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Last Updated on August 8, 2021
So many people are activists for causes they believe in. Most activists start out as someone who has been affected by the cause they champion. This gives them the mental space to be able to talk about their cause even when they are exhausted from their day organizing. We’ll highlight some causes that need more support and provide some quick tips to become an activist.
Find a Cause
A cause that affects many people but is less well known is domestic violence. Survivors of domestic violence often provide support to those experiencing intimate partner violence. Their voices are needed as many people do not know what domestic violence is, it is an assault, physical or verbal that is inflicted by one person onto the other in a domestic or romantic relationship. It can be hard to work on this cause because it can really wear on your mental health.
Research Your Cause
It is important to research your cause, so you can speak up to represent your cause. If you choose to champion sustainable living but don’t realize that most municipal recycling ends up in the same landfill as your regular trash. Or if you are a committed feminist but think a bathroom ban is okay. It is really important to be knowledgeable about your cause so that you do not provide inaccurate information while being an activist. Remember, you are a voice for your cause, and being loud doesn’t always mean you are correct. Once you’ve done the research it is time to find other activists that you can work with to affect change.
Find Other Activists
The simplest way to find other activists is to search for your cause on social media. This will link you up with others seeking to create change in your community. While you may want to focus on large-scale change at first, you don’t get global results until you have local results. Take motorcycle safety, it seems simple enough that helmets should be used and reminders to look out for motorcycles all over, that is common sense safety. However, it took people at local bike weeks and within local biker communities to the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017 to 5,172 — a 3% drop from the year before.
How Can Your Local Group Help?
Once you have found your local group, it is time to take action. Start out with trying to fill the need in your community and raise awareness by talking to others about your cause. If you are worried about children going hungry, then talk with schools about their free breakfast and lunch programs or local groceries to set up a fund to feed hungry children. If you are trying to encourage helmet use among cyclists, you can run a bicycle safety workshop and have helmets to raffle off. Now you have set up one event or created and found funding for a program to help others, how do you keep it going?
Continue Helping, Learning, and Growing
Once you have found a small success you need to keep going and looking at ways to improve. Take police reform advocacy, people fought to have cameras in interrogation rooms in order to cut down on false confessions. That really worked, but those champions did not stop, they fought for body cameras. Once body cameras were in place in one California town they discovered a 60% drop in the use of force by officers, saving the people more money in defending these cases while making sure police are held accountable for their actions.
Another example would be marriage equality, in many places, there was a second tier of marriage that was available to homosexual couples called a civil union. People joined the cause and agreed that homosexual couples should be able to commit themselves to each other with all the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Becoming involved in activism is a great way to get involved with your community and help make it better. Whether you want to volunteer with an organization that helps domestic violence or march for a cause, there’s likely a cause that you can get involved in.