Q&A: Jazmeen Payne, Deputy Director of Change the Frame
Jazmeen Payne is a founding member, and Deputy Director of Change the Frame. It’s a new, youth led, non-government organisation (NGO) tackling issues relating to gender inequality within Australian society. Tessa Grimes met with Jazmeen who explains the work of “Change the Frame”, what it aims to achieve and how it’s different from any other NGO dealing with gender inequality.
What is Change the Frame?
We are an extremely passionate, diverse team who deliver school based workshops centered around creating a discussion that is inclusive, intersectional and accessible. Our workshops aim to engage students and immerse them within the topics. This equips them with the knowledge, confidence and ability to tackle gender inequality within Australian society. The workshops are created for students ages 13-18 and they are facilitated by passionate and knowledgeable young adults. Each of our core workshops tackle different issues like masculinity, feminism in pop culture, healthy relationships, intersectionality, sex and gender, and LGBTQIA identities.
We believe that the youth of today have the capacity, emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills to tackle these hard hitting and very important social issues.
Who is Change the Frame and what inspired you to start?
The founding of Change the Frame is the story of a group of entirely ordinary young people, each with a large social conscience, stumbling their way through the founding of a not for-profit organisation. We are currently a small team that is expanding, and most importantly we envision a world without gender-based discrimination or violence. A world where anyone can succeed regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.
We chose to focus on discussion-based workshops because in our opinion, no one’s mind has ever been genuinely changed through a confrontational encounter. Minds are changed when people can have their own “ah-ha” moments. We want to facilitate that experience, not force it. Hence why we chose to take a holistic, community focused approach to solving the problem of global gender inequality.
What is your mission statement?
“Change the Frame is an organisation led by youth for youth. We equip young people with the skills to critically evaluate the gender biased frameworks that exist within society through participant-led conversation driven workshops.”
Since you started, what has been your biggest achievement?
As our organisation is quite young, I believe our biggest achievement has been to firstly establish ourselves legally as a Non-Governmental Organisation that has a constitution, structure and developed curriculum. Alongside this, bringing together a passionate and hardworking team of people who have donated their time, effort and money to make this all happen, to the point where we are able to approach schools who are more than willing to take on our workshops because, they too, believe in our cause. As a result, we currently have three schools locked in this semester for our pilot program, which translates to many minds we can challenge and educate
Where would you like to see Change the Frame in 5 years’ time? And what is next on the cards for Change the Frame?
In 5 years’ time we are hoping to be very well established within the Canberra region, having regular workshops within an array of diverse schools, including those of lower socioeconomic status. We aim to have all our curriculum and learning materials published online so that they are accessible and transferable to educators themselves internationally. We even have hopes to expand nationally, with branches regionally and within various states.
For now, our main aim is to establish our organisation and brand within the Canberra community as we believe Canberra is the perfect atmosphere to cultivate an inclusive, intersectional and above all, equal society.
Can people volunteer with Change the Frame?