How to Raise Your Voice and Spark Change

Welcome to activism, young grasshopper. For taking this first step into mobilizing social change, I applaud you. You are a badass because you have tedious exams to study for and internship applications to complete, yet you are here with open arms, ready to learn how to be a stronger activist. Want to learn how to develop your voice? Here are my tips and tricks for embracing activism and empowering others.

1. Embrace your voice to raise your voice.

When you consider the millions of college students around the globe, it is easy to trick yourself into feeling like a small, voiceless shadow on the outskirts of a larger crowd. But your voice – despite your age, race, education level, or gender – holds a true and unique value that can contribute to any social movement. Speaking up and becoming an activist begins once you acknowledge your value and embrace your voice. Keep in mind, both introverts and extroverts make excellent activists. Your voice, whether written or spoken words, and your presence at marches, speeches, and events, will play a pivotal role in creating change.

2. Find your flame (and your tribe).

Feminism. Poverty. LGBTQIA+ Rights. Hunger. Climate Change. The world is full of movements that kickstart change for various groups. Passion fuels activism. Finding your flame involves discovering which movements empower your heart, soul, and mind. Once you uncover which movement speaks to you most, you will find your tribe.

The helpful aspect about joining the millions within the crowd is that you already have a built-in support system. Your tribe will likely consist of student groups on-campus or non-profit organizations relating to the movement you choose. Contact the local director or someone you know personally that is involved. The first step to unlocking your work as an activist involves speaking to those already within the movement and figuring out which roles are available, as well as which roles that you are best suited for.

3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

This Aretha Franklin jam speaks wonders for activism within the current political sphere. Political views run rampant and oftentimes discussions become enraged and sometimes violent. Activists, as well as people overall, need to learn to have civil discussions regarding their distinct viewpoints. Agree to disagree – this will become your superpower since it will allow you to explain your view to those with differing perspectives. It also provides the perfect circumstance for you to actively listen to the other person’s paradigm. A major proponent of having civil discussions involves actively listening and respectfully responding. Allow the person to fully finish their point before speaking. Do not interrupt the person. Hold your breath, take a side note, and allow them to conclude. Listen to the wise words of Aretha and be sure to respect people you speak with regarding pressing issues.

4. Read. Research. Repeat.

The best aspect of activism is that oftentimes you genuinely care and have a passion for the movement/cause/subject matter. Staying in the loop on new updates and information is vital for holding civil discussions and informing people who have less information about the topic. Information is power. Listen to a podcast with experts on the panel. Set notifications for the New York Times, BBC, and your favorite news outlets so that you are always in the loop. Crunched for time? Sign up for TheSkimm or an email newsletter that will keep you informed always.

Ready to change the world? Making the first step toward a new goal is always the hardest, but once you get into a groove of speaking your mind and working with your tribe, it will fall into place. Activism, and having a voice, will constantly be a work in progress, but with time, practice, care, and passion, you will finesse your craft and become an amazing activist.

 

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