Let’s continue the conversation with Sherry Paris about her new book You Can Make a Difference! A Creative Workbook and Journal for Young Activists. Please read to the end of the article for a discount code.
What do you recommend activists do to keep their project’s momentum going?
Readers will be inspired by the four featured young activists in You Can Make a Difference! I had the honor of collaborating with them on diversity training projects when they were in high school. They have lots of wisdom to share about keeping the momentum going.
I’ll share some of the ways I keep the momentum going on my projects:
1. I start with projects I am passionate about so there is a feeling of deep care and concern that sustains me. You Can Make a Difference! provides readers with a template to consider many aspects of social justice and identify their top priorities.
2. I post reminders for myself about the importance of the project. While creating this book, I placed an affirmation card on my computer screen: “I am crafting a resource for young people who want to make a difference.” Readers can affirm their values and intentions.
3. I cultivate a positive relationship to the project and people collaborating on the project. I hope readers will center love and gratitude in their projects.
4. I pace myself. I create space and a routine. I practice self-care throughout the process. The chapter on self-care comes before the chapter on crafting a project so self-care is not an afterthought or something that is only considered after becoming exhausted.
5. When I feel stuck, I connect with nature, create art, or call an encouraging friend. Readers are encouraged to develop their support systems.
6. I love putting stars on my calendar to acknowledge and celebrate actions and milestones. The book has a chart to allow readers space to record their actions, give themselves a star, and reflect on their experience.
7. I allow myself to feel good about my creations and contributions. I hope readers will do the same!
What is the top piece of advice you would give to someone who is new to activism?
The four featured interviewees offer lots of advice on this very topic at the end of the book. I know their wisdom will resonate with readers.
My top piece of advice: Follow your heart and body wisdom.
Can we connect with and embrace our embodied knowings? Let’s individually and collectively embrace ourselves to sustain the journey of activism. Cultivate a loving relationship with yourself first. Connect with people who encourage and support you and your efforts.
Here are a few other big ideas that I live by:
· Remember that we are all “perfectly imperfect;”
· Ask questions: who benefits/profits from the way things are currently structured?
· Keep learning and listening to people with lived experience of injustice;
· Build capacity and power with others; and
· Keep taking action towards social justice.
You Can Make a Difference! A Creative Workbook and Journal for Young Activists will inspire and empower young activists and activists who are young at heart to take action towards equity and social justice.
Please use the discount code YCMAD10 (after selecting “checkout”) to receive 10% off your purchase (through May 31, 2022) of You Can Make a Difference! A Creative Workbook and Journal for Young Activists.