Tips and tricks for breaking into activism: Part two

Emily Bach, Staff Writer

Photo via. Carolyn Kaster

Below are a few helpful tips and tricks for furthering your impact in the activist community!

  • Reach out to your lawmakers – Most politicians are willing to meet with young people if you have a record of reaching out to them and a valid reason as to why you want to see them. Storming into a Senator’s office to echo blank sentiments you picked up off of TV won’t do you any good, but voicing your support for bills or types of legislation could.
  • Start or join a club – Running a club can be difficult work, but ultimately the best way to continue change is to inspire it. Helping others break into activism is equally as important as continuing your own work.
  • Write – Whether you’re writing letters to the editor or your own articles, journalism can be a powerful tool in spreading your message. Almost any newspaper today takes pitches; you just have to be willing to reach out.
  • Attend conferences – Conferences serve as a gathering place for some of the best and most passionate in the field. They’re a great place to learn, network, or someday even speak.
  • Attend Protests – This is undeniably easier than some of the earlier suggestions, but it’s still incredibly important to show up.
  • Support candidates you believe in – Volunteering on political campaigns is often tiring and requires a lot of grunt work, but it’s undeniably one of the best ways to make sure your elected officials actually serve youPhone banking is a great option for young people, as it’s easy, doesn’t (usually) have an age requirement on it, and can be done in groups.
  • Intern with organizations or campaigns – One of the best things you can do when breaking into activism is to intern. You’ll see first hand how organizing works and will get to literally be on the ground floor of history. Social media management is a great avenue for teenagers to take when interning, simply because many organizations are looking to reach young people through the media.
  • Voice your support in small circumstances – Social media and everyday interactions are powerful tools for changing cultures. If you see injustice, call it out in everyday situations.
  • Fundraise – Whether you have a friend that’s an artist or connections to a breakout band, organizing fundraising events can be game-changing for politicians or organizations that lack the resources to implement change.
  • Get other people on your side – Lots of organizations rely on the support of academics for bills and legislature. Emailing academics (under the supervision of an experienced adult) can be a small but important step towards adopting policy change.
  • Support activism monetarily- Amazon has a feature that allows you to donate a percentage of your purchase to charities. Similarly, saving and donating your change to the right organizations can help support your favorite organizations in almost unnoticeable ways.
  • Help register others to vote – Many communities remain unaccounted for because they don’t show up to vote. Get in touch with organizations like Get Out The Vote for more information on how you can help.
  • Pick up where others left off – Almost every movement has a history. Whether you look to other activists for inspiration or mimic successful legislature, looking at the history of a movement can be vital in creating a future.

Ultimately, being an activist requires finding and developing your own voice. None of these steps are static, but if you’re looking to break into movements, they’re probably a good start.