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?

Activism: Efforts to create large-scale change.

Why activism?

Does activism really work?

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

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.

Activists are people who:

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

Worried you don’t have what it takes to be an activist? Remember:

  • You have something crucial to offer
  • You are enough, just as you are
  • 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!

What do activists do?

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

  1. Activists start with a goal and then
  2. develop a strategy for how to reach it.

Each 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 goals.

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.

How does activism work?

Activist tactics can come in many forms including:

Throughout the years, activists have engaged in numerous tactics to shake up the systems they live in. These tactics range from the large, coordinated efforts involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, to the more personal Consciousness Raising Groups of the women’s lib movement.

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 CARE – for ourselves and for each other as a community. Our love, support, and recognition for each other will help keep each other strong enough to win.

How do I start doing activism?

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 dedication!

What is my first step?

Here are some suggested 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 community radio like WRFG 89.3fm