This week, the Jr. Viewfinders started a new phase of the Campaign for Change project by going out and conducting interviews with neighbors and community members. In order to get them ready for that, we did a workshop of interviewing. We went over the difference between open-ended questions and close-ended questions and how we want to ask questions that elicit interesting, substantial responses from our interviewees, as opposed to short, one or two word answers. We talked about follow-up questions and how important it is to listen to the responses of the person you're talking to. Then, we split into groups and did some practice interviews. Luckily, we had a community member who happened to be in the building, and she offered to help the youth do a practice interview.
Each group picked an issue to focus on. One group continued to explore the impact of vacant housing; another asked about the need for a recreation center in the neighborhood, while the last group dug into how sharing good news can help improve community morale. The groups then set out with their questions and conducted a number of interviews with community member, who were willing to lend their time. There were definitely some nerves with approaching and talking to strangers, so the youth didn't always do a great job of listening. However, once they got some experience doing the interviews, they really improved with their listening and improvising. Overall, they all gathered some really interesting stories and perspectives. And, they took some wonderful portraits and photos of the process. Be sure to check those out below.