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Lead On!

Lead on for Peace and equality (logo)
Lead On! For Peace and Equality is a youth engagement strategy based on a model that identifies, trains, and enlists the help of key opinion leaders to change social norms and behaviors. The program is based on effective behavior change theory, diffusion of innovation/social influence principles, which states that trends and innovations are often initiated by a relatively small segment of opinion leaders in the population. Once innovations are modeled and accepted, they then diffuse throughout a population, influencing others.

Youth who attend Lead On are considered the popular opinion leaders who return to their communities and complete a community based project to improve the health status of Alaskans, by increasing protective factors and minimizing of risk factors for teen dating violence, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, and bullying. Programming in communities is practice and evidence based and they often use media campaigns, community events, policy changes and culture camps to share promote protective factors and minimize perpetration risk.

During Lead On, communities spend time working through facilitated planning sessions. This allows for youth to identify the needs of their community and receive support and technical assistance from trained prevention staff who understands best practices approaches for community based prevention programming.

Lead On represents youth and adults from across Alaska who are committed to positively impacting their communities. A goal of this program is to shift norms around respect, sexual assault and teen dating violence. The Lead On summit is an annual event that brings youth and adults together for three days in Anchorage where they build leadership skills to promote healthy relationships. This youth-driven summit includes national speakers, Alaska youth speakers, and Alaskan adults who provide inspiration, tools, and opportunities for youth to promote respect. Youth spend a significant amount of time planning for projects in their home community.