Did you know you are an activist? Or at least you could be. It’s much simpler than you think.
GQ sat down with Linda Sarsour, one of the leading activists today and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. Sarsour, who was interviewed as part of GQ’s feature on NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick, said how anyone can become an activist simply by saving your money, giving your time, and honoring your own gifts.
Give your time
If you feel like you have a particular cause that speaks to you, find a way to volunteer.
“…Find a local organization that works on that particular issue. And find an hour of your time–even if it’s an hour a month, two hours a month, four, depending on what you can give–that you actually make it a priority to go meet people at this institution, have some conversations,” said Sarsour. “That’s the first thing, just being connected to an institution or an organization helps you stay convicted and makes you feel like you’re a part of something.”
Give a little, give a lot
Don’t think you have to give tons of money to a cause for it have a positive effect. Even if you can only afford a couple of bucks a month, that money can add up.
Sarsour gave the example of how we all casually drop $5 on a coffee at Starbucks. She said that if we took those $5 and saved them over a month to $20, that $20 could go a long way.
“Imagine if you gave that $20 every month to an organization that works on ending violence against women, or supports undocumented immigrants, or provides resources and services to people with disabilities,” she said. “If 20, 30, 40 of us in a local community gave that to an organization in a month, we might be able to help them pay their electric bill. Or maybe pay the phone bill. Or pay the rent even, in some towns. So the idea is to never underestimate your individual power and the individual impact you have.”
Don’t underestimate your impact
Too often, people don’t attend events because they think they won’t be able to add anything or they think their voice doesn’t matter in the long run. If you think you won’t be missed from a huge march or other event, think again. Sarsour said that every person counts and that every person has an impact.
“…I say to people: “1 + 1+1+1 is mass mobilization.” Every person counts in this movement. Every dollar counts in this movement; every hour you volunteer counts. We oftentimes have underestimated our individual power.”
Sarsour gave the example of how people think they can’t be like her or her activist partners and fellow Women’s March co-chairs Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez. But in actuality, she said, people don’t realize exactly how many individuals support activists like her in her work. People who are good at branding, marketing, social media, writing, video production, concert production, and more all lend their talents to making events like the Women’s March huge successes.
“So the idea of an ‘activist’ has to be redefined. An activist is anyone who cares about something and has a talent that they’re willing to put toward that thing. So anyone can be an activist. Anyone can support the work of the movement.”
Read the full article at GQ.