Activism is not a trend, but it is trending. Sometimes the identity of being an activist conflicts with the spheres you encounter in the outside world.
What I have encountered and seen while doing woke work is the need to network, focus on the greater goals and objectives at hand. I have seen opportunities be birthed from the sheer volume of work to be done. As a shero I quote often says (Brittany Ferrell), “There is more than enough work to do.”
Woke work should inspire you to create, voice opinions and work with the like-minded for a goal, for progress, not for personal gain. The notoriety which comes from doing woke work allows spotlight on certain aspects of whatever movement you are in. It should create space for change and conversation. Woke work provokes and evokes! It supposed to! When you discover something askew in your world, you must address it. You are no longer immune or indifferent, ergo you are woke!
Now, working while woke?
Working while woke involves you being able to tightrope with a low net. A low, low net. The problem with working while woke is the politics is the environment you are in. You have to be able to maintain dual identities of employee and activist/influencer.
Case in point? I work for a local staffing agency, and I was at a hospital on a contracted assignment. One of the nurses on schedule that day said she would rather have Drumpf as president than Hilary. Her reason was she couldn’t trust Hilary.
Now, she doesn’t know about the work I do with my husband about trying to get people registered to vote, my dedication to social justice, my vehement palpable opposition to a sexist evil bigot running the free world and how I think 53% of White women fucked us up?
But I was at work. I don’t sign my own check (yet) and the hardest thing to do was to be quiet —when I wanted to cuss and slap people and throw things. Being woke at work, and a minority, involves a level of composure I’m sure my mother and grandmother’s generation had to develop!
You have to know when to maneuver, when to speak, and how to buss folk in the head with head with these hot rapid fire facts. At my last job at Saint Louis University Hospital I had to let this X-Ray tech have it. Why? I felt he was wrong and needed to know why.
As soon as he opened the door to his privilege, I drop kicked it open. Again, you have to know your environment (I worked on a heart floor, mostly women, and liberal), and knew how to navigate (we all talked politics and saw the election results in real time in November 2016), and I seized my opportunity to read…and when to stop.
The work, the movement, your passions don’t stop because you work for people! You have to make it work for you, dear ones.
You cannot win every battle–the goal is to win the war. You do that by strategy.
Consider the work.
Know where you work.
Do the work.