13 Sep Send your questions to ‘The Activist Whisperer’ columnist (me!)
I’m excited to announce that I am a new columnist for Lush Times (part of the Lush company online newspaper). I’ll be a weekly agony-aunt for activists columnist called The Activist Whisperer tackling the issues that may be stifling you from being part of the change you wish to see in our world. Each new column will be published on Sundays.
Why am I doing it?
I am asked regularly in person and online for advice from people and organisations on how to be effective in activism (not just craftivism). From creating national campaigns or rapid response actions to how to response to a neighbour who has said something xenophobic, from feeling overwhelmed to feeling burnout. Activism is hard work, a craft to hone and not simple. I’ve received good feedback from my advice from the asker. This way I can share my answers with more than that one person which might help more people who have similar questions. Also I can’t find another agony aunt for activists when I’ve looked online and I think (without sounding really arrogant!) that I would work really hard to do a good job serving people’s questions and I have the credentials…
Do I have the Credentials to do this?
I’m an award-winning activists who has helped change government laws, business polities, hearts and minds. My daily unwavering passion is to help people become more effective activists to improve our world for all people and our fragile planet. I have over 10 years experiencing working for Christian Aid, Oxfam and the UK Government department for International Development (DFID). I grew up in a very low-income area of Liverpool with a activist parents (my dad is a vicar, my mum was a nurse and now a local politician) where amongst many campaigns I squatted in social housing aged 3 with my community to save them (we won) and we campaigned with the anti-apartheid movement in the UK as well as visiting South Africa in 1991 with my family as part of my Dad’s sabbatical to learn from the activism happening there. I grew up seeing unjust structures, systems, behaviours and cultures first hand and how my local community campaigned to change them. I’ve chaired meetings, set up campaigns (won and lost some campaigns), worked in coalitions and even won a campaign for lockers when I was Head Girl of my secondary school which my headteacher said would be impossible (yes I”m a geek!). I grew up learning how campaigns could be won, lost, thoughtful or thoughtless. I’m now a campaigns consultant for organisations, teach in universities around the world, create activism products and services and I’ve just become an Ashoka Fellow where I will be able to research more ways to be effective in activism using positive psychology and the senses.
My hope for this Column:
It’s not easy or always fun being an activist. It takes time, emotional intelligence, knowledge, creative thinking, compassion and persistence. Tattooed on my shoulder are the words of Martin Luther King Jnr who said we need a ‘tough mind and a tender heart’ as activists to be impactful not just a voice in the wind. My hope is that my column will help you and others be strategic, focused and loving in your activism to be part of the real change you wish to see in our fragile world.
Help me make it awesome:
I need your help: Read and share my pieces please. And I would love to recieve your questions which can be anonymous or not (one paragraph 100 words maximum please to sarah [at] craftivist-collective dot com) and encourage your friends, families or colleagues to do the same. I am limited to reply in 800 words or less so please make your questions focused on one issue not multiple questions so I can answer as fully as possible.
Here are my first three weeks:
- First Column – helping Lucy who is overwhelmed by the injustice in our world
- Second Column – helping Katherine sustain and grow her anti-fracking campaign group
- Third Column – helping Ross lobby his MP more effectively
All of my columns will be hosted here uk.lush.com/tag/activist-whisperer
Some of the many lovely responses so far:
“Great first column – I feel better from reading it AND more energised. Bookmarking it” @Dragonfish57 (Instagram)
“I have just forwarded this link to a friend who was in tears this morning feeling overwhelmed with the state of the world!… She found it very helpful.” – Rosemary Turner (Facebook)
“What a fantastic response to Lucy’s question – full of positive, achievable ideas and suggestions” – Elaine Chambers (Linked-In)
I hope to receive your questions soon x