The types of activism most people are looking to engage with today are immediate and with a full return. After recent events, even I found myself searching online for things I can do with my family to help bring some change to this world. I found a handful of actionable options and decided to write a blog post just in case you felt helpless this week.
10 Types Of Activism To Engage In Today
There are different degrees when it comes to types of activism. That is why you see people hitting the streets with masks on their faces – braving COVID – to protest the death of George Floyd.
And then there are people who are looking for types of activism they can do that will push the needle from home or from their hometown. This works as well. As long as you do your part, as long as you continue to serve others and do good, you will stay the course.
Here are 10 different types of activism options to consider. Consider discussing this with your children to open up their minds to what is available to them in this world.
Attend A Town Hall
All across the country, there are a variety of town hall initiatives that need your voice. A town hall is an open forum where lawmakers give legislative updates and answer unfiltered questions from constituents.
This is your chance to make a real difference with what is happening in your community or at least let your representatives know what the people REALLY FEEL. This is where you go to plant the seeds of discontent.
Call Your Senator
Do you have something you’d like to discuss with your senator but don’t even know how to begin that process? 5Calls will help you with that! They research issues, determining which representatives are most influential for which topic, and even write base scripts to get you started.
It’s better to phone members of congress because it’s more effective than a letter.
- ‘Here’s Why You Should Call, Not Email, Your Legislators’ NY Times
- ‘Don’t just write to your representatives. Call them — and go to town halls.’ Vox
What issue did you have in mind?
Join A Peaceful Protest / Demonstration
We’ve all seen what has been happening around this country with George Floyd. I have several friends who posted pictures of their children this week and I have to tell you, those pictures really resonated with me. They are probably what prompted me to write this post.
My middle son – who is 12 – went out for two bike rides yesterday and I didn’t think twice about giving him any warnings about being careful. At 12, there is no heightened sensitivity around him entering the world, and I cannot say the same about these women that I’ve grown to care about over the last few years.
He left the house and I sat in silence and it made me think about that. How our lives are so different.
Not because I willed it this way. Not because we CHOSE things differently. Not because we went to different schools or had different jobs. It is just because of the way we look. The FACT that – in 2020 – we are still singing that same song is … deafening.
A lot of people don’t understand the protests. Ask me how I know. Imagine being unable to change your path, the way people view you, the outcome of your story, for a hundred years. What would you do? Every now and then wouldn’t you scream?
Not everyone needs to burn down a building. That’s why this is so confusing to some. But not everyone is so misunderstood and mistreated for so long either… We aren’t filled with such rage.
And if we are really talking about it… what is rage? Rage is hurt and sadness and PAIN. So, instead of looking at it as RAGE, see the fire as PAIN. Suffering. A suffering that needs to be released every now and then.
But this community will suffer because of the protests! It just doesn’t make sense!!!! Yes. You are right – logically. It’s CRAZY. Businesses will close. Repairs will take months. Yes.
But the whole reason the group is protesting doesn’t make sense EITHER. One hundred years of PAIN and SUFFERING doesn’t make sense. The demonstration needs to continue until the fire simmers – in their hearts, minds, souls, and on the sidewalks.
Write Articles For Your Local Paper
There’s a lot to be done in your town – you just didn’t realize it. We worry so much about our nation as a whole, but it has to start somewhere SMALL. Every town has a local paper. What about picking up a free column where you teach families how to get involved? Small- bite actions they can do once a week?
Take that task on and watch that little snowball grow! There are more types of activism that needs to be done than you think.
Run For A Local Position
Everybody is so worried about the BIG picture, but change starts in your own backyard first. If you really want to make a difference, why not consider running for council in your local district.
There are a few requiremements that need to be addressed before you take this huge step:
- Be at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State
- Be a registered voter and a resident within the district the candidate seeks to represent for not less than 30 days preceding the date of filing candidate papers.
Start A Non Profit
If you have a project that could use a bit of funding, then consider starting a nonprofit and lead it. Here’s a Ted Talk about fundraising.
There is a lot of heavy lifting that comes with this option. You need a mission statement, a business plan, properly filled out tax emptempt forms, and you need to remain complaint at all times. As long as you remain diligent and passionate – you will stay in line.
Dedicate Your Time To A Specific Cause
A LOT is happening with this world and it seems that something NEW is always popping up. But is there something you are passionate about? Why not do a bit of research and become an active member of that organization’s community?
Frequent Meet Ups
There are so many types of activism options out there. Which one will you land on? If you really just want to meet up with like-minded people, consider checking out meetup.com.
