As more issues capture national attention, you may be asking yourself how do you get involved? Many folks tend to think of protest as being a primary form of activism, but activism exists in so many different forms! Everyone has different strengths, so take on a form of activism that works best for you.
Don’t feel the need to compare yourself to someone else! You don’t need to be the next Greta Thunberg, Marley Davis, or Emma Gonzales to advocate for important issues! We all bring strengths to the table, and we definitely need everyone with different experiences to bring new ideas and opinions. Here are four ways you can become an activist today.
Educating Yourself and Friends
One way to stay up to date with issues is to read books, watch movies, and research articles relevant to the issues you’re most interested in! Educating yourself will allow you to show your opinion backed up by facts. In doing this, you can also give the friends and family members you’re talking to a unique perspective on the issues.
- Goodreads has a list of book recommendations for starting your own Social Justice Book Club.
- Complex provides a list of film recommendations to watch on a diverse amount of social issues. Have a viewing party with your friends to get different opinions on the film!
- When discussing politics and social issues with your friends and family it’s definitely possible you’ll have different viewpoints. IGNITE provides some tips on how to communicate when talking about politics with your friends and family.
Protesting and Social Movements
When most people think of activism they think of protests and being an active participant on the grounds of the movement. It’s so important to have folks willing to be at movements, but it’s just as important for those people to have a base of organizers to rely on. A movement needs people organizing the event, others making signs, adults who are looking out for youth in the protest, and someone to provide snacks and water.
- Support each other during the protest! Safety is important for yourself and the folks around you, be sure to keep an eye out for those who might look sick or dehydrated.
- Wanting to protest during a pandemic can be stressful as you possibly risk the health of yourself and your family. If you decide to go out, be sure to care for yourself and those you live with, check out these tips on how to remain safe.
Art is an important form of activism for folks to express their beliefs on an issue. Illustrations, poetry, storytelling, and many more forms of expression allow others an insight into those experiencing the issues firsthand. Allow yourself to be and feel represented using any form of art!
- Protest signs are an integral form of art at any event. See how posters have progressed throughout the years.
- Poetry allows folks to express themselves. Listen to these Social Issue Poets discuss issues that are close to their heart.
Engaging in the Political Process
If you are able to, let your activism become part of your political participation. While you advocate for an issue be sure to hold your representatives accountable to listen to your opinion. Ensure your elected officials are representing you by voting for candidates that stand up for what you believe in. With elections coming up, this is the perfect opportunity to check if you’re registered to vote, and if not, set up a voting plan!
- Use IGNITE's website to become an IGNITE the Vote Ambassador and encourage your friends to vote.
- You have the power to determine the outcome of the Presidential election on November 3, 2020! Chat with IGNITE’s Sophia bot to set up a voting plan.
- Take the 2020 Census! Every decade the US counts its citizens and uses that information to draw political districts.
We can and will continue to uplift and empower women and girls through policies that advance gender equity, even in this constantly changing world. It's time to join IGNITE as we take our legislative advocacy online!