the world to share the great work they do.
We have multiple schools and teachers who use our curricula and have conducted workshops with partners from around the world!