Strategies that create conditions enabling people to recognize and activate their personal and collective power are based on empowerment. When strategies build capacity and increase confidence, self-esteem, options and mobility, they can increase empowerment.

Empowerment-based strategies are effective because they make a connection between social and individual change. They provide individuals with avenues to reclaim their personal power and agency to directly address the social conditions underlying their vulnerability.

3 students being strong

Recognizing that vulnerability to the effects of inequity and exclusion is increased by lack of information, dependency, lack of power and isolation (see Racism, Sexism and Homophobia: Social Problems/Social Factors of Vulnerability), we can design empowering strategies that specifically address these factors and decrease vulnerability by:

  • increasing access to realistic and concrete information;
  • providing skills and resources to increase personal and social power by developing autonomy and building capacity;
  • building supportive networks among peers and community resources.