From the Kill the Bill protests, Black Lives Matter and the MeToo movements to feeding poverty-stricken communities and tackling the climate crisis, there has never been a better time to advocate for the causes that matter.
Here are ten empowering ways to advocate for positive change.
- Research and educate
If you hope to educate others on a particular campaign, it is best to have a wealth of factual information, statistics and examples to explain why you support the cause. Read widely – from books to verified news sources, listen to podcasts and watch documentaries and films on the topic you are supporting. If you can, talk to those directly affected by the issue. It is important to be aware of any opposing views. You don’t have to know everything on the topic in question, but it’s important to be open to listening and learning more.
- Be a conscious activist
Leading by example is vital because you are helping others to see an issue being tackled in an accessible way. This allows others to see how they, too, can make changes in a real-world setting that could easily be a part of their routine or household. Document what you do in a personal blog or through your social media – and always share valuable resources, such as books, articles or videos, that have educated or inspired you.
- Don’t expect change overnight
Remember some of the most important and powerful actions in history – such as the women’s and civil rights movements – took years, decades and, sometimes, centuries to make a difference. Prepare yourself for the long haul and celebrate the little wins – such as community recognition, a great turnout to events, the rise of grassroots groups, obtaining media coverage and support from the public. Each one is a step towards something better.
- Be an informed ally
It is up to everyone in society to advocate positive change, but to be an ally is to stand in solidarity with those affected by a specific social issue. Seek out the voices of those who are disadvantaged to fully understand their experiences, and where possible make space for them to speak up for themselves.