Pathways to Policy

Pathways to Policy

A Step-by-Step Playbook for Young People Who Want to Change the World

Young people are raising their voices to create safer, healthier communities—even if they’re not old enough to vote yet. From #NeverAgain to #MeToo, young people have been at the forefront of advocacy movements for decades, their passion and idealism sparking millions of people to take action. How can we channel that energy in a way that can lead to concrete public policy change? We created Pathways to Policy to answer that question—and to support young people in their pursuit of a better world.

Young people co-designed this resource at every phase, from formative research through design, to make sure it reflects their needs and interests. The result is a playbook that can inform youth advocacy work on a variety of topics, from defining strategies to help you meet your goal to seeking support from family and friends. Pathways to Policy is for any youth advocacy group or individual young person looking to build their capacity to advocate for healthy changes in their community, whether they follow the steps from start to finish with a facilitator or dive right into the section that applies to their specific situation.

To create this guide, ChangeLab Solutions collaborated with The Bigger Picture, the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) Program at the University of California San Francisco, and Youth Leadership Institute (YLI). The Bigger Picture has activated hundreds of high school students through arts-based education on the structural and environmental causes of type 2 diabetes, but they quickly recognized that their students don’t want to just identify problems; they want to solve problems. Pathways to Policy can help them do just that, providing guidance on next steps to make their communities healthier.

Download Pathways to Policy below as well as useful handouts about the 10 steps of advocacy, the 3 branches of government, and examples on how to get support from parents and peers. 

We’d love to learn more about how you are using the playbook. Take a few minutes to fill out this survey and add your email to receive updates about the playbook.

Contact us for more information on creating healthy changes in your community, join our email list for updates on our work to create healthy, equitable communities, and support our work so we can continue to provide quality resources for policymakers, community leaders, and people like you.