This post has been ruminating in my mind for years. In some way, I've been an activist for many years and, unlike what you may see in articles, on TV, or from friends, activism is not a one way road, a single path, or a set of steps and actions everyone must take. Activism changes with the seasons, the causes, and each person and... it can change FOR each person. I am an example of that. There is, additionally, no one authority on how to be an activist and, I would challenge, that if someone suggests that to you... you push back.
In my time as a teacher, an adult, and an activist, I have written letters, made phone calls, sent emails, and faxes. I have also attended marches, protests, participated in boycotts, supported organisations/individuals/causes financially, served in leadership for change, and, where need be, been blunt in my relationships and interactions. In my early years teaching, I hand wrote a 7-page letter to my governor. His response, as you see in my post update, the response was less than adequate.
My intention with this post is to explore many ways of being an activist, via my own experiences, and those of others. There are some things on this list that I do not do. The reasons I do not may be varied and many. I am neurodiverse and have chronic conditions that limit what I am able to physically and mentally do. Despite what some say, these are adequate reasons to say no to an action item. I am a teacher with limited salary. I cannot always give financially. My point is this: there are MANY ways to be a good activist. Find ways that work for you.
There are other ways to be an activist as well. I've listed 10 that I feel have been most productive or received a better response. Other ways to be an activist include: speaking at meetings, engaging in a boycott of goods and businesses, doing active research, and making statements via clothing, pins, etc.
I have engaged in all of these. I have spoken at a board meeting and, while it was important for me, did not enact any change that I was hoping for. I regularly boycott goods and businesses. Again, my business isn't enough to upend the system, but it is important for me and those I interact with. I am currently engaging in research on pedagogy and special/disability education and I regularly support causes via clothing and pins. These are steps that are important for me. They are also activism.
So, here's my call to action. If you want to be an activist. If you want to "do your part" (as they say), find a way that works for you and the cause you want to support. Go for it. It will make a difference even if in a small circle of people.
Lastly... what other ways of activism can we add to this list?
This particular blog is dedicated to social justice workings in my professional and personal life.