by Jessica Vozella
Many people both young and old are getting more involved and vocal about politics and social issues. This is both a gift and a challenge, as many of us can be lost when it comes to starting out as activists. However, it isn’t nearly as hard as it seems! In fact, there are many small ways that you can get involved in the anti-violence movement, no matter what issue gets you fired up!
This might seem small or inconsequential, but one of the most important things you can do when you are passionate about an issue is to talk about it. Not only does it bring more attention to an injustice that might otherwise go undiscussed, but it creates a space where people can ask questions and explore the issue. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a space to discuss a hot-button issue without judgement, but that can be the best way to show people the information that supports life and nonviolence.
2. Stay Informed
Though your opinion and beliefs on an issue might not be up for debate, it is crucial to keep abreast of the information, research, and news emerging on life issues as they come up. This is to keep yourself updated and able to talk to others about the issue, but also challenges you and develops your thoughts and understanding, as nothing is black and white and new issues and challenges are always emerging. Another crucial challenge: read sources that you normally wouldn’t. Perhaps that’s a political opinion you wouldn’t normally consider or a perspective that you don’t usually understand. Doing so helps you create a well-rounded understanding of different people and their argument and helps strengthen your own talking points. And it doesn’t always have to be the news- try reading a memoir, listening to a podcasts, or watching a movie on the issue!
3. Contact Your Representatives
Your representatives on the local and national scale are there to represent you and your interests as their constituent. So why not tell them what matters to you! This can be intimidating, but oftentimes, this just means sending an email or leaving a voicemail on the recording of your representative. Even if it seems intimidating at first, try searching your local government or state representatives and when you have an opinion on upcoming bills and issues, let them know why it’s so important. Finding your representatives is easy too! Try: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.
Another great way to get involved that will probably feel great is volunteering or attending events with a local organization that is serving people in impactful and life-affirming ways. Perhaps a pregnancy center, prison outreach organization, assisted living facility, or local health clinic might have volunteer opportunities, events, or opportunities to give your time or money. Sometimes, it is as simple as sharing their posts on social media and inspiring some conversation amongst friends. A lot of local organizations can also use help with specific tasks or projects: maybe you are tech savvy and want to help them with an Instagram campaign or you fundraise like a boss and want to form a team at their annual walk or 5k!
The other part of activism that isn’t the “boots on the ground” work is larger scale policy and advocacy work. There are many organizations holding rallies, coalitions, and meetings that want to discuss how to make change in the law to affirm life and uphold dignity for every human person. Try checking out the list of Consistent Life Network member groups for some local and national organizations that are doing work for life! Or consider an organization you already know works for the good of others and offer your interests and passions.
If you are a student or you are involved in your community, consider gathering a small group of people who care about your issue or issues related to the one you really care about and form a club or coalition. Your group can raise awareness, plan events, or even advocate for policy change! Consider becoming a founder of a flagship Rehumanize Affiliate Community.
Burnout is real and it can be overwhelming to do things and being informed about these heavy issues all the time. Make sure you are not always “on” and to be sure to do things that replenish you as an advocate and someone who cares a lot about humanity. This is not easy!
There are many ways to get involved in the discussion on life around the country, and hopefully, they don’t seem as hard as you may have thought. Getting involved is a crucial part of any passion for social change, and these tips can get you started. Keep up the great work!