This website will allow you test out several different groups that just might fit your needs. Then you can hone in on what you like and dedicate more time to that cause. As a matter of fact, they have an entire page dedicated to politics and activism. Just click on where you are in the country to begin!
Volunteer On A Campaign
Have a candidate whose platform you passionately support? Why not dedicate some of your free time to help them win the next race?! A few hours a week won’t be any sweat off your back, but can make a huge difference for their agenda!
- You could also become a poll worker – more information on that here.
- How about hosting events to help educate voters?
- Also, if you haven’t registered to vote yet, here you go.
Related: Volunteer Opportunities for Kids
Support Small Businesses
If you want to make a change, help build communities that you’d like to see to do better. Seek out small businesses and put your money where your mouth is.
Looking For Work In Activism?
If you are looking to connect with organizations that offer internships or paid positions in the social activism category, here are a few great places to consider:
- United Nations
- Human Rights job board
- Peace and World Security Studies
- Careers without borders
- Human Rights Watch
Other Things To Consider
Stay On Top Of The News
Continue to read about what is happening with the world and do not get all of your news from social media. Consider using international news sources as well because US outlets are all pretty biased in the way they distribute information.
It doesn’t matter which side you are on, we don’t need to be fed the information we WANT to hear. We SHOULD just be fed the facts.
A Note About The Quick Hashtag
Don’t feel like just because you’ve tweeted a pretty quote or a hashtag that you’ve done your part. I actually do not participate in this type of social activism because… I don’t feel like any real change comes out of it. People who believe in the hashtag will continue to believe in it. People who don’t will ignore it. We are all just screaming at like-minded friends on FB.
I don’t like the feeling it gives me when I do something like change my icon. It doesn’t feel right for me to just put a hashtag up and then move on with my day. It’s not enough.
And to be honest with you, that’s why I don’t do it very often. If it is enough for you, then I am happy for you – I am not here to argue. I’m just telling you my position and just like I won’t change your mind on this, you won’t be able to change mine.
I work in silence and on my own terms. For example, when that whole Honey Pot thing with Target went down and everyone was upset about what happened to that company – I just went about bought 6 bottles.
Did I tweet about it? Did I let everyone know that I supported that company? No. I just did it. I supported them the way I wanted to – buy helping support their bottom line.
I tried to lift them up from the backend – where I thought they needed it. I don’t need people to pat me on the back and THANK ME FOR SUPPORTING because I tweeted “HEY I JUST BOUGHT 6 BOTTLES!!”.
If there is a petition, I sign. If there is a friend who says her business is slow, I buy. If there is a company that is wronged, I buy some more. If I have a gig and I have a chance to put money in my friends’ pockets… I do – ALWAYS. If I’m on a call and there is a chance for me to recommend a friend for work, I do – ALWAYS. If my friends don’t know that I am on their side without a hashtag, then they aren’t my friends.
Everybody participates on their own terms, just make sure it’s not just for a like.
Choosing How You Spend Your Time
Choose how you spend your time and spend it wisely. There are a million things wrong with this world. Like I said, we could spend 24 hours a day fixing it. Do you want to dedicate 5 minutes to 1,000 ideas? Or do you want to hone in on something that you could really push forward? That is up to you.
Empathize with people who are living through things you are not. Just because it isn’t happening to you does not mean it isn’t happening.
Learn To Listen
Listen to anyone who needs to be heard right now. There are people who are tired of not being heard. Just listen. Don’t explain things away. Just listen.
We watch the news in disbelief. In 2020, it still feels like we are living in some terrible novel that should be burned. None of it makes sense. Actually, none – not one minute.
It’s funny because I think this week is the one that actually will change it all. Is that strange to say? Privatized security, mandatory sensitivity training, annual psyc evaluations, who knows what else? But a hammer is coming down – I can feel it. I don’t think there is a return to normal because 2020 wasn’t normal to begin with. We were already so very broken.
As a woman who is surrounded with family members of cops and former cops, I will tell you – to witness this moment in time, it is not easy because I am afraid for everyone. During these riots, people I love are out there putting their lives at risk and running right into the flames – right now literally. Running as they always do to protect their community – day in and day out.
Peace will come with change, but change isn’t easy. One thing is for sure – change starts with you and me.
There is no better time to get involved in whatever way you’d like – on your own terms. Not everyone can run for a position in office. That isn’t possible or reasonable.
But can you sign the next position that comes your way? Can you phone your senator? Can you contribute to a cause that is in desperate need of funding? Can you support a local business that is struggling to stay afloat? Small moves add up to big change.