Letter to the editor: Activism is important part of our world
December 2, 2017
Activism. Many people picture someone like Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks when they hear the word activism. Someone who gives speeches, leads parades, and organizes protests.
However, though people like these are activists, these images tend to distract people from the idea encompassed in just the first three letters of the word: act. Frustrated by the current political climate, I decided to create a survey and see how others felt about activism.
When asked if they tried to talk about or change an issue they believed in, 78.3 percent of the 129 people who took my survey said "yes." However, when asked if they would consider being an activist, people shied away from the idea, responding that they didn't have enough time, money, or power to be an activist.
There is an odd sort of stigma around the word "activism," mostly because the word tends to be associated with people who make an enormous impact. This discourages people from trying to solve large issues they feel strongly about because they feel as if the problem is too big for them to make a tangible change.
In fact, 76 percent of people in my survey said they would not be activists because they felt they couldn't really make a difference. However, activism does not mean that someone must solve whole issue or even make a measurable impact.
Simply put, activism is advocacy. It can be as simple as having a conversation or as complex as petitioning for a new law. Raising awareness can include posting on social media, donating to charities, participating in discussions and conversations, voting, and much more.
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Activism is an important part of how our world improves and changes, and we need to get rid of the stigma around the word so we can all embrace it.