Send your questions to ‘The Activist Whisperer’ columnist (me!)

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13 Sep Send your questions to ‘The Activist Whisperer’ columnist (me!)

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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…

 

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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. 

 

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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. 

 

 

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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:

  1. First Column – helping Lucy who is overwhelmed by the injustice in our world 
  2. Second Column – helping Katherine sustain and grow her anti-fracking campaign group 
  3. 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

 

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4 Comments
  • Caroline Instance
    Posted at 09:14h, 30 September Reply

    Last year a young girl was tragically killed in my village (Thakeham, West Sussex) while crossing the road to get to the school bus stop. The road that runs through the Parish is used as a cut through/rat run by speeding motorists who do not live here. We have managed to get some pinch points created and some speed activated signs but it is still not having the traffic calming impact residents desire. Butterflies were released at Ellie’s memorial service and I have an idea about using fabric ones in someway to draw attention to the issue (in the local press if not in a sustained way by the road). Maybe a number of us could walk across the road with a butterfly chain to form a barrier and put a butterfly with a drive slow note under the windscreen wipers of the stopped cars. Have you any suggestions or advice about how to make an effective campaign but in a sensitive way as not to distress Ellie’s parents further?

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 17:54h, 05 October Reply

      Good question Caroline. I’ll add it to my questions for the column and email you with an update x

  • Charity Marrone
    Posted at 04:23h, 18 October Reply

    HeLLo!

    I have an art studio in the US and would love to collaborate. I would love to host small groups and offer projects that you have so thoughtfully put together. What would be the best way economically to participate. Are there other US groups already offering such experiences?!

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 16:19h, 15 November Reply

      Hi Charity, we have carefully made ethical craftivism DIY kits so wherever you are in the world, whenever and alone or with others can use them to have a go. They include important crafterthought questions, strategic tips and more. I recommend you order them from our shop for your group. I don’t know of other groups offering our unique ‘gentle protest’ approach but it’s best you google or search on social media maybe? Best of luck and i hope you have a go at our projects and find our free manifesto and videos useful too

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