What Makes An Activist?

Activist.

noun

  1. a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.”police arrested three activists”

adjective

  1. campaigning to bring about political or social change.”activist groups around the world are organizing solidarity event

I feel that this word–activist–is a buzz word. And perhaps it should be, at this point. The world seems to be a bonfire on the back end of Hell’s half acre. It is wonderful to see the world turn on to what is happening–one life at a time.

The revolution is happening in real time–and has hashtags. Welcome!

But in the welcoming you all to this fight for freedom, space, equity, visibility, voting rights, the right to be a woman (trans/queer/het/cis) and equality, I need you to remember one thing.

It is never too late to fight for what you believe in. It is never too late to believe the world change–for the better! I want you to remember that activism is not just for those who protest with signs and in crowds.

Here is what I mean. Think of this is four steps.

Step 1. It is okay to question the system exactly where you find yourself. It is okay to even be scared! It is okay if you find yourself questioning all that you have been taught! This does not make you a bad person! Think of as a primer to embolden to you do what you desire to do-help change the world.

Step 2. It is okay to ask questions! It is okay to join spaces that you felt excluded from before. A quick way to acclimate to different spaces (never say new spaces are strange!), is social media and podcasts! Listen to what other people have to say, and how those issues have affected them! You cannot be an advocate to a cause you refuse to learn about.

Caveat: Black folk and other People of Color are not obligated to explain racism to you as a White person.

Note: Reverse racism does not exist!

Step 3. Educate yourself! Read literature from experts on a subject or talk to someone whom has lived that experience. For example, if you want to become more of an advocate for LGBTQIA people, find out how to become a straight ally–and read work by those whom are either queer themselves, or those whom have considered themselves a queer ally. But read you must! In order to debate/contend/debunk any issue faced you must know the language of the oppressor, as well as the language to reverse it!

Step 4. Find a lane and work it. Your activism isn’t a uniform! It goes with you–wherever you are! Again, activism is not just for the street–even thought that is a component of it! It’s not just in politics! It is in arts–the world needs to know more than just straight, cis-het White male writers! It could be in education–in advocating for Black/Latinx children in public schools. If your charge is hunger, start a pantry at a school or your church–even your house! But there is always something you can do, dear Torches. The same can be said for the protection of women, literacy and father’s rights! There is always a starting place! Don’t be tricked into being silent or stymied!

Activism takes many forms, but always know that all activism begins with awareness. The fact you are seeing the world around you in a real way, in way that challenges the people around you to change as well. I am proud of you. I am rooting for you. I am fighting to change the world with you.

Let’s go, Torches!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.