Activism 101

The important thing is that you feel deep down that things can change for the better and that you START to get your feet wet!

What is activism?

Efforts that fundamentally promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change.

What has activism given us?

“Activism has played a major role in:
-ending slavery,
-challenging dictatorships,
-protecting workers from exploitation,
-protecting the environment,
-promoting equality for women,
-opposing racism,
and many other important issues.

Activism has been present throughout history, in every sort of political system.”

Activists are people who:

  1. recognize that there is something wrong with the world, and
  2. work to change the world for the better.

Activists can focus on many different issues or “causes,” use many different tactics or strategies, and come from any background or experience level.

Activists start with a:
1) goal and then develop a
2) strategy for how to reach it. Each
3) tool or tactic activists use in their strategy has a goal as well, which should guide toward the greater goal. There are many “tools” in the “toolbox” activists can use in their strategy to achieve their goal/s.

Activist tactics can come in many forms including:

  • Making art, videos, or popular communication that can speak to the issues and to people
  • Making space for the community talk about issues and collectively make decisions, like a people’s assembly
  • Sharing information through social media and workshops
  • Door-to-door canvassing to raise awareness
  • Planning and strategizing
  • Fundraising
  • Starting a cooperative
  • Protesting
  • Phone-banking
  • Civil disobedience
  • Direct action
  • Joining and working with an organization or group
  • Take notes at a meeting, transcribing, summarizing, and/or sending out those notes
  • Creating educational resources
  • Journalism, documentaries and mass communications
  • Hosting a training/skill share
  • And more!

To begin to get involved in activism, it might help to ask yourself some questions:

  1. What hurts or irks me the most about the way the world is now? What would I change if I could?
  2. What could be an alternative situation or solution to this problem? What would a better world look like?
  3. What might have to happen in order to fix the problem(s) I see?
  4. What are some steps I could take toward making these things happen? What could I do personally?

If you are not sure where to start or what to do, don’t worry! Again, the most important thing is the will to start.

We need your unique input, passion, and dedications! But if you’d like, here are some suggestions for

First Steps for getting involved in activism:

  1. Make a choice inside yourself to do this work, and release fear.
  2. Go to an event! Check out our Activist calendar!
  3. Attend an Activist Meet and Greet! These take place every last Thursday of the month (except Nov. -Dec.).
  4. Join a group! Visit our activist directory to discover a new group
  5. Grow your knowledge by reading and listening to independent media! Listen to WRFG 89.3fm

AND REMEMBER:

  • You have something crucial to offer
  • You are enough
  • Learning is needed but it’s a process
  • We’d be so happy to have you
  • You don’t need a degree
  • You can do this in your spare time
  • We need you!

Activism does not necessarily always feel good – that’s not why we do it – though making things more fun is always preferred.

Activism toward our goals is commonly known as a marathon, not a sprint. Activists may spend their whole lives working for change.

Activism is most effective when it includes persistent, committed efforts – which can be a pain in the booty. There is a lot of inertia we must overcome, or transform. The difficulty of this work is why we must celebrate even small wins and practice SELF-CARE. Our love, support, and recognition for each other will help keep each other strong enough to win.

Center yourself in love, joy, and solidarity and you will be an unstoppable force. JOIN US!