This semester, Community Action Gateway students Renita Washington ’22, Keane Fajardo ’22, and Djami Camara ’22 partnered with True Colors, Inc. to work on the organization’s social media strategy. True Colors is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are competently met. When students met with their community partners they learned about the variety of programs offered including: one-on-one and group mentoring, school based youth advocacy and leadership development, professional cultural competency training, management of a state wide task force focused on the needs of LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care, the production of the largest LGBTQ+ youth conference in the country. True Colors wished to create a social media strategy to better complete their mission of working with other agencies and advertising and documenting their annual conference.
So, the students hit the ground running. They decided to begin by conducting a social media audit of the organization’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and provide that audit to their partners. As a final component, they also included sample social media posts and recommendations for the future.
The students also attended the 26th Annual True Colors Conference “This is Me” where they had the opportunity to see opening speakers, performances, and attend a variety of workshops targeted at youth, college students, educators, social service professionals, as well as capture content for the sample posts.
The opening welcome came from Executive Director and founder of True Colors, Robin McHaelen. Robin told the students that she began the True Colors annual conference as part of a field work project in her graduate training in social work, and 26 years later it has grown into a statewide organization. Who better to learn from for their “Building Knowledge for Social Change” course?”
“We are going to make sure that people who agree with us feel welcome here, and people who don’t agree with us feel welcome here. We’re going to make sure that people who share our orientation and people who do not share our orientation are welcome here. We are going to make sure that people who share our gender are welcome here, and people who do not share our gender are welcome here. We are going to make sure that people of every race, ethnicity, religion, ability, documented or undocumented status— every human being is welcome here.” – Robin McHaelen, Executive Director of True Colors, Inc. at the opening of #TrueColors26
The social media audit the students put together also sparked conversation for further partnerships during their final presentations in the Digital Scholarship studio. The CHER team discussed how the audit and sample posts Renita, Keane, and Djami created could be easily replicable for other organizations. We’ve also heard from community partners about their interest in receiving training and other resources to strengthen their communications and social media strategies. Stay tuned for more in the Fall semester…
In the Community Action Gateway, first-year students learn how to create community change with community activists, neighborhood organizers, government leaders, non-profit directors, journalists, and social entrepreneurs in Hartford. If you have questions about the Gateway, contact Director of Community Learning Megan.Hartline@trincoll.edu.