Volunteering for Social Change

spring 2021 webinar series

Volunteering for Social Change

volunteers as actors and activists in protecting civil society

In this 4-part webinar series, we will explore the role of volunteers in social activism and the various ways they contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable society. The sessions will have a particular focus on the role of volunteers in dealing with the impact of and supporting the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each session will feature an overview on the topic and will highlight examples from practitioners on the field. The sessions will also include panel discussions and interactive Q&A.

Volunteerism and Social Activism

Recorded February 3, 2021 at 9am EST

In this session, we revisit the 2007/2008 paper Volunteerism and Social Activism: Pathways for participation in human development, co-produced by UNV, IAVE and CIVICUS. The paper still remains highly relevant as we consider volunteers as activists for social change – the formal and informal ways volunteers serve as activists for change has become ever more blurred during the pandemic. This webinar sets the scene for the series, picking up on the relationship between volunteering and activism. The session showcases how this relationship is important in today’s context and how it has been evidenced in dealing with the current pandemic. It includes a critique of the paper by an academic and three case studies that showcase volunteers as social activists.

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Volunteers as Key Actors within Civil Society Dealing with the Impact of COVID-19

March 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST (GMT-5)

All around the world, civil society and volunteers took the lead in responding to pandemic. This session will highlight the quick response of volunteers to address the devastating impact of COVID-19, particularly some of what might be considered the ‘invisible’ impact of the pandemic such as increased vulnerability of individuals.

Volunteers Taking Action to Support the Recovery of COVID-19

April 12, 2021 at 9:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

This session will explore the role of volunteers in the pandemic recovery efforts. We will look at examples of how volunteers are helping communities build resilience during this unprecedented time which has resulted in a wide array of economic, social and health issues. The webinar will also highlight the important role that volunteers will play in the vaccination rollout efforts, working in partnership with government and healthcare providers to inoculate members our communities.

Volunteering for Social Change: The Importance of Partnership

May 6, 2021 at 9am EDT (GMT-4)

We will explore the role of government, civil society, and the corporate sector in supporting and developing volunteerism. The session will showcase some effective examples of working partnerships and consider some strategic questions. During the pandemic did we see examples of creative and effective partnerships and will this impact volunteering as we move into the next decade? How can we enhance partnerships to support volunteering in helping to address the 2030 Agenda and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals?