I admire protesters. I follow protesters on Twitter. I applaud the work of protesters.
But I’m not a protester. I’ve never been to a protest, and it kinda sounds exhausting.
Since I’m not a protester, I’ve often feel useless in social justice circles.
Folks out here think that if you aren’t on the front lines at every single march, then you’re not really down for the cause.
The truth is, protesting is intimidating if you’re new to social justice. But that doesn’t mean that you’re useless in standing for issues around justice.
Since I haven’t attended a protest yet, here are ways that I’ve been socially involved.
If you don’t know what you support, just read up on issues. It’s as simple as googling an issue; or finding your favorite influencers online and reading up on topics that they support.
Information is out there and it’s FREE.99! Choose knowledge over ignorance.
Don’t become one of those people that contributes to a problem just because your ignorant. Nobody likes those people, and personally LOVE clap-backing at them online.
Don’t get embarrassed by me! aha
Use Your Voice
1. Share what you believe in on social media.
Now, I’m not saying to get in Facebook debates with angry baby-boomers because that doesn’t help any cause. (Nobody has time for angry Facebook trolls).
What I am saying is if you see a video or article advocating for something you agree with, then share it.
2. Share with your circle of influence.
I am notorious for being the friend in my circle that forces my friends to think critically about social issues. Why? Because that’s how engagement and growth happens.
Here’s the thing though, sometimes my circle doesn’t agree with me and that’s fine too. Even when we don’t agree, we all know where each other stands on issues and we all come to an understanding!
Be the friend that don’t take no foolery. Be the friend that starts the hard conversations and engages!
3. Call your representatives.
You can also use your voice to straight up call your representatives and guess what? They will answer. (Trust me, I work for one…they answer every call even when it’s irrelevant).
Donate to a Cause
I live for graphic tees or trendy products that utilize proceeds for social causes.
I got this dope tee that quotes Maya Angelou, saying “Phenomenal Woman” . The proceeds from buying this went to various organizations that fight for women’s rights.
Buying one dope shirt, served about 7 separate organizations that uplift women in different ways.
Consumer dollars change lives so why not invest in things you believe in?!
Volunteer for a Cause
If you have a heart for homelessness, then volunteer for a local homeless shelter. If you know a march is being organized, find a contact person and ask for a way to help.
You can make signs; help with street clean-up afterwards; make sure water is provided to protesters. You don’t have to do anything grand to make a difference!
Form Ties in the Community
Relationships with community organizers as well as those affected by a social justice issue matters. Get out there. Make some friends.
Above all show that you care, even if you aren’t ready to be on the front-lines yet.
photo credit: Fibonacci Blue Protesters for the climate marching through Minneapolis via photopin (license)