Fight the Power, (Constructively)
In creating this Pathfinder, I wanted to gather resources for all types of people. In an interview I conducted yesterday on my Reading Came First Podcast, and my guest discussed how in the social justice movement of today, there are so many ways to use our voices that sometimes get drowned out. I brought up how between the problem’s solution and those who attempt to solve the problems are many disrupters who make the job of demonstrators and activists that much more difficult. We talked about how whether a Facebook status, “hashtag activism,” having difficult conversations with close family and friends, or demonstrating by marching or boycotting, are all ways to make an impact and get ones voice heard. From media, to personal blogs, important conversations, collaborating with others, making videos, poetry and music, marching, and or demonstrating, many people may feel like they want to do something to help, but aren’t sure exactly what.
Whatever one may do, they will need to be informed. I was able to gather resources for the person who is new to activism. I also realized that activism is becoming a term used more and more loosely, and those wanting to act may feel intimidated about what contributions they can make.
I found that there were many books, and scholarly articles on Pinterest that discussed social justice issue from Feminism, to LGBTQ equal rights, civil rights and police brutality.
There are some links on my Pinterest Board labeled, Fight the Power, (Constructively)!, that include books to start with that would be a great foundation for those interested in social change. The gem of this project however, are the many infographics that I was able to pin. I liked these as they were quick, digestible, factoids that are made up of stats and studies to help draw a bigger picture and having people to understand social justice issues for the first time. Many infographics were produced as illustrations of in-depth research conducted.
This pathfinder is for one who wants to affect positive social change, but also for teachers, creators, and parents who want to raise socially aware children. Included in this list are children’s books, videos from police officers about effecting positive change, memes created from video, books, case studies, and other artifacts from simple to more complex, to accompany any one on any part of their path. These are appropriate and useful as I believe to effect positive social change today, the message must be truthful, but also reflective. Furthermore, the message needs to be delivered in a strategic way, and in a 21t century way. The use of memes, and info graphics are easily shareable on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, where people create their own platforms. There are communities of people who live and shape their views from social networks. Knowing history, productive and constructive language, listening skills, and positivity can go a long way when doing such exhausting work. People will need to be strategic to disarm those who combat their arguments whether in person or online.
To further the conversations surrounding social justice and social change, people must effect positive changes in other people. This is a complicated idea, but simply honoring that people are human beings and should be treated fairly is the first step. Understanding self care, and how there are many ways to demonstrate protest, assure that time is being used constructively, and that the weapons in the activists toolbox are sharp, and non-violent. More constructive ways to effect change can be:
Hosting a dinner party to have conversations.
Being the change.
Creating an artifact that merges activism with creativity.
In any of these situations, we must understand that to be effective we must be knowledgeable, wise, while being precise, and compassionate with our delivery. I think this set of resources can help someone new to activism, as well as someone who has been a revolutionary and a part of many social justice movements.