Aditi Mehta | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by Aditi Mehta

A Case Study of An Innovative Campaign Against Domestic Violence

"If I have to leave my apartment and go to a shelter, will my kids be able to go to the same school?"

"If I am undocumented, can I report my wife for verbal and physical abuse? She told me if I call the police they will arrest me because I am living in the country Illegally."

"Why are there not enough resources to help people in trouble?"

The above questions were all submitted as part of the 21 Days of Questions, 365 Days of Action domestic violence campaign.  

21 Days Cambridge: The Question Review Panel

Member of the question review panel reviewing the submissions.
Question Review Panel reading and discussing submissions for Domestic Violence Campaign.

Question Campaign: A Case Study

In my last post, I decided that for my final Civic Media project, I would write a case study about the 21 Days Question Campaign on Domestic Violence recently launched by the City of Cambridge. The purpose of this case-study is two-fold: 1) to demonstrate how a question campaign can effectively engage diverse community members around a single cause and 2) to understand why this sort of campaign is especially useful in creating public awareness around and fighting domestic violence.

Below is an outline the case study will follow:

Final Project Revisited: 21 Days Cambridge

I have decided to change my final project topic once more. While I am excited by both the history of civic media in Boston's Chinatown and James Rojas' participatory planning workshops, I am now going to focus my final project around the 21 Days Question Campaign Against Domestic Violence in Cambridge.  The City of Cambridge approached the organization Engage the Power (EtP) to help design a campaign against domestic violence.  EtP helps communities set political agendas by designing "question campaigns."  Engage the Power believes in the power of the question to hold decision-makers accountable, as well as to help facilitate knowledge exchange and collective action.  The organization was founded by MIT DUSP Professor Ceasar McDowell.  

Theory of Social Change



Last class, my group designed two “theory of social change” diagrams. One diagram demonstrated the process an individual goes through when trying to improve or modify his or her environment. It assumed that the sociopolitical surroundings of that individual allowed for a simple and accessible democratic process and that local politicians and stakeholders act in the interest of the individual. In that process, the individual first assesses the surroundings and decides what about status quo needs to change. Next, the individual takes this concern or idea to a local politician, and engages others in the community around the issue, encouraging them to also reach out to local politicians. Together all stakeholders form a strategy and take action.