Activism has played a crucial role in social movements for generations – challenging local and federal government, promoting equality for women, protecting the environment, fighting against racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, and many more important issues. Throughout history, activism has been present within every political system and institution. And always at the forefront of these movements are young people – organizing and leading, and demanding justice for the inequities that continue to plague society.
What comes to mind when you hear the word activist or activism? Is it an image of an individual leading a march, a digital campaign to boycott yet another company or brand, or is it contacting local leaders to demand they take action against injustice? There are many forms of activism ranging from peaceful protest, letter writing, petitions, lobbying, boycotting, voting, economic activism, digital activism, artvism, to many other variations. Maybe you don’t aspire to be on the frontlines with a bullhorn leading chants or demanding justice, but there is a place for you in movement work.
Whichever form of activism suits your leadership, we encourage you to continue to show up. Movement work not only requires physical bodies in the streets and behind the screen, but also requires us to be our best selves in order to continue the work. For our readers who are engaged in movement work, at any capacity, we urge to practice radical self-care. While it is important to show-up, we also have to take care of our physical, mental and emotional well-being in order to do our best work.
- Take a bath
- Unplug and Log-off
As this national movement continues to grow, it cannot succeed without the involvement of each and every one of us operating at our best capacity. For our readers who are going out to protest, check out the following posts from our YWI partners, Girls for Gender Equity, NYC for tips on safety (physical and health), knowing your rights if arrested and engaging with law enforcement.
Question to our readers: How are you using your voice and channeling your power to advocate for social change? Let us know on Facebook!
To stay engaged follow the #ywimn on all social media platforms.
Contributors: Maria Arreola, YWI Cabinet Member and La’Shante Grigsby, Youth Programs Manager