Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:56 pm Post subject: Inspired Action: Be the Change You Want to See in the World
Are you someone who’s interested or involved in social change (eg a full-time or part-time activist, a volunteer at an organisation that is working to make life better for people or animals, working hands-on for a particular cause, involved in a project that benefits your local community, donates to charities or campaign organisations, or takes action by signing online petitions or sending information out via social media networks occasionally)?
Are you interested in an online portal that will give you easy access to positive, uplifting, inspiring resources including articles, videos, podcasts, e-books, webinars etc on personal development, self-growth and spirituality specifically targeted to social change makers, as well as practical guides on campaigning?
Based on a short survey I conducted of around 30 people involved in a variety of social change work on what they’d like to see, some examples of potential resources could include:
- Coping with burnout and trauma
- Methods for coping when you’re surrounded by negativity
- Effective and non-violent communication
- Inspirational stories about how one person can make a difference
- New strategies in social change campaigning
- How to live a sustainable life as a social change maker
- How social change communities can support each other
- The importance of kindness, compassion and forgiveness
- Dealing with anger and confrontation
- How to get your cause into the media
If so, I’d like to share with you a vision for a new project I’m keen to launch in the next three months, and invite you to come on board.
Inspired Action: Be the Change You Want to See in the World will be a hub for social change makers with a focus on the positive, uplifting and inspirational – a place where you can go to find motivation and to be moved and inspired, as well as find practical, useful tips on effective campaigning.
The aim would be to also include links/feeds to existing sites that already provide practical tools for social change agents, such as Change.org or Care2.com, as well as inspirational stories and video clips from other sites.
If you’re thinking it all sounds a bit ‘feel good’, you’re right! That is the point – but not in a pretentious, navel-gazing way. It’s more about using these tools to transform and take care of yourself so you can transform the world around you – locally and globally.
Every day we read negative news stories about all that’s wrong in the world and as social change makers we are also bombarded with the cruelty and injustices happening in one or more causes that we are involved in. It (rightly) provokes outrage but all that negativity can also be overwhelming. We can turn those negative emotions in on ourselves and our loved ones, become burnt out and so overwhelmed that we are no longer able to effectively create the change we want to see.
So, this would be a site where you can go to get useful, practical information on campaigning, as well as uplifting, positive, inspirational resources.
Why am I passionate about this new project?
I’ve been involved in social justice campaigning for 25 years, predominantly in the areas of women’s rights, queer (gay, lesbian, bisexual, sex and/or gender diverse) issues and animal liberation. This has included street demos, leafleting, direct action, writing and publishing (including founding The Scavenger, an online alternative media portal).
I’ve had a bit of an epiphany recently where I realised that my motivations for a lot of my actions stemmed from anger (not always the healthy kind) and a desire to ‘stick it to the man’, as well as ego (having your ranty opinion pieces published in mainstream media can give you a sense of self-importance!).
So even though I was doing ‘my bit’, essentially my own ‘stuff’ was hindering my ability to effectively create change and I’ve come to see that to effect long-lasting change often requires transformation and growth on a personal level, which has the potential to inspire change in others and to create a kinder, more compassionate world for all.
If you’re still reading this and your interest is piqued I’d love you to be part of this project! In particular, I’m looking for people willing and able to volunteer their time and skills to:
- Write and/or source articles, including practical guides
- Write and/or source true, inspirational personal stories
- Create and/or source inspirational videos, podcasts and webinars
- Design and develop a website (using Wordpress)
- Suggest ideas for what to include on the site
- Help promote the project, particularly on social media networks
- Help organise a launch event for the site in Sydney in June
- Spread the word about this project to anyone you think may be interested! (If you’re part of a group or organisation, please consider sending this information out to your members and networks.
Let’s make this thing happen! Please contact me by email on email@example.com so we can discuss how to work together.
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