Political Activism


As the new year comes around, a new phase of politics emerges. The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, climate change, foreign and international affairs, the violation of human and civil rights, and more to be listed, are all important issues that impact our lives. While we are not able to fix these problems overnight, we can make our own stand against these issues, even if we are not old enough to vote for people who can cause change.

Education and awareness is the first step. Make sure you know about the issue and how you can make meaningful changes to help those around you. For instance, google is an expansive resource which can give you the right information if you know how to look for it. Try looking up your issue by using key words rather than in the form of a question. For example, if you wish to look up information about food insecurity, instead of looking up “is there food insecurity in america”, look up “food insecurity” “america” to find more information on it.

If you know what your important issue is, you know all the facts, and you want to do something about it, try finding out if there are any organizations fighting for your cause. For example, if you’re interested in student dress code violations, look into national organizations such as the ACLU or the NYRA who fight for student’s civil liberties. It’s also important to look into local organizations to impact your community. This is a small step that you can take to benefit your community and to give you more experience to help fight the issue at large.

So what if you want to take direct action against an issue? As stated before, local action is likely more impactful because you are more acquainted with your community. Make sure to raise awareness about your issue. Social media and talking with your peers is a very important step as it makes others aware and helps give more support to helping the issue. Calling your representatives, petitioning, going to local meetings, volunteering, and donating to selected organizations are all ways to get involved and dip your feet into activism to combat a variety of  issues.

An important part of activism is not just knowing how to fix the issue you’re passionate about, but also knowing how outreach works. Knowing who’s responsible for these issues or the politicians who are supposed to fix them. For example, the president is not always responsible for changing school curriculum, but the New York State Education Department and the people in charge of the school district can. Focus your efforts on appealing to those responsible rather than just being able to reach those who have the most authority or political power.

In the end, activism is dependent on people with the willingness to help those in need and to solve issues that impact our own lives as well as others’. With actions as big as changing legislation or as small as talking about current events with your friends, activism is a group effort and any action that directs further action to solve the issue is beneficial as long as it’s understood what’s being done.

